Wyoming Republicans Outraged Over Trump’s Jan. 6 Indictment

A new federal indictment against former President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot has Wyoming Republicans outraged.

Leo Wolfson

August 02, 20236 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

For the third time this year, a new felony case was filed Tuesday against former President Donald Trump. Leading Wyoming Republicans say round 3 is another attempt by President Joe Biden to weaken the frontrunner to be his 2024 presidential opponent.

“This is something you’d expect in a third-world country, not the United States,” U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “The people of Wyoming deserve to live in a world where prosecutors make responsible charging decisions and do not take politics into account.”

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, added that, “The American people have lost faith in Biden’s Justice Department.”

“They are uncomfortable watching the current president weaponize the justice system against his political opponent,” Barrasso said. “The Justice Department’s own flimsy deal to save Biden’s son didn’t even hold up in court.

“This two-tiered system of justice is wrong. The country deserves better.”

Meanwhile, In Wyoming …

Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray said the new charges is an attempt from Biden’s administration to cling on to power and called the indictment relating to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot a “truly a grave day for our republic.” 

“Biden weaponizing the DOJ for political purposes to target President Trump is something straight out of a banana republic, and is election interference,” Gray said. “If this fabricated indictment is allowed to stand, no one will be allowed to question their government, or promote any effort to improve the integrity of our elections, without the constant fear of political persecution.”

Gray was endorsed by Trump in his 2022 bid for secretary of state. In July, he signed a letter with five other secretaries of state calling for Congress to investigate alleged efforts by former federal intelligence officials and Biden’s campaign to intentionally influence the 2020 presidential election.

Conversely, Wyoming Democratic Party Chairman Joe Barbuto said the new charges are justified.

“The former president lied, attempted to coerce state election officials and sought to obstruct an official proceeding in his attempts to overturn the results of a free and fair election that he lost,” Barbuto said. “His actions tore at the fabric of our democracy and fueled a violent insurrection at our nation's capitol building. Now, as a consequence of his deceit, he'll face the justice system.”

In a September 2022 interview with Cowboy State Daily, Lummis described Jan. 6 as a very serious event by which she was intimately affected. Still, she doesn’t believe it rises to the level of criminally charging Trump.

Tuesday’s indictment “is an incredibly concerning day for our country,” she said.

Cheney Connection

In many ways, the four felony charges filed Tuesday against Trump serve as a crowning achievement for former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney, who served as vice chair of the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. 

In its final meeting, this committee urged the Justice Department to take up charges against Trump related to his efforts to overturn the election and behavior on Jan. 6. It was Cheney who made a motion to subpoena the former president to speak before the committee and she also cast the first vote to support bringing criminal charges against him.

Trump endorsed Cheney’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, who ousted her in the 2022 Republican primary.

Cheney did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.

The Charges

Trump was indicted on four felony charges Tuesday afternoon for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The charges came after a sprawling investigation that resulted in Trump being accused of:

  • Attempting to defraud the United States government.

  • Conspiracy to make a false statement and obstruct an official government proceeding.

  • Corrupt obstruction of an official government proceeding.

  • Depriving people of civil rights provided by federal law or the Constitution.

Three of these four charges had been recommended by the Jan. 6 Committee. 

Prosecutors accuse Trump of assaulting the “bedrock function” of democracy and spreading “prolific lies” that there had been substantial election fraud in certain states. Trump had claimed large numbers of dead, nonresident, non-citizen, ineligible voters cast ballots. He also said voting machines had changed votes for Biden.

In a statement on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump likened the new charges to “Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes.”

Like Wyoming’s delegation and Gray, he accused the Justice Department of being corrupt.

“These un-American witch hunts will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House so he can save our country from the abuse, incompetence, and corruption that is running through the veins of our country at levels never seen before,” the statement reads.

Trump was federally charged in June after being accused of holding onto a highly sensitive trove of national defense documents and then obstructing the government’s attempts to get them back. He’s also facing a slew of other charges in state courts and is now being separately investigated by a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, for alleged efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss in that state.

But the new charges filed Tuesday comes as Trump is full-on in his bid for the 2024 Republican nomination for an office he is now accused by the federal government of trying to remain in keep against the will of the voters. 

The new legal filing won’t likely do much to shake his support in Wyoming, a state that voted for Trump with a larger margin than any other in 2020. Campaign finance documents show that Trump is already leading Wyoming by a healthy margin for money raised.

Also, numerous polls have shown that previous charges filed against the former president have done little to nothing to waver the support of his base.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at leo@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter