Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said Friday that Donald Trump had “brought these charges upon himself” after the former president was notified of his indictment in an investigation into his handling of classified materials.
“Mr. Trump brought these charges upon himself by not only taking classified documents, but by refusing to simply return them when given numerous opportunities to do so,” Romney said in a statement.
The former Republican presidential candidate acknowledged that Trump is “entitled to the presumption of innocence” and that the government is faced with “the burden of proving its charges beyond a reasonable doubt.”
However, he added, “By all appearances, the Justice Department and special counsel have exercised due care, affording Mr. Trump the time and opportunity to avoid charges that would not generally have been afforded to others.”
Romney compared the indictment to the former president’s two impeachments while in office. The senator broke with his party both times to vote in favor of convicting Trump.
“These allegations are serious and if proven, would be consistent with his other actions offensive to the national interest, such as withholding defensive weapons from Ukraine for political reasons and failing to defend the Capitol from violent attack and insurrection,” Romney said.
Trump is facing charges on seven counts, including for violations of the Espionage Act, as well as obstruction of justice and false statements, his attorney Jim Trusty said Thursday. The former president has been summoned to appear in court in Miami on Tuesday.