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‘Kangaroo court’: Trump conviction brings strong reactions from GOP, Democrats

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(The Center Square) – America’s highest-profile politicians are reacting to news of former President Donald Trump’s Thursday conviction in a Manhattan court.

After two days of deliberations, a New York jury found Trump guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in an attempt to hide hush money payments.

While Trump still awaits sentencing, the historic decision makes him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony criminal charges.

Trump remained defiant after the conviction.

“This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge that was corrupt,” Trump said Thursday afternoon. “They wouldn’t give us a venue change. We were at 5% or 6% [support] in this district, in this area.”

He said the real verdict will be Nov. 5, the date of the election.

“Everyone knows what happened here. We didn’t do a thing wrong,” Trump said. “I’m a very innocent man. It’s OK. I’m fighting for our country. I’m fighting for our Constitution.”

Politicians on both sides of the aisle were quick to react to the ruling.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., quickly expressed his disapproval of the decision.

“Today is a shameful day in American history,” Johnson said in a statement. “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!”

In the same statement, Johnson called the trial a “weaponization of our justice system” and a “purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

Democrats were quick to share their support. U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who has long been an outspoken critic of Trump, said that the verdict was just.

“Today, justice was served in Lower Manhattan,” Nadler said. “Today’s conviction on all 34 counts proves what we have known to be true all along—Donald Trump is unfit to serve in any elected office, let alone President of the United States. I was proud to lead both impeachments of Donald Trump, and now, I couldn’t be more proud to be a New Yorker now that Manhattan has led the way in convicting him as a felon.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s rival in the 2024 Republican primary, called the decision one based on the “political agenda of some kangaroo court.”

“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 posted.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., disagreed, saying the rule of law was upheld by the decision.

“Donald Trump is a convicted felon. This verdict is not a win for any single person. It’s a win for an idea. The idea that we all follow the same rules. The rule of law won today,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., decried the ruling Thursday.

“The verdict in New York is a complete travesty that makes a mockery of our system of justice,” Rubio said. “Biden and the Trump deranged left will stop at nothing to remain in power.”

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