CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Corners JD Vance on Trump Verdict: What About Law & Order?


CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer challenged Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) on Friday to square how Republicans can call themselves “the party of law and order” when their presumptive presidential nominee was just convicted on 34 felony charges.

Blitzer also pushed back when the MAGA senator insisted that Donald Trump’s supporters “are not violent people,” noting that a far-right mob attacked the U.S. Capitol to protest Trump’s 2020 election loss.

One of Trump’s vice presidential hopefuls who attended the ex-president’s hush money trial, Vance has led the charge in the GOP’s outrage over the guilty verdict. “While the outcome of this trial will no doubt be subject to appeal, it’s a disgrace to our judicial system that such measures will be necessary,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Appearing on CNN’s Inside Politics on Friday afternoon, the one-time Trump critic parroted the ex-president’s grievances about the Manhattan prosecution’s case, which accused Trump of falsifying business records related to payments made to a porn star to silence her ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“The entire purpose of this trial was to allow the media and the Democrats to say exactly that,” Vance declared. “This was never about justice, this is about plastering ‘convicted felon’ all over the airwaves when in reality the only thing that Donald Trump is guilty of is being in the courtroom of a political sham trial.”

Blitzer, however, quickly began rebutting Vance, noting that Trump was convicted by a jury that was approved by the ex-president’s defense team. Vance, on the other hand, invoked Judge Juan Merchan’s small contribution to President Joe Biden’s campaign and the judge’s daughter’s work for Democrats to portray the trial as “politics masquerading as justice.”

From there, Vance accused Biden of orchestrating the trial in order to throw his political opponent in jail, prompting the veteran CNN anchor to remind the senator that this was a state case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The Ohio lawmaker, though, noted that a member of “Biden’s Department of Justice” joined the New York prosecutor’s office prior to the charges being filed, suggesting that this proved a connection to the White House.

“This absolutely is connected to Joe Biden,” Vance contended. “Beyond that, you had Robert De Niro showing up at a Biden campaign rally on the day of jury instructions.”

After more back and forth over the merits of the prosecution’s case, which Vance described as a “literal paperwork violation,” the veep hopeful then echoed more of the ex-president’s rhetoric by warning that Americans “are going to wake up in a banana republic” because of the conviction.

Eventually, Blitzer confronted the Hillbilly Elegy author on Republicans’ tough-on-crime posturing in the wake of the guilty verdict.

“Whatever happened to the Republican Party being the party of law and order?” the veteran CNN anchor flatly asked.

“We are the party of law and order,” Vance shot back.

“This former president has been convicted 34 times for violating the law,” Blitzer retorted.

The senator continued to lean on his description of the case as a “political sham prosecution” while once again referencing Merchan’s donation to Biden, which Blitzer noted was merely $15. Vance was then asked whether he was concerned MAGA supporters would resort to violence in the wake of Trump’s conviction.

“Oh, not at all. Donald Trump’s supporters are not violent people. You live in a country of 330 million people, of course, some people are gonna do some bad things,” he replied before urging Republicans to donate to Trump’s campaign.

“Weren’t Trump’s supporters involved in the January 6th violence at the U.S. Capitol?” Blitzer fired back.

“Wolf, a few people were violent, certainly, but I don’t think the majority of Donald Trump’s supporters are violent because you had a few people get violent on January 6,” Vance shrugged.

Of the hundreds of rioters who have been charged and convicted for their participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection, 210 defendants have told the courts that they “were answering Donald Trump’s calls when they traveled to Washington and joined the violent attack on the Capitol.”

Before wrapping up the tense but cordial interview, Blitzer brought up Trump’s recent gripe that his conviction shows the United States has become gripped by fascism. “You don’t believe we live in a fascist state, do you?” Blitzer wondered.

“I think that what happened in New York, if you applied it across all 50 states, it would be the definition of fascism, throwing your political opponents in jail,” Vance reacted. “Thank God it only happened in New York and not the rest of the country.”

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