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Updated May 30, 2024, 7:19pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Republicans denounce Trump verdict, Democrats applaud

Former U.S. President Donald Trump pumps a fist outside Trump Tower after the verdict in his criminal trial on May 30, 2024.
Eduardo Munoz/REUTERS
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The News

Almost as soon as the final guilty count was read in Donald Trump’s historic conviction on Thursday, the former Republican president set the tone for his party by decrying the trial and the justice system as “rigged.” The “real verdict” would be in November, he said, and his campaign has sent out fundraising emails to that end.

His Democratic rival President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign made the same argument from a different vantage point: “There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box,” it said in a statement.

A New York jury found the presumptive Republican presidential nominee guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of a conspiracy to mislead voters ahead of the 2016 US presidential election. He will be sentenced on July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention begins.

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The View From THE RIGHT

Top Republican lawmakers leapt to Trump’s defense, with House Speaker Mike Johnson describing Thursday as “a shameful day in American history.” Many accused Democrats, without evidence, of weaponizing the judicial system against Trump to stop him winning in November: “Joe Biden and his liberal cronies have advanced their election interference plot,” GOP Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana said in a statement.

Republicans made sure to restate their loyalty to the former president, too. “We will stand with President Trump now more than ever to save the country,” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz posted on X.

Gaetz and other Republicans have made pilgrimages to the trial over the last few weeks, and the Manhattan court became the hottest venue in town for those hoping to curry favor with Trump ahead of a potential second term. Vice presidential hopefuls such as Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance came by, as did Johnson, the embattled Speaker who has worked hard to get in Trump’s good graces.

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One Republican taking a slightly different tack: Maryland Republican Sentate candidate and former governor Larry Hogan, who appealed to Americans to ”respect the verdict" on X, words to which one GOP strategist replied suggested Hogan had essentially “ended” his Senate campaign.

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The View From THE LEFT

Democratic lawmakers applauded the verdict and the legal system for delivering justice, emphasizing that “no one is above the law,” as many members of Congress posted verbatim on X. “Accountability is welcome and long overdue,” Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said in a statement. Several lawmakers emphasized the fact Trump was convicted by a “jury of his peers,” and not by Biden or Democrats in Congress, while others seemed to appeal to the other side in the wake of the verdict. “Ours is a nation of laws, and for our democracy to function as intended it is incumbent on all of us to respect the jury’s verdict,” New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster posted on X.

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