SC Gov. McMaster defends Trump after 3rd indictment, this time over push to overturn 2020 results
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said he's still backing Donald Trump for president in 2024 after the former president was indicted Aug. 1 on four new felony charges in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday dismissed new federal charges against former President Donald Trump, saying the third indictment lacks substance.
A federal grand jury on Tuesdayindicted Trump on four new charges that accuse him of trying to undermine the democratic process by engaging in a months-long effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
"I think that the prosecutor's (special counsel Jack Smith) out of line. He's been described as one that stretches the law, and perhaps the facts," McMaster told reporters Wednesday in Columbia. "But reading about it, and reading those portions (of the indictment) that I have, I just do not see the substance. I don't think the law fits; I don't think the facts fit. This is a campaign against Donald Trump."
Noting his work as the U.S. attorney for South Carolina and attorney general, McMaster said theindictment is the latest example that the Justice Department and "others" want to defeat Trump.
"I've supported him since he began, and I still support him," McMaster said.
McMaster was one of Trump's earliest backers in 2016.
Then the lieutenant governor, McMaster was promoted to governor after Trump picked then-Gov. Nikki Haley as his ambassador to the United Nations. Trump has since claimed publicly that he picked Haley for his Cabinet to help elevate McMaster, a rumor that swirled in political circles for years.
Continuing that alliance, Trump campaigned for McMaster in 2018 after the governor was forced into a runoff as he sought his first full four-year term. And, earlier this year, Trump picked McMaster to head his leadership team in South Carolina as the former president seeks a second term in 2024.
Trump is still expected to keynote the South Carolina Republican Party's Silver Elephant dinner Saturday in Columbia at the State Fairgrounds.
McMaster said he's looking forward to Trump's remarks.
A packed primary and Trump's legal troubles has not hurt the former president's popularity, including in South Carolina, the latest polls suggest.
If you ask McMaster, none of that should affect his chances in the Palmetto State.
"I think this is one of his strongest states," McMaster said. "I think he'll win."
In that same race, Trump faces two South Carolinians: Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
Asked how McMaster might convince their voters to back Trump instead — despite another possible indictment out of Georgia— McMaster said South Carolinians should look "past the frills and all of the back-and-forth."
"... Just take a look at the record of the people that are running because your record and what you have done is an indication of what you're going to do," McMaster said.