'It's a disgrace': Trump's VP hopefuls come to his defense following conviction

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance called the verdict "an absolute miscarriage of justice."

May 30, 2024, 7:26 PM

Former President Donald Trump's vice presidential hopefuls were quick to defend the former president after a jury on Thursday found him guilty on all 34 felony counts in his New York criminal trial.

Several of the people who could potentially be Trump's running mate have denounced the case along the way, often echoing Trump's claims that the trial is a sham. After the verdict, they have been repeating Trump's claims that the justice system is being used as a political tool.

One of the first reactions came from New York Rep. Elise Stefanik -- the No. 3 Republican in the House -- who released a lengthy statement on X, making unfounded claims that the verdict shows that the American justice system is rigged.

"Today's verdict shows how corrupt and rigged the American justice system has become under Joe Biden," Stefanik said in her statement. "I fully support President Trump appealing this decision and look forward to the New York Court of Appeals delivering justice and overturning this verdict."

In this Jan. 19, 2024, file photo, Rep. Elise Stefanik joins Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Grappone Convention Center in Concord, New Hampshire.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, who attended Trump's trial, called the verdict "an absolute miscarriage of justice."

"While the outcome of this trial will no doubt be subject to appeal, it's a disgrace to our judicial system that such measures will be necessary," Vance said in a statement.

Sen. J.D. Vance watches as former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Manhattan criminal court in New York, on May 13, 2024.
Spencer Platt/UPI via Shutterstock, FILE

Sen. Tim Scott, who was once Trump's rival during the GOP primary and now has become one of his biggest supporters and allies, reaffirmed his loyalty to Trump in a video on X.

"We, the people, stand with Donald Trump," Scott said in the post.

Rep. Byron Donalds, who also supported Trump by attending his trial, took to X, writing that the verdict in Trump's trial was a "disaster" and that he's "innocent."

Sen. Marco Rubio called the verdict a "mockery of our system of justice" while Sen. Tom Cotton claimed it was a "weaponization of the legal system."

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson wrote on X that voters will push back against the verdict by going to the ballot box in November and voting for Trump.

"We, the people, will stand up against this in November! God be with President Trump and we are with him all the way in saving this country," Carson wrote.

The former president hasn't yet indicated who he will pick to be his vice president -- and has said he doesn't plan to make his announcement until closer to the Republican National Convention next month.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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