(DCWatchdog.com) – Former Arkansas Governor and 2024 Republican presidential nomination hopeful Asa Hutchinson has blamed the January 6, 2021 breach of the US Capitol on his rival, former President Donald Trump.
In an interview with the NBC News program “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Hutchinson, a well-known Trump critic, declared that the former president had a “moral responsibility for the 1/6 events.
At the same time, the two-term governor of Arkansas commented that the US Justice Department could determine that Trump was also legally responsible for the Capitol breach.
“The question is whether there is a criminal responsibility, and that’s a judgment that the Department of Justice is going to have to make,” commented Hutchinson, a former US attorney, as cited by Newsmax.
He welcomed the convictions of four Proud Boys members, including the right-wing group’s former leader, Enrique Tarrio, of seditious conspiracy over the US Capitol events.
According to Hutchinson, the guilty verdicts reflect the “seriousness of the offense of January 6, and undermining our democracy.”
He accused Trump, favored by most Republican voters for the 2024 party nomination, of using the prosecutions against him to boost his ratings.
“He’s played the victim,” Hutchinson commented, referring to the New York case in which Trump was charged with 34 counts of financial crimes by Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“You look back to the true numbers, which is after the last midterm elections, and his numbers were down. He was responsible for a lot of the failure in growth that we expected and wins in a number of different states, and so his numbers were down,” Hutchinson said of the former president.
He even joked that Bragg was Trump’s “campaign manage” since the indictment boosted the latter’s popularity.
“This will settle out over time, and so let’s judge it, understanding that we’re early in the campaign. We’ve got a lot of room to grow,” Hutchinson argued.
He said he expected to be one of the candidates in the Republican primary debate this year.
“We’re still looking at what is required for that in terms of the pledge,” the former Arkansas governor said when asked whether he would endorse Trump if the latter won the GOP nomination.
Even though Trump himself has said he might not participate in Republican primary debates, Hutchinson predicted that the former president would participate because he would “drop in the polls” and then seek to boost his ratings.
“It’s important for the American public to hear — particularly the Republican voters — to hear what the candidates say about the future, their ideas for it, and to engage in that debate and defend their positions… And I think everybody has an obligation to participate in that,” Hutchinson commented.
He declared his background in law enforcement and government, and a plan to cut federal and state employees by 10% would contribute to a nomination that’s “about the future.”
Asa Hutchinson: "The question is whether there is a criminal responsibility, and that's a judgment that the Department of Justice is going to have to make" https://t.co/ZwYzUutMWD
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 7, 2023