Orrin Hatch Weirdly Defends Trump: ‘You Can Make Anything A Crime Under Current Laws’
After months of denials, some Republican leaders think Donald Trump may be implicated in a crime. If Orrin Hatch’s Monday comments are any indication, the GOP have a number of excuses around why those crimes aren’t serious.
Hatch was pressed by the media today about the latest allegations made by Michael Cohen. Hatch responded, “The Democrats will do anything to hurt this president.” When reminded that these are state, rather than federal charges, the Senator said, “Okay but I don’t care; all I can say is he’s doing a good job as President.”
Hatch spent his pre-political career working as an attorney in the Pittsburgh area. He also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee on three different occasions.
When asked if he was worried about the allegations, Hatch opined, “No because I don’t think he was involved in crimes but even then, you know, you can make anything a crime under the current laws; if you want to you can blow it way out of proportion you can do a lot of things.”
Hatch also felt that anything Trump did during his business career, in essence, didn’t count. He told the assembled reporters, “President Trump before he became president that’s another world. Since he’s become president this economy has charged ahead. … And I think we ought to judge him on that basis other than trying to drum up things from the past that may or may not be true.”
The Mueller probe picked up strength last week with the news that Michael Flynn had met with investigators 19 times. The Republican response to the allegations made against the President will most likely be varied.
Marco Rubio, in competitive Florida, warned against the president pardoning Paul Manafort and others involved in the probe. Republicans in less competitive states like Hatch may still look to minimize the allegations against Trump. While Hatch was the first to do so, there will likely be many more.