DeSantis finally goes public on potential Trump arrest, gets slammed

By Peter LaBarbera

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. (Video screenshot)
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. (Video screenshot)

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor and potential presidential contender, is finally condemning Manhattan’s Democrat district attorney for politicizing his office after former President Trump predicted the leftist D.A. would be arresting him imminently.

On Saturday, Trump rocked the political world by using his own Truth Social platform to announce that he likely faced imminent arrest by New York City’s far-left prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, over hush-money payments to former pornography “actress” Stormy Daniels, a.k.a. Stephanie Clifford, before the 2016 election.

Speaking at a campaign event in South Carolina the same day, Republican presidential candidate and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy quickly condemned Bragg’s “political prosecution” and chided DeSantis (and fellow GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley) for not responding urgently to the leak of a potential Trump arrest:

Goaded by Ramaswamy and others, DeSantis spoke out in Florida Monday morning.

“If you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction, and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to use something about porn star hush-money payments, you know, that’s an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office,” DeSantis said, as Fox News reported. “And I think that that’s fundamentally wrong.”

In making his statement, DeSantis took a not-so-subtle dig at Trump, saying, “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair…” as some people in the audience laughed.

For the record, Daniels herself tweeted in 2022 that she never had an “affair” with Trump, as has been widely alleged:

Referencing notorious leftist financier George Soros, who reportedly used his political action committee to give Bragg $1 million to get him elected in 2020, DeSantis said, “But the real victims are ordinary New Yorkers, ordinary Americans and all these different jurisdictions that they get victimized every day because of the reckless political agenda that the Soros DAs bring to their job … They ignore crime and they empower criminals, and that hurts people, hurts a lot of people every single day.”

He added, “We won’t be involved in this. I have no interest in getting involved in some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA…He’s trying to do a political spectacle. He’s trying to virtue signal for his base. I’ve got real issues I got to deal with here in Florida,” according to Fox News.

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The Republican governor called Soros-backed district attorneys “a menace” and boasted he is the “only governor in the country who has removed one from office,” referring to Andrew Warren, a “progressive” Hillsborough County state attorney whom DeSantis canned in 2022 for refusing to enforce Florida laws.

MAGA not impressed

MAGA world was as unimpressed with DeSantis’ statement as it was was with his two-day delay in making it.

Raheem Kassam, the pro-Trump publisher of National Pulse, savaged DeSantis on Twitter for saying, “I’ve got real issues to deal with,” tweeting Monday: “Woooooow, Ron DeSantis declares the far left takeover of the judiciary, leading to the potential arrest of a former president, not a ‘real issue.'”

Kassam devoted an entire podcast to analyzing what he called DeSantis’ “tone deaf” response. Below is a larger excerpt of the latter part of DeSantis’ remarks, courtesy of another disappointed conservative, Mike Cernovich:

“We are not involved in this, won’t be involved in this. I have no interest in getting involved in some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA. He’s trying to do a political spectacle. He’s trying to virtue signal for his base. Uh, I’ve got real issues I gotta deal with here in the state of Florida. We’re obviously shutting down … CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency], which is important. We’ve got so many things pending in front of the legislature. I’ve gotta spend my time on issues that actually matter to people. I can’t spend my time, worrying about things of that nature. So, we’re not gonna be involved in it in any way. I’m fighting for Floridians and I’m fighting back against Biden. That’s what I do every single day.”

“Ron DeSantis has really thrown it all away this weekend,” Kassam said. “We’re talking here about the potential arrest of a former president … Listen, if the weaponization of your Justice Department, if the weaponization of district attorneys offices…If you don’t think, Mr. DeSantis, that that is a real issue, then close up shop … .”

“He’s not going to get his hands dirty with all of that — helping the guy who helped get him elected … helping the guy who put everything on the line in 2016. No, no, no. Ron DeSantis can’t muddy his hands with something so trivial as the end of the way that America treats its presidents,” Kassam said.

Referencing the deep criticism DeSantis received from hawkish Republicans for his recent statement calling Ukraine a “territorial dispute,” Kassam tweeted: “I get it. I do. After being gently prodded for a week about Ukraine, Ron DeSantis didn’t want to attract further establishment ire by backing Trump. Still, says a lot, doesn’t it? I explain in this latest special episode”:

For his part, Cernovich, who went from being an influential Trump supporter to a reluctant Trump critic, said DeSantis “missed his moment” by understating the gravity of the potential arrest of a former president.

“DeSantis could have presented himself as the opposition to Soros-funded District Attorneys and their neo-Bolshevik tactics,” Cernovich wrote in a Substack essay.

He tweeted to his 1.1 million followers on Saturday: “Easiest win that DeSantis could take right now is to do this,” coupled with a tougher statement he had hoped the Florida governor would have issued: “Donald Trump is a citizen of Florida. A Soros-funded District Attorney who has allowed anti-Semitic violence to send New York City into a state of anarch0-tyranny is allegedly seeking to take Trump into custody on spurious charges. … I am prepared to exercise my lawful authority as Governor to examine the legality of any extradition request, to ensure that no citizen of my state will have rights violated by vindictive prosecutors in other states.”

Taking a different tack, conservative activist Jesse Kelly said there was “no good response” DeSantis could have made and called Trump’s prediction of an arrest a “set up” that the Florida governor should not have fallen for.

Kelly tweeted Monday to his 614,000 followers regarding Trump’s “Truth Social” call for his followers to “PROTEST. TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” (should he be arrested): “This is abuse of his followers and I despise it.”

“Again, what’s happening to Trump is beyond injustice but do NOT go to a communist city [New York City] to protest. And if you do, you better be a rapper cause that’s the only way you’re getting that pardon from him if he wins again,” Kelly said in his tweet.

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