The top House Republican is warning that the Democratic Party is trying to jail its chief political rival before November’s election.

Appearing with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Saturday morning’s episode of “This Week on the Hill,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., declared, “Donald Trump is being targeted because of who he is. If he was not running for president again, I don’t think you’d see any of this barrage of prosecutions, these local district attorneys and state attorneys who are after him … .”

Referring to the myriad state and federal indictments leveled against former President Donald Trump over the past 15 months, Johnson added, “They have targeted him because he is soon to be officially the nominee of the Republican Party for president, and this is their only way to stop him.”

“Everybody around the country can see this for what it is, anybody who looks at what is happening objectively has to reach the same conclusion. They are targeting him because of who he is,” Johnson explained.

He continued, “And the real threat to this … is it is the weaponization of our system of justice itself. … You have to understand this is something that would undermine a very foundational principle of our country. The people have to trust that the justice system is fair, that there really is equal justice under law. And if we don’t have that, we lose something very important to maintain a constitutional republic.”

Perkins added, “The former president says it’s not just about him, but it’s what he represents, the people that he represents, the fact that he has stood up to the Left, to the media. That’s the reason he is the target.”

Johnson agreed: “I think he symbolizes a pushing back against that federal corruption and the Deep State and the bureaucracy and all the things that frustrate the American people. They see in Donald Trump someone who is unafraid to sort of crash through those barriers in a certain respect.”

He further noted, “I think that’s why he is such a threat to them, and that’s why they pulled out all the stops.”

Over the course of 2023, four criminal indictments, amounting to a total of 88 felony charges, were issued against Trump. The first, consisting of New York state charges, alleged that the former president had falsified business records. That trial is currently underway in Manhattan.

The Department of Justice indicted Trump last June for allegedly illegally keeping classified documents pertaining to national security—after having left the White House in 2021. A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., then indicted Trump for allegedly attempting to “defraud the United States” by overturning the 2020 election results. Almost immediately afterward, Trump was indicted in Fulton County, Georgia, for alleged racketeering related to the 2020 election results.

“What they’re doing here really is a travesty of justice,” Johnson said of the Democrats’ campaign against Trump, which critics have characterized as “lawfare.”

“Very practically speaking, this was [Trump’s] fifth week of trial in Manhattan on this charge, a crime that they can’t even adequately define. Prosecutors passed on bringing these charges eight years ago. They did it now for political reasons, and they kept him off the campaign trail.”

Perkins noted that left-wing lawfare extends far beyond just Trump, pointing to the 57-month prison sentence handed down to pro-life activist Lauren Handy for blockading the entrance to a Washington, D.C., abortion facility in 2020.

Handy is reportedly the first person to be sentenced to prison under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, although the Biden administration’s Justice Department is actively prosecuting other pro-lifers, too. Johnson said that the Biden administration’s targeting of pro-lifers is an “instance of priorities being exactly in the wrong place.”

“They’re aggressively prosecuting people who are exercising their First Amendment freedom to talk about the sanctity of human life on a public sidewalk. And meanwhile, they catch and release dangerous criminals, persons who come across the border illegally, and people who are violent offenders multiple times over,” Johnson stated. “And yet they’re targeting people that have a different political viewpoint. I just think it’s such a blatant example of exactly what we’re talking about. And the people see this. They see a two-tiered system of justice, and that’s a real threat to us.”

“If you lose the rule of law, if you lose the foundational underpinnings of a constitutional republic, what you ultimately result with, again, is a return to tyranny, because the people who are in charge have abused their authority,” the speaker explained. “And we know that power corrupts, and as Lord Acton observed, absolute power corrupts absolutely. You have to have all these checks and balances. You have to have the separation of powers, and you have to have the maintenance of law and order.”

Recent polling suggests that a supermajority of Americans agree that the Biden administration is carrying out a lawfare campaign against the former president.

A March survey from McLaughlin and Associates found that nearly 70% of voters believe the slew of indictments against Trump are politically motivated, and almost 60% of voters (including close to 40% of Democrats) think [President Joe] Biden has played a role in the crusade against Trump. Additionally, 56% of voters (including a third of Democrats) said they believe that “Joe Biden wants to stop President Trump from winning the election by putting him in jail.”

The monthly Harvard CAPS/Harris polls have found some shifting over the past few months on whether voters would still support Trump if he were convicted on various charges, with voters typically being split 50-50 with a slight advantage in Trump’s favor, but the latest poll’s findings demonstrated that the flurry of lawsuits against the former president isn’t helping Biden’s popularity.

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