Gov. Ron DeSantis

Trump Camp, Supporters Offer Misleading Narrative On Florida Gov. DeSantis’ Support For Crime Bill

Once again, former President Donald Trump has joined liberals in trying to hit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from the left.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (TFP File Photo)

Once again, supporters of former President Donald Trump have joined liberals in trying to hit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from the left.

This time, it’s over the First Step Act, a bill that reduced criminal sentences for drug offenses. Trump signed the bill in December 2018, partly in response to advocacy by Kim Kardashian.

On Friday, DeSantis told The Daily Wire that he would work with Congress to repeal the law.

“It has allowed dangerous people out of prison who have now reoffended and really, really hurt a number of people,” the Republican governor said. “If you are in jail, you should serve your time, and the idea that they’re releasing people who have not been rehabilitated early so that they can prey on people in our society is a huge, huge mistake.”

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Trump spokesman Stephen Cheung replied on Twitter, saying DeSantis “literally” voted for the First Step Act when he was in Congress. Liberal Republican pollster Frank Luntz did likewise.

That, however, is not true.

For one thing, DeSantis resigned from Congress three months before the final bill was passed.

Moreover, he voted for a version of the bill earlier in 2018 that was more conservative than the one Trump signed.

The Senate modified the House version that DeSantis had supported.

Among the changes included in the final bill were provisions that allowed judges to release people who had lengthier criminal records, removed penalties that would have kept violent gun felons imprisoned, reduced the amount of formal supervision those released would have to follow, and cut mandatory minimum sentences for fentanyl traffickers.  

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Perhaps the most telling point of the difference is in its support.

Every Senate Democrat voted for the bill that Trump signed, while at least six major national law enforcement agencies opposed it. 

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