Congressional Reaction Following Historic Trump Conviction

By Brendan Scanland

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s been one week since the historic conviction of former President Donald Trump. Last Thursday, a New York jury found Trump guilty on all 34 counts in his hush money trial.  

“The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed,” said President Biden last week. 

“The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people,” said Trump following the verdict. 

 Reaction, as expected, has been partisan on Capitol Hill. 

“The most positive thing I can say was this was a poorly conducted sham,” said Rep. Jack Bergman (R- MI). “Where it was done, how it was done showed that there are people in our country who are going to try to utilize the legal system as opposed to the voting system to get people elected or not,” Bergman added. 

Many Republicans, standing by Trump, are now questioning the justice system, which they say is being used by one side to target the other. 

“It’s the Biden Justice Department,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA). “I think on something like this, it makes you stop and pause and say, this isn’t the America I grew up in.” 

Democrats say this is an example of the justice system doing what it is supposed to. 

“We’ve got a constitutional right for trial by jury, and that’s something we should always support,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA). “This was a state proceeding- it wasn’t a federal proceeding- a state proceeding, and a jury made a determination.” 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY), urged patience this week, as the process unfolds. 

“I encourage Mr. Trump’s supporters and critics alike to let the process move forward according to law,” said Leader Schumer. 

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention. Experts say the conviction and sentencing won’t have a major impact on the nominating process. 

“As much as we’re going to be talking about it, as much as it’s going to be dominating the conversation heading into the convention, it doesn’t really have an impact in terms of overall processes,” said Casey Burgat, an Assistant Professor and the Legislative Affairs Program Director at George Washington University. “As soon as the RNC opens up, Donald Trump is the nominee.” 

A likely appeal to the conviction means this chapter of the former president’s legal challenges, is far from over.