WKRN Nashville: Tennessee lawmakers react to former President Donald Trump’s guilty verdict in hush money trial

WKRN Nashville

By Erin McCullough

May 31, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Within minutes of the news that former President Donald Trump was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business documents to cover up his alleged affair with adult entertainment actor Stormy Daniels, lawmakers in Tennessee started reacting to the news.

Republican State Rep. Dawn White of Murfreesboro said on X (formerly Twitter), “I stand with President Trump and look forward to him once again being elected as our President later this year. The American people will speak loudly in rejection of the partisan lawfare engaged in by the Biden Administration and its supporters.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty also took to X to make a comment on the situation: “America has a front-row seat to what Democrats do when they know they’re losing. They can’t beat him, so they convict him.”

He also shared a video response, saying in part, “The American people can see right through this.”

Tennessee’s other U.S. Senator, Marsha Blackburn, along with Hagerty, used their posts to call for more donations to the former president’s reelection campaign.

“Joe Biden and the radical Left have made it clear they will do anything they can to keep President @realDonaldTrump out of the White House. That should frighten every American,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn’s post was reposted by several state Republican lawmakers, including state Reps. William Lamberth (R-Portland), Ron Gant (R-Piperton), Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) Jake McCalmon (R-Franklin) Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville) and Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville).

Rep. Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) reposted Blackburn and added, “The only way to counteract this miscarriage of justice is to win in November on every level. Make your voice heard and vote!”

Zachary also shared a separate support post on X.

“I fully support President Trump. We must win in November!” he said.

Faison also shared a separate reaction on X.

“The Left literally galvanized more independent and democrat voters to vote Republican than ever in the history of American politics,” he said of the verdict.

Blackburn also shared more thoughts on X, calling the verdict “an undemocratic and un-American weaponization of our justice system against Trump, who Joe Biden knows he can’t beat at the ballot box.”

She also said the verdict was a “WITCH HUNT!” in another post and criticized the trial location, the district attorney, presiding judge and prosecutor in the case in a third post.

Blackburn’s official statement was also included in one of the posts:

“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 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.”U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais called the verdict “political warfare” in his X post.

“The New York Courts continue to pursue cases and reach predetermined verdicts that would never be charged and tried with any other citizen,” he said. “This is political warfare that continues to frustrate and anger so many voters across this country and will likely only serve to solidify and embolden Donald Trump’s supporters.”

Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), the Senate Majority Leader for the 113th General Assembly, said today was “an incredibly sad day for America.”

“This is what Democrats do to their political enemies,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann lamented the verdict, saying the country now has a “two-tiered system of justice.”

“Today’s verdict is the foreordained outcome of a biased and politically motivated prosecution against President Trump that should have never been brought to trial to begin with. The lawfare and two-tiered system of justice waged against Donald Trump by Biden’s corrupt DOJ and Far Left political prosecutors is a travesty of justice and undermines faith in our justice system,” he said. “The American People will return the real verdict at the ballot box in November when we re-elect President Trump again as the President of the United States.”

U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger issued a statement, which was posted to X, about the “unjust verdict” in the case.

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 cross 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 a 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.” U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger

Tennessee Democrats largely celebrated the verdict, including Rep. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis), who called the verdict an “[a]wesome day for law and order. Trump guilty on all 34 counts! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!”

“GUILTY!!!” Rep. Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville) said on X.

“Wow!” was all Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) said.

Sen. Charlane Oliver (D-Nashville) only said “GUILTY ON ALL 34 COUNTS” in her X post.

Rep. Caleb Hemmer (D-Nashville) took a slightly more sarcastic tone, using emojis to say if you “elect a [clown]” to “expect a circus.”

“Maybe so entirely baked into the politics as not to matter electorally. But it says a lot about the good old United States of America that no man is above the law. And that is a good thing,” said State Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville).

Memphis Sen. Raumesh Akbari called the verdict “an interesting time in our history. And how we react determines our future.”

“Democracy must rise above politics,” she said.

“Today, 12 impartial jurors in NY fulfilled their civic duty and made a unanimous decision,” Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said on X. “On November 5th, every registered voter in [America] has the opportunity to fulfill their civic duty and make their own important decision. Democracy is on the ballot. Vote.”