Speaker Johnson predicts Trump victory in appeal of ‘absurd’ verdict

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Thursday blasted former President Trump’s conviction in his New York hush money case, predicting Trump will successfully appeal the “absurd” verdict.

“Today is a shameful day in American history,” Johnson said in a statement released minutes after Trump’s guilty verdict was read in court.

“The American people rightfully see this is lawfare, and they know it is — and dangerous,” he added. “President Trump will rightfully appeal this absurd verdict — and he WILL WIN.”

A 12-person jury found Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records Thursday afternoon after roughly 11 hours of deliberations that followed weeks of testimony. The judge set a sentencing date of July 11, which is days before Trump is set to formally become the GOP presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention.

Johnson, a close Trump ally, traveled to New York earlier this month to stand with the former president at the courthouse, becoming the highest-ranking lawmaker to appear alongside Trump in Manhattan amid his ongoing legal proceedings.

The Speaker has consistently railed against the hush money trial, denouncing it as a sham trial that is meant to hurt the former president politically as he seeks another term in the White House, a sentiment he reiterated in the wake of Trump’s guilty verdict.

“The weaponization of our justice system has been a hallmark of the Biden Administration, and the decision today is further evidence that Democrats will stop at nothing to silence dissent and crush their political opponents,” he said.

Johnson specifically took aim at the reaction from Democrats, many of whom cheered the guilty verdict shortly after it was read in the courthouse. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), for example, wrote “YES!” on the social platform X, with a scales of justice and American flag emoji, and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) posted a GIF of Seth Myers saying “guilty as hell.”

“Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon,” Johnson wrote. “This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

Other top Republican lawmakers quickly piled on with their own criticism of the guilty verdict, slamming the case and denouncing the “weaponized” justice system.

“Today’s verdict shows how corrupt, rigged, and unAmerican the weaponized justice system has become under Joe Biden and Democrats,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), the chair of the House GOP conference, said in a statement.

“​​We must work around the clock to ensure President Trump is victorious this November to save America from Biden’s failed Far Left Democrat agenda and the illegal weaponization of the justice system against the American people,” she added.

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