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Donald Trump guilty verdict: Texas governor calls trial a “sham" while AG Paxton vows retribution

People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson
People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.

Texas Republicans wasted no time in crying foul after former President Donald Trump was found guilty by a New York jury on dozens of felony counts related to paying hush money to cover up an alleged affair with an adult film star.

Trump was convicted of all 34 charges accusing him of falsifying business records in connections to a payment made to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. The seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated for about 12 hours over two days before handing down the verdict, which makes Trump the first-ever former president convicted of a crime.

In a social media post, Gov. Greg Abbott called the trial a “sham show trial”

“The Kangaroo Court will never stand on appeal. Americans deserve better than a sitting U.S. President weaponizing our justice system against a political opponent— all to win an election. We must FIRE Joe Biden in November” he posted.

The charge that the Biden administration was behind Trump’s indictment has been a standard talking point for Trump during the weekslong trial. That’s despite the grand jury and prosecutors being from New York and the trial taking place in state court, independent of any ties to the White House or the administration.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will do anything in his power to protect Trump.

“From the beginning of this sham trial, I stood by President Trump, and my support for him is stronger than ever,” he posted on X. “As Attorney General of Texas, I will unleash every tool at my disposal to fight this blatant corruption and political persecution spewing from New York and the Biden administration.”

It’s unclear what those tools are. But Paxton previously launched an unsuccessful attempt after the 2020 election to have those results overturned. He was eventually disciplined by the State Bar of Texas.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Republican leader of the Texas Senate, warned that Trump’s conviction could mean the loss of individual liberties for all Americans and called the verdict a “travesty of our judicial system.”

“There was no crime, and the prosecution's star witness was a convicted liar and an admitted thief. The judge was biased against President Trump throughout the entire trial,” Patrick said. “This will be reversed at some point, but the Democrats got what they wanted - to prosecute and persecute a man they know they cannot beat in November.”

Patrick, who has championed laws in Texas to ban books and punish university professors for their views on social issues, added: “If the justice system can do this to a former president, it can do it to anyone in America. That should frighten every American. New York & Biden have turned our country into a third-world-styled justice system that goes after political opponents like you see in Russia or North Korea.”

Meanwhile, Texas Democrats rejoiced in the verdict’s aftermath.

U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, said the verdict was a “win for the rule of law.”

“Whew chile! Guilty on all counts in a state case! No matter what happens in November, he cannot “undo” this verdict.,” she posted on X. “I know many are celebrating & I get it, but my heart f***ing breaks for our country! How did we get here?! When did we stop requiring some darned decency of the most powerful person on Earth?!”

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, was more plain spoken.

“The Republican nominee for President of the United States is a convicted felon - decided by a jury of his peers. Nobody is above the law,” he posted.

President Joe Biden’s campaign said in a statement that, despite the verdict, Trump could still be president if he wins the November election. Biden urged his supporters not to overlook the fact.

“There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box. Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president," campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement to CBS.

Copyright 2024 KERA

Julián Aguilar | The Texas Newsroom