WJHL: Senators, local U.S. reps react to Trump conviction


By: Slater Teague

May 30th, 2024

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Republican elected officials representing Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia were quick to react to Thursday’s conviction of former President Donald Trump in his New York hush money trial.

A jury convicted the former president of all 34 counts he faced, making him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes.

Northeast Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (R) reaffirmed her support of the former president in a statement.

“Today is a heartbreaking day for our beloved nation. The conviction of President Trump is an absolute travesty and a stain on our justice system. This verdict is not just an attack on President Trump; it is an attack on every American who believes in fairness and justice. The Biden administration and the radical left have crossed a line. They have weaponized our legal system in a desperate attempt to prevent President Trump from returning to the White House. This is not justice; this is political persecution. It’s clear election interference, plain and simple.I stand with President Trump and all true American Patriots who know he did nothing wrong. We will not let this injustice stand. We will fight to restore justice, and President Trump will be back, stronger than ever.”

In a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Southwest Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith (R) blamed the verdict on “trial errors.”

“The verdict reached today in New York concerning President Trump is a bad decision,” Griffith said. “This decision in large measure was due to trial errors by the judge. Based on what was presented, I do not see evidence of a crime taking place.”

Tennessee’s two Republican U.S. Senators, both adamant supporters of Trump, were quick to condemn the verdict.

In a post, Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty, who previously served as Trump’s ambassador to Japan for about two years, called on people to support the Trump campaign. “America has a front-row seat to what Democrats do when they know they’re losing,” Hagerty said. “They can’t beat him, so they convict him. @realDonaldTrump needs our full support NOW.”

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said the verdict was the result of an “undemocratic and un-American weaponization of our justice system.”

“Joe Biden and the radical Left have made it clear they will do anything they can to keep President Trump out of the White House, and that ought to frighten every American. There was no way President Trump was going to get a fair trial in New York City with a liberal DA who campaigned on targeting him, a partisan judge who has donated to the Biden-Harris campaign, and a prosecutor who was a paid political consultant for the DNC and former top Biden DOJ official. This is an undemocratic and un-American weaponization of our justice system against Trump, who Joe Biden knows he can’t beat at the ballot box. If they can do this to a former President who will be the 2024 Republican nominee, they can do it to anyone. Today is a sad day for the American justice system and the American people—this is what you’d expect in places like Russia, China and North Korea, but not America.”

Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner offered a terse response.“Every American deserves their day in court,” Warner said in a post on X. “Former President Trump got his.”