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U.S. House Speaker in Peoria: ‘Lawfare’ putting republic at stake

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(The Center Square) – As President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump volley reactions to Trump’s guilty verdict in New York, the U.S. House Speaker in Peoria Saturday said the nation’s future is at stake.

On Thursday, Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts by a New York jury in a case alleging hush money payments to an adult film actress.

Trump maintains he did nothing wrong, that the trial was rigged and a scam and that he will appeal. Biden said Trump has the ability to appeal the verdict.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anybody to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said Friday.

At a fundraiser in Peoria, Illinois, on Saturday, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said Republicans are the party of law and order, but when the judicial system is abused, it must be called out.

“That one of the political parties will use the judicial system, the legal system to do their political bidding and go attack their political opponent, this is something you expect in a banana republic, in a third world country, not in the United States of America,” Johnson told media before addressing Peoria and Tazewell county Republicans.

After last week’s verdict, Illinois U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg, told a social media influencer Ed Krassenstein that Trump was convicted by a jury of his peers.

“I don’t see how a conviction, a felony conviction helps somebody running for office,” he said.

Johnson said the GOP’s coffers are filling up post-conviction.

“We raise more money,” Johnson said. “You know why? Because people see lawfare in action. They see that the nominee for the Republican Party is being attacked and they’re using the judicial system to go after a political opponent. That’s what the Democrat party and that’s what these rogue prosecutors have done and I think people are disgusted by it.”

The verdict is backfiring on Democrats, he said as he warned some are seeking power to dismantle the U.S.

“They envision for America not to be a constitutional republic but some sort of European style of socialist utopia or something. We understand that’s a fool’s errand and so to preserve the republic, and to save the greatest country in the history of the world, we have to get back to the defense of those foundations. That’s what’s at stake right now.”

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Johnson said “buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be an exciting time.”

Johnson was in Peoria for a Republican fundraiser Saturday and promoted retired circuit court Judge Joe McGraw who is eying the 17th Congressional District seat held by incumbent Illinois U.S. Rep. Eric Sorensen, D-Moline.

The election is Nov. 5.

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