House Democrats Are Reportedly Terrified After Trump's Indictment: 'We All Have to Be Very Careful'


Congressional Democrats are not as uniformly celebratory over the charging, arrest and arraignment of former President Donald Trump as one might expect.

Axios spoke to a number of lawmakers, some of whom understandably wanted to remain anonymous if they were going to share their true feelings about the indictment.

“I think we all have to be very careful. There is a high risk of Donald Trump becoming a victim,” one Democratic representative told Axios. “We don’t need to put kerosene on a fire.”

“When you think about [that dynamic] playing out for the next two years — I think that is why you’re going to see a lot of people keeping their mouths shut,” the unnamed representative said. “And I think it’s smart, too.”

Smart, perhaps. But difficult to do.

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“I don’t know what the balance is,” said Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley. “You have to respond because everybody wants a statement.”

An unnamed “Democratic leadership aide” told the outlet that party leaders in the House were reminding members they they were under no obligation to comment on Trump’s indictment at all — advice that President Joe Biden seems to have received, as well.

“Materials offering guidance on messaging during the two-week April recess, reviewed by Axios, focuses [sic] on touting President Biden’s policy agenda and attacking GOP plans on the abortion and the budget,” the outlet said.

Quigley was formerly a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and was close to the initial effort to impeach Trump. He was not optimistic about the possibility of his party ignoring the former president in favor of other issues.

Will the indictment strengthen Trump’s 2024 chances?

“Yeah, good luck,” he said.

“I’ve been trying to do that since 2016,” he told Axios. “But people ask about him … He dominates the conversation whether anybody likes it or not. And he plays on that.”

Nonetheless, the report cited three Democratic House members who all, in one form or another, argued that it was time for Democrats to move on.

“Folks need to be done with Trump,” Ohio Rep. Greg Landsman said in a statement last week. “[We] have to keep our attention on the actual work of leading this country.”

“There isn’t a role for Congress in this,” Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, a former Trump impeachment manager, told Axios. “You will see Democrats stay very focused on the things that matter in people’s lives. I think most people are beyond Donald Trump … [and are not] following these legal proceedings.”

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“We need to be focused on what the issues are,” Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan told Axios, arguing that many of her party colleagues believed the same thing — whether they’d say so publicly or not.

Despite fears that Trump’s indictment could backfire on Democrats in the 2024 election, a few of the more extreme members of the Democratic Party, like “squad” member Jamaal Bowman of New York, remained enthusiastic.

“From what I’ve been hearing throughout my district, New Yorkers are happy about this indictment,” he told New York’s NY1 in an interview last week.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics