Asa Hutchinson, a Republican whose time in government includes a recently concluded stint as governor of Arkansas, where he was replaced by former Trump administration official Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is speaking out.
Hutchinson himself is now running for the Republican Party’s 2024 nomination for president, though he, like many others who’ve announced a campaign, hasn’t made much of a dent in polling. Nonetheless, he remains publicly vocal, and in a recent statement, Hutchinson called for Trump’s exit from the presidential race in connection to the possibilities the former president is facing of criminal charges. The former governor also called for the Republican Party as a whole to back away from any unequivocal pledge to support the nominee even if that’s Trump and he’s found guilty of serious criminal offenses, allegations of which Donald might soon be facing.
There have been rumors of very imminent charges for Trump under federal rules including provisions of the Espionage Act governing the handling of sensitive materials. “The @GOP should clarify that there is no pledge to support a nominee if they are found guilty of espionage or a serious felony,” Hutchinson wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “Donald Trump is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation and he should step aside & put the good of the country above his candidacy.”
Many Republican Party leaders have nonetheless continued to back the former president as he makes a long expected bid for the party’s nomination for 2024. Donald is still hanging onto false claims about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, and he won’t even comprehensively distance himself from participants in the Capitol riot, only sometimes making any distinguishing note at all when discussing his interest in providing pardons, although hundreds and hundreds of the participants in that violence were accused of assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers.
On the policy front, Trump also remains a mess, having talked about essentially abandoning the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is a cornerstone part of the so-called Western world’s military defenses against threats like Vladimir Putin and any close allies of his, though the Russian military continues to suffer substantial losses amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The @GOP should clarify that there is no pledge to support a nominee if they are found guilty of espionage or a serious felony.
Donald Trump is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation and he should step aside & put the good of the country above his candidacy.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) June 8, 2023