Indicted former Democratic congressman TJ Cox takes a page out of Trump's playbook, blaming 'politics' for 28 federal charges

Indicted former Democratic congressman TJ Cox takes a page out of Trump's playbook, blaming 'politics' for 28 federal charges
Democratic congressional candidate TJ Cox (CA-21) speaks at a 2018 mid-term elections rally on October 4, 2018 in Fullerton, California.
Democratic congressional candidate TJ Cox (CA-21) speaks at a 2018 mid-term elections rally on October 4, 2018 in Fullerton, California.Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Former Democratic Congressman TJ Cox was indicted on 28 federal charges.

  • The charges include 15 counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering.

  • Echoing Trump's playbook, Cox blamed his indictment on the "tough game" of politics.

A former Democratic congressman indicted on multiple charges of wire fraud and money laundering took a page out of Trump's playbook and blamed the federal investigation on "politics."

TJ Cox — who represented California's 21st congressional district for one term until 2021 — faces 28 federal charges including 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, financial institution fraud, and campaign contribution fraud, according to court documents

Fresno County Sheriff's Office records show that 59-year-old Cox was arrested Tuesday morning and released later in the afternoon. During the day, he appeared in a US District Court in Fresno for his arraignment.

"I was facing charges today. We pled not guilty and we look forward to vigorously defending those allegations against me," Cox told The Fresno Bee after his release on Tuesday, adding that he hasn't read his indictment yet and isn't sure the exact charges against him.

"As you know, we served for a couple of years. We got a lot done for the city, and for this region, and hopefully, that'll continue under people that are looking to serve the people," he said. "But I tell you what, politics is a tough game. I wouldn't be in this position today but for the politics, and I think we all know that."

"We made an agreement to surrender at the federal district court, where he was booked and then released today," Cox's attorney, who accompanied the former congressman, told the Bee. His office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Blaming politics has been a go-to defense for former President Donald Trump, who is sitting in the crosshairs of numerous investigations.

He previously referred to both the criminal probe into the Trump Organization's finances and the recent FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate as a "witch hunt" — a term he has used repeatedly since he entered politics.

Most recently on his social media site Truth social, Trump has denounced the FBI raid — baselessly lobbing accusations against federal agents. 

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