Far-right provocateur Ben Shapiro was criticized for saying only Republicans should "prosecute Republicans," taking an extreme stance by advocating for an impractical arrangement where the Department of Justice (DOJ) solely targets and brings charges against individuals affiliated with the president's own political party.
Shapiro acknowledged the charges against former President Donald Trump—who was recently indicted and arrested on federal charges of stealing classified documents—are "strong" but nonetheless suggested the DOJ will never have credibility unless it allows Republicans to "prosecute Republicans" and Democrats to "prosecute Democrats."
Shapiro, who made the remarks during an episode of his show on The Daily Wire, insisted there is a "double standard" at work, joining the chorus of Republicans who've insisted the charges against Trump are politically motivated.
You can hear what Shapiro said in the video below.
"Now I hear people screaming, ‘But you just said that Trump may have committed criminal activity here, the allegations against him are very strong.’"
"That’s true [but] the only way that you actually restore the credibility of the justice system is to have Republicans prosecute Republicans and Democrats prosecute Democrats." ...
"If the basic line here is the Republicans are just supposed to accept that Republicans who are guilty of crimes get indicted, and Democrats who are guilty of crimes get slots on CNN and MSNBC, that is not a workable solution for anyone." …
"The double standard is what is going to destroy the credibility of the institution."
According to Matt Gertz of Media Matters for America (MMA), the "pro-Trump media response" to the arraignment indicates how thoroughly Trump's conception of justice "as what happens when the law punishes his enemies and protects himself and his allies" has dominated right-wing thought.
What "Trump propagandists" like Shapiro ignore, he notes, is that investigations into Trump and his associates "have involved oversight from one or more high-ranking Republicans — at times including those appointed by Trump" and that "Democratic political appointees involved in the cases repeatedly acted to reduce any appearance of coercion."
Shapiro was mocked profusely after the footage of his remarks went viral.
Shapiro's remarks are only the latest in his spirited defense of the former President for absconding from the White House with classified documents.
Last week, as news of the indictment broke, Shapiro maintained there was nothing "nefarious" behind Trump's actions and asserted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should not charge him under the Espionage Act.
Trump has since entered a plea of not guilty in the federal case brought against him, marking the first instance in which a former President has faced federal charges.
He continues to assert that the prosecution initiated by the Justice Department is driven by political motives.