Senate Republicans pan Trump convictions: ‘Real verdict will be Election Day’

Senate Republicans on Thursday widely panned the guilty verdict against former President Trump for falsifying business records, arguing that it was a “disgrace,” a “sham” and that the true verdict will come in November.

Republicans wasted no time laying into the decision after a jury found Trump guilty of all 34 counts. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is looking to succeed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the party’s top spot next year, called on Republicans to rally around the former president.

“This verdict is a disgrace, and this trial should have never happened,” Cornyn wrote on the social platform X. “Now more than ever, we need to rally around @realdonaldtrump, take back the White House and Senate, and get this country back on track. The real verdict will be Election Day.”

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 member of leadership and also a top contender to replace McConnell atop the conference, said that the case was “politically motivated” and looked ahead to the November election as the chance to boot President Biden from office.

“This case was politically motivated from the beginning, and today’s verdict does nothing to absolve the partisan nature of this prosecution,” Thune said. “Regardless of outcome, more and more Americans are realizing that we cannot survive four more years of Joe Biden. With President Trump in the White House and a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, we can finally end the disastrous Biden-Schumer agenda that’s crushing American families and businesses.”

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, accused the Biden administration of “weaponizing” the judicial system against the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

“The case in New York against President Trump has never been about justice,” Barrasso said in a statement. “Democrats are weaponizing the justice system against a political opponent. Elections are decided in voting booths, not courtrooms.”

“President Trump will keep fighting to get America back on track,” he continued.

Trump allies lined up behind him immediately after the verdict, which made him the first former president to be a convicted felon.

“This verdict is an absolute miscarriage of justice,” said Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), a potential running mate selection for the ex-president. “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.”

“The partisan slant of this jury pool shows why we ought to litigate politics at the ballot box and not in the courtroom,” he continued. “Ultimately, I have faith that the 2024 election will be decided by the American people, not corrupt judges and prosecutors.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s foremost backers, said he expects the verdict to be overturned on appeal and said he is worried about what this means for the presidency writ large.

“The Manhattan legal system has become a joke in every sense of the word. This is a mockery of justice,” Graham said. “I fear we have opened up Pandora’s box on the presidency itself.”

Even those who have not been among Trump’s most ardent supporters chimed in to back the former president.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said in a statement that he was “shocked” by the verdict and laid blame at the feet of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), whom he called a “radical, politically-motivated state prosecutor [who] was using the full weight of his office to go after President Trump at the same time he turned a blind eye to violent criminals.”

“I expect and hope that President Trump will appeal this verdict to address fundamental questions, including whether President Trump received a fair trial and whether the Manhattan D.A. even had jurisdiction on a federal election matter,” Tillis continued.

Even Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who voted to convict Trump in his Jan. 6 impeachment trial, said that while he wasn’t surprised by the verdict, he disagreed with it.

“The jury was led to believe that two misdemeanors make a felony and that a state court could enforce federal law. None of this seems right. The rule of law should apply equally to both parties,” Cassidy said. “I disagree with the verdict.”

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