Byron Donalds clashes with NBC host over Trump charges: 'Two-tiered justice...plain to see'

Democrats have argued prosecution of Hunter Biden undercuts Trump's attacks on DOJ

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., sparred with NBC's Peter Alexander on Sunday's "Meet the Press" after the host questioned Donalds' claims of a "two-tiered justice system" under President Biden.

The Florida congressman — who is reportedly on former President Trump's shortlist for his 2024 running mate — argued that the Supreme Court should step in and overturn Trump's felony convictions in a Manhattan court last month. He argued the judge had violated Trump's constitutional rights by not identifying the crime in the original indictment. 

"You’re not allowed to do that. Every judge knows this. This is why everybody believes this is going to be overturned on appeal. Because it was meant to interfere with the presidential selection. That's the problem," Donalds argued.

However, Alexander staunchly defended Biden's Justice Department and argued that the prosecution of Hunter Biden proved there was "equal justice."


Rep. Byron Donalds and NBCs Peter Alexander on NBC

Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida got into a heated clash with NBC host Peter Alexander over the fairness of the Trump trial in New York. (Screenshot/NBC)

"Congressman, to be clear, this was obviously a state case. He was indicted by a grand jury of New Yorkers. It was a jury of his peers in New York that found him guilty," Alexander remarked.

"To be clear, Joe Biden, there is no evidence that he had anything to do with this case. The Manhattan D.A. as you know, began this investigation in 2018 before Joe Biden was even his party’s nominee," he added.

The journalist suggested Republicans accusing Biden of "weaponizing" the judicial system against Trump were being hypocritical because of recent comments made by the former president about seeking retribution.

"Why is it appropriate for Donald Trump, then, to call for prosecuting his political opponents, including President Biden?" he asked.


Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Donalds argued that the prosecution against Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act was an example of "two-tiered" justice under President Biden. (Left: Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Right: (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images))

placeholderTrump recently told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would not use the justice system to seek retribution against his political adversaries if he returns to the White House in 2025, though he would have "every right" to do so.

"Number one, they're wrong," Trump replied. "It has to stop, because otherwise, we're not going to have a country. Look, when this election is over, based on what they've done, I would have every right to go after them, and it's easy, because it's Joe Biden and you see all the criminality, all of the money that's going into the family and him, all of this money from China, from Russia, from Ukraine."

"What they're doing to me, if it's going to continue, we're really not going to have much of a country left. It's really, it is weaponization. You call it lawfare, you call it — some people call it just warfare — but it is weaponization of the election," Trump added. 

Donalds argued that Trump was actually calling out Biden for violating judicial norms.

"What he did say was, is that we have always had this kind of gentleman’s agreement that you do not go after the political leaders of the oppositional party," he began. "When Donald Trump was president, he didn’t have his attorney generals go after Hillary Clinton when she did violate the Espionage Act."


Byron Donalds argued President Trump didn't weaponize his DOJ to go after his 2016 political rival, Hillary Clinton, regarding the Espionage Act.

Byron Donalds argued President Trump didn't weaponize his DOJ to go after his 2016 political rival, Hillary Clinton, regarding the Espionage Act. (Getty Images)

"But now you have a situation where main justice has weaponized the Justice Department to go after Donald Trump," he continued. "You have Jack Smith, who’s chasing down Donald Trump on violating the Espionage Act, but at the same time, Robert Hur knows that President Biden has violated the Espionage Act. Robert Hur is not prosecuting Joe Biden. Jack Smith is trying to prosecute Donald Trump. That is a two-tiered justice. It’s very plain to see."

Appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, Special Counsel Jack Smith has charged Trump with 40 felony counts, including violating the Espionage Act, stemming from his classified documents case.

The NBC anchor interjected to bring up examples of Democrats who have been prosecuted by Biden's Justice Department, such as Biden's own son, Hunter.

After Hunter Biden's conviction last week, several liberal media outlets argued it proved that the justice system wasn’t weaponized against Trump.

"That’s not true, and that’s not even the same thing we’re talking about here," Donalds retorted before he was interrupted again by Alexander.

"But they’ve prosecuted both Democrats and Republicans, so I think Americans would say, isn’t that equal justice?" Alexander asked.

Hunter Biden departs from federal court

Hunter Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Donalds said these cases couldn't be compared to the charges against Trump brought up before the presidential election.

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