close
close

What Pa. politicians think about his conviction

play

The hush money conviction against former President Donald Trump was unprecedented. So what comes next?

In Pennsylvania, prominent voices from across the political spectrum spoke out in dramatic, largely partisan fashion.

Questions linger about how this historical belief will affect Trump’s presumptive presidential nomination through the Republican National Convention in mid-July and his marginal status as a front-runner to regain the White House in November. His campaign on Friday announced a record $34 million in fundraising on the day of his sentencing as he awaits his July 11 sentencing for falsifying company records in an attempt to conceal a hush-money payment to a former adult film star in 2016.

Rep. Scott Perry: Trial ‘corrupted’ US government

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a former chairman of the Freedom Caucus who has been involved in efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, compared the proceedings against the former president to a Soviet-style show trial.

“These are the actions of a dictator, plain and simple,” Perry said in a prepared statement. “Joe Biden has corrupted the awesome power of the American government.

“Today it’s Trump. If they can come up with the crime to fit the man, guess what? You are next.’

GOP county chairman: indictment ‘turned into criminal charges’

Allegheny County Republican Chairman Sam DeMarco predicted that Trump will still be selected as the Republican Party’s candidate for president despite the 34 charges.

“Let’s keep in mind that the jurors ruled based on the information they were allowed to hear, so this could be the rare case where the public understands the case better than the jury does,” said DeMarco, who became the Trump alternate in 2020. voters belonged. “I think history will judge this as a personal scandal that has nothing to do with public policy and was turned into criminal charges by an elected Democratic prosecutor.”

Dad. Senate President: ‘Our Republic is at stake’

Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward said she expects Trump will appeal and win.

“The jury’s guilty verdict on all counts raises red flags, making this look more like a prosecution than a prosecution,” Ward said in a news release. “It should be a wake-up call to Pennsylvanians that the rule of law and the sustainability of our republic is at stake and no state is immune to the consequences of a justice system influenced by activism.”

US Rep. Smucker: Trump had ‘sham trial’

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa., denounced a double standard, citing the current president who has not been charged with mishandling classified documents, in part because of a “significantly limited” memory and history of drug use and questionable foreign his son’s business dealings.

“Joe and Hunter Biden get special treatment,” Smucker posted on social media. “Trump is being dragged through a sham trial. Two legal systems. Very sad day for the country and the rule of law.”

Another fellow congressman from Pennsylvania echoed these thoughts.

“Where’s the outrage, America?,” U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., a longtime Trump supporter, said in a news release. “The verdict has now been delivered, and the American people now know that America and its citizens have never been in greater danger.”

Republican Senate candidate McCormick calls trial ‘miscarriage of justice’

Dave McCormick, the Republican running against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, also spoke in Trump’s defense.

Although Trump called McCormick a “liberal Wall Street Republican” two years ago when McCormick refused to say the 2020 election was “stolen,” the two have since publicly apologized. McCormick said on social media that he looks forward to an appeal of Trump’s conviction.

“This case should never have been brought in the first place,” McCormick wrote, “and this miscarriage of justice is despicable.”

Former White House lawyer for Trump: DeSantis should be nominated

Not all Republicans remained optimistic about Trump in November. Jenna Ellis, a former White House legal adviser and adviser to the failed gubernatorial campaign of Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Adams, suggested the Republican Party should replace Trump on the ballot with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“We should have nominated DeSantis and we should still nominate DeSantis,” Ellis wrote on social media.

Democratic AG candidate: Trump must withdraw

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia, was among a host of well-known Democrats who celebrated the jury’s decision.

“Above all, PA’s Auditor General must be courageous. To show no fear or favor,” Kenyatta, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, wrote on social media. “If my opponent (Auditor General) Tim DeFoor had the guts, he would call on Donald Trump to withdraw as the Republican Party nominee.”

A comment refrain of “No one is above the law” was shared by several prominent Pennsylvania Democrats, including attorney general candidate Eugene DePasquale; U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa.; U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pa.; and U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Pa.

Rep. Brendan Boyle: Trump ‘should be in jail’

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., went a step further.

“Donald Trump is a convicted felon,” Boyle wrote on social media. “He should be in jail, not in the White House.”

Senator Casey and Governor Shapiro remain silent on Trump’s guilty verdict

Unlike his opponent McCormick, Casey did not immediately issue a public statement about the conviction. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro also remained silent on the outcome of the trial.

Libertarian Senate nominee: Result will increase Republican Party turnout

John Thomas, who is seeking to vote for the U.S. Senate as a member of the Libertarian Party, said he will not vote for Trump or Biden but believes the verdict could spur the Republican base to vote in November.

“They see it as a witch hunt against Donald Trump. It will encourage people to vote,” the Kittaning resident said.

“It will increase turnout in heavily red areas.”

Bruce Siwy is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network’s Pennsylvania state headquarters. He can be reached at [email protected] or at X at @BruceSiwy.

Back To Top