EXCLUSIVE — Former Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan called the indictment and arraignment of former President Trump “a new low in the politicalization” of the nation’s judicial system.
Rogers, a former FBI agent who later served 14 years in Congress and grabbed plenty of attention in the nation’s capital as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, argued in a national exclusive interview with Fox News that “There are people who love Trump, don’t like Trump, hate Trump, all on that spectrum, looking at this and thinking this is not right.”
Trump pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in a New York City courthouse to 34 counts of falsifying business records, in the first-ever criminal arraignment of a former president in American history. Trump was arraigned for allegedly falsifying business records related to hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 to keep her quiet ahead of that year’s presidential election. The former president denies sleeping with Daniels and denies falsifying business records to keep the payment concealed.
“This doesn’t look right to me,” Rogers said when asked about the case.
Trump also faces potential charges in Georgia, for allegedly trying to overturn his 2020 narrow election loss in the state to President Biden, as well as federal probes by the Justice Department into the then-president’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 election. Another investigation into Trump’s post-White House handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, is ongoing.
“Here’s what I worry about. People are going to see all of those things no matter what the merits of the case are, now in the same vain,” Rogers emphasized. “You already are starting to see this divide on support for these legal institutions. That’s a long-term problem for the United States of America, and it’s dangerous.”
Rogers said he is concerned that Trump’s multiple legal controversies are “just absolutely ripping the fabric of the United States apart.”
The indictment has given Trump — who was already the front-runner — a polling and fundraising boost in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race, as he runs a third straight time for the White House.
However, Rogers predicted the political benefits for Trump would be short-term, saying “I think this is the sugar high. It will go away.”
Rogers was interviewed by Fox News during his two-day swing through New Hampshire, the state that holds the first presidential primary and second contest overall in the GOP’s nominating calendar. Rogers headlined a Tuesday roundtable discussion on the key issues facing the nation, hosted by the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women. The event was held at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, a must-stop for actual and potential White House contenders from both major political parties.
Rogers, who along with his wife formed a group called “Lead America” to try to remedy the growing discouragement with politics and find solutions to national problems, has been road testing his message and his suggested solutions in recent months with trips across the country, including with stops in New Hampshire, as well as Iowa and South Carolina, which hold the first and third contests in the GOP schedule.
“I think it’s important to get here to have this discussion of ideas about the future of the country with people who are going to have an outsized impact on what happens in 2024,” Rogers stressed.
When asked about his 2024 timetable, Rogers said he will jump into the race “if I can get to that point where people are really ready for those hard solutions, and creative solutions, and innovative solutions, and an optimistic position for our future.”
If he runs, he will be considered a very long shot against Trump and other much more well-known candidates or currently potential contenders who are better funded than Rogers, who is not well known outside of Michigan or the Washington, D.C., Beltway.
However, he argued that “there’s good name ID and there can be bad name ID.”
He added his emphasis on retail politics in the early voting states would be his path towards the nomination.
“We’re finding people keep saying ‘would you come back, talk more. We want to hear more.’ That’s how we’re judging the strength or not strength of any decision we may or not make coming up this summer,” Rogers said.