Editorial: Principles trumped: The GOP hypocrisy begins

One measure of a person’s principles is their consistency, and it comes as no surprise that many leading Republican politicians fail this test when it comes to the significance of Donald Trump’s conviction.

People like Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who before last Thursday would have said that convicted felons get what’s coming to them and that we have to trust in the guilt determined by prosecutors, judges and juries are now suddenly fierce critics of the criminal justice system.

A felony determination means nothing, they say, and really a prosecutor should have even more clear-cut evidence before bringing a case to trial. The judge was too biased, the jury drawn from too homogenous a pool of people, the trial too quick, and on and on.

That wasn’t the situation here, as Trump had excellent defense lawyers and was allowed to do things that a typical defendant would never have gotten away with. However, the jury found that the evidence was overwhelming against him.

But more important than pols like Johnson and other GOPers angling to be Trump’s VP pick, are the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump four years ago, including 3,251,997 New Yorkers. While those who wear MAGA hats and attend Trump rallies will follow their leader anywhere, there are millions of more reasonable folks that the conviction should give them pause.

Those Americans must understand that Trump was found guilty, not because his political opponents have schemed against him, or he’s being made an example out of or any other convoluted conspiracy, because he committed crimes, and got caught committing them.

Trump was judged by a jury of his peers and found to be a felon. Is this who you want to be your champion?