Pennsylvania Republicans defend Trump after he is convicted of 34 felonies - TAI News
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Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Curtis Means/Pool Photo via AP)

Pennsylvania Republicans were quick to defend former President Donald Trump after he was convicted of 34 felonies, attacking the legal system and lying about the facts of the prosecution in order to mitigate the potential campaign damage Trump could face from becoming the first commander in chief to ever be convicted of a crime.

“This is a terrible day for America and for trust in our justice system,” Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick wrote in a post on X after Trump’s conviction, adding, “This case should never have been brought in the first place, and this miscarriage of justice is despicable.”

Trump was found guilty on May 30 of falsifying business records to disguise more than $300,000 in payments he directed be made to a pornographic film actress and a Playboy model to keep them from going public during the 2016 campaign with accusations that they had affairs with Trump. 

The seven-week trial featured testimony from more than 20 witnesses, with Trump declining to testify himself, before the jury of 12 New Yorkers unanimously voted to convict the former president on every count brought against him by the Manhattan district attorney. 

“As proven at trial, Trump engaged in a scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election and went to extraordinary and illegal lengths to hide this conduct from the American voters and public, illegally causing dozens of false entries to be made in New York business records of his Manhattan-based company to conceal attempts to violate state election law,” the Manhattan district attorney’s office said in a statement after the verdict was read.

After the conviction, Pennsylvania Republicans falsely accused President Joe Biden of weaponizing the Justice Department against Trump. 

“These are the actions of a dictator, plain and simple,” Rep. Scott Perry, one of Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress, said in a statement. “Joe Biden has corrupted the awesome power of the U.S. government. His and his radical Left minions’ weaponization of ‘lawfare’ to destroy their political opponents is nothing more than a Soviet-style show trial, replete with fake charges, the impossibility of innocence, and a predetermined outcome; it’s clear to anyone who even remotely values and respects our Constitution.”

Biden and the Justice Department had nothing to do with the Manhattan case, which was brought in state court by a local DA. And the crimes Trump was found guilty of are not novel, with Just Security finding dozens of examples of people being charged with falsification of business records in Manhattan over the past decade.

A HarrisX poll conducted on May 30 and 31 shows that a majority of voters, 57%, believe that Trump is guilty of the crimes he was convicted of and that he received a fair trial. A Morning Consult poll conducted over the same time frame had near-identical results, with a majority of voters, 54%, believing Trump is guilty. 

Biden, for his part, slammed Trump and his GOP defenders for trying to sow distrust in the legal system after the conviction.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, and it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said on May 31. “Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years, and it literally is the cornerstone of America — our justice system. The justice system should be respected, and we should never allow anyone to tear it down. It’s as simple as that.”

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The Pennsylvania Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.