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Trump allies walk away after guilty verdict

WASHINGTON — Allies of former President Donald Trump rushed to his defense Thursday after announcing a guilty verdict in his criminal trial, blasting the entire trial as a political sham.

“This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one,” Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.) said. posted on social media just moments after the jury made its decision public.

“The weaponization of our justice system has been a hallmark of the Biden administration, and today’s decision is further evidence that Democrats will do everything in their power to silence dissent and crush their political opponents,” wrote Johnson, who arrived early in the proceedings traveled to New York to support Trump.

Speaking to reporters after the verdict, Trump said what he has been saying all along: He claimed that the trial against him had been “rigged” and that the judge had been unfair. He also said President Joe Biden was behind the prosecution but, as in the past, provided no evidence.

The flurry of rapid responses underscored the knee-jerk support for Trump since he was indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying company records. There was no universe where the outcome would weaken his support among Republicans in Congress and key surrogates.

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Kari Lake, a U.S. Senate candidate in Arizona who became one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders during her failed gubernatorial campaign two years ago, called the Trump trial “a shameful political stunt.”

“The key witness in this case was a convicted perjurer whose testimony in court was one of the most embarrassing debacles ever seen in a courtroom,” she said, referring to Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who provided key testimony in the case.

“This conviction must be immediately overturned on appeal, and this judicial tyranny will be summarily repudiated by the American people on November 5,” Lake said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the verdict “a travesty of justice.” Jordan was one of Trump’s staunchest defenders during his two impeachments.

“Manhattan’s kangaroo court shows what happens when our justice system is weaponized by partisan prosecutors before a biased judge with an unfair trial designed to keep President Trump off the campaign trail and avoid drawing attention to failed radical policies from President Biden,” says Jordan. said in a statement.

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Some Republicans were more succinct in their responses. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) just posted: “Say it with me: ELECTION INVESTMENT.”

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), one of Trump’s Trumpiest Republicans on Capitol Hill, called it “One of the darkest days in the history of our country.”

Nehls also echoed Trump in describing Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the trial, as “compromised to the core.”

“He’s scum,” Nehls said.

Conspicuously absent from the first wave of Trump-supporting Republican responses was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). McConnell has said he will vote for Trump in November but has largely refrained from making further supportive statements since Trump became the party’s presumptive nominee.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), one of three candidates to replace McConnell in the Senate Republican leadership, described the verdict as election interference.

“I am outraged and no American is safe from political persecution by Democrats.” said Scottwho is close to Trump.

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But before the jury’s decision was made public, a Republican who is not a fan of Trump urged restraint.

“Regardless of the outcome, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process,” said Larry Hogan, the moderate former governor of Maryland who once considered running for president against Trump and who recently won the Won Republican primaries for U.S. Senate. the state. “At this dangerously divisive moment in our history, all leaders – regardless of party – must not add fuel to the fire with more toxic partisanship.”

“We must reaffirm what made this nation great: the rule of law,” Hogan said.

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