Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday called the indictment of former President Trump “un-American” and said the state would not assist in any extradition request.
“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American,” DeSantis, who is seen as Trump’s top rival in a potential 2024 GOP primary, tweeted after news of the indictment broke.
“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent,” DeSantis continued, adding that Florida would not assist in an extradition request “given the questionable circumstances at issue.”
A Manhattan grand jury on Thursday voted to indict Trump on criminal charges for his role in organizing hush money payments made to an adult film star during his 2016 campaign.
Trump, who is a Florida resident, is expected to be arraigned next week.
DeSantis’s remarks echoed his previous comments decrying the hush money investigation as politically motivated. He said last week that he had no interest in involving himself in “some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA.”
Florida law allows the governor to intervene in extradition matters if they are contested, though Trump’s lawyers have previously indicated that they have no plans on fighting the former president’s extradition.
After DeSantis said last week that he wouldn’t intervene in the case against Trump, the former president and his allies lashed out, accusing DeSantis of showing political weakness by not defending Trump more forcefully.
Prior to that, some of Trump’s allies had called on DeSantis to intervene in the extradition process if the former president was ultimately charged in New York.
DeSantis is seen as the most serious challenger to Trump for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. While he hasn’t announced a bid yet, he’s been actively preparing for a campaign and is widely expected to make a final decision later this year.
Updated: 7:28 p.m. ET