Republicans slam Trump verdict in New York hush money case

Republicans slam Trump verdict in New York hush money case

Republican allies of former President Trump expressed outrage after a New York jury found him guilty on all 34 charges in his hush money criminal trial.

Thursday marked a first in American history when Trump became the first former or current president to claim the moniker of convicted felon after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of falsifying business records.

The verdict has injected uncertainty into an already tumultuous election cycle, though members of the party rushed to his defense and slammed the decision. In brief remarks after the verdict was announced, Trump called it a “rigged decision” and vowed “this is far from over.”

Many of his allies agreed.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said the trial was a “purely political exercise” and made unsubstantiated claims that the Biden administration was responsible for the conviction in New York.

“Today is a shameful day in American history. Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon,” Johnson said.

“The weaponization of our justice system has been a hallmark of the Biden Administration, and the decision today is further evidence that Democrats will stop at nothing to silence dissent and crush their political opponents,” Johnson added. “The American people see this as lawfare, and they know it is wrong—and dangerous. President Trump will rightfully appeal this absurd verdict—and he WILL WIN!”

Chris LaCivita, one of Trump’s senior campaign advisers, said in a post on social platform X that “The FIX was always in …”

Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, described the events as “a tragic day in American history” and vowed that Trump would win office again.

Republicans also took aim at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) and Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw the case.

“This verdict is the corrupt result of a corrupt trial, a corrupt judge, and a corrupt DA,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said. “We will stand with President Trump now more than ever to save the country.”

Some Republicans who have been floated as potential vice presidential contenders for Trump also slammed the decision.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the verdict a “complete travesty that makes a mockery of our justice system” and suggested it was politically motivated. He also attacked Merchan’s family.

“Biden and the Trump deranged left will stop at nothing to remain in power,” he added.

Even Republicans who previously had a frosty relationship with Trump defended the former president. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — whose relationship with Trump suffered as a result of a bitter primary battle for the 2024 GOP nomination — railed against the verdict in a post on X.

“Today’s verdict represents the culmination of a legal process that has been bent to the political will of the actors involved: a leftist prosecutor, a partisan judge and a jury reflective of one of the most liberal enclaves in America—all in an effort to ‘get’ Donald Trump,” DeSantis said.

“It is often said that no one is above the law, but it is also true that no one is below the law. If the defendant were not Donald Trump, this case would never have been brought, the judge would have never issued similar rulings, and the jury would have never returned a guilty verdict,” he continued. “In America, the rule of law should be applied in a dispassionate, even-handed manner, not become captive to the political agenda of some kangaroo court.”

Trump is leading President Biden in polling in a handful of battleground states as the president suffers underwater approval ratings and an ongoing crisis over the Israel-Hamas war where Democratic primary voters have cast protest ballots against him.

But a Trump conviction raises questions over how that could impact his own standing among voters, particularly those who backed Trump primary rival Nikki Haley.

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