Here Are the Split Reactions to Trump’s Guilty Verdict

5 minute read
Updated: | Originally published:

After former President Donald Trump was found guilty in his Manhattan criminal trial Thursday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ campaign applauded the unanimous verdict.

The verdict came after a six-week-long trial that proved Trump covered up hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. The 12-person jury found the former president guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records, prompting both cheers and outcry from people across the country tuning in live to watch the decision. Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson Michael Tyler said in a press release after the decision was announced that, despite the verdict, “the threat Trump poses to our democracy has never been greater” and urged the public to vote for Biden in the November 2024 election.

“In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law,” Tyler said. “Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his own personal gain. But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. 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.”

A spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office simply said: “We respect the rule of law and have no additional comment.”

Trump, who has already called the trial a scam and vowed to appeal the decision, expressed his outrage on the social media app Truth Social. The former president said that his “civil rights have been totally violated” with the “highly political, unconstitutional, and election interfering witch hunt.”

“This was a disgrace—a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who is corrupt,” he wrote on the social media platform. “We will fight for our constitution—this is long from over!”

Read More: What Happens if Trump Is Convicted? Your Questions, Answered

The Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, said on X that Thursday was “a shameful day in American history.”

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

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

And Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell echoed: “These charges never should have been brought in the first place. I expect the conviction to be overturned on appeal.”

Republican politicians and Trump allies quickly condemned the verdict, with some calling it “an affront to justice” and “a travesty of justice.” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine criticized the “political underpinnings” of the case, while Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio described it as a “disgrace” and election interference.”

Sen. Tim Scott, who is reportedly in contention to be selected as Trump’s running mate, reacted with a video on social media urging followers to stand against Biden and with Trump.

“This is a dark day for our country—where the very justice system that had been a hallmark of justice for hundreds of years, has been replaced with a two-tiered system based on politics!” Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican, wrote on X. “I do have faith that the American people will not tolerate this!”

Read More: Republicans and Democrats Try to Cash In on Trump’s Conviction

Meanwhile, billionaire Elon Musk criticized Trump’s conviction in a post on X, the social media platform he owns, saying: “If a former President can be criminally convicted over such a trivial matter—motivated by politics, rather than justice—then anyone is at risk of a similar fate.”

Some Democrats commended the verdict, including California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who said the decision was a victory.

“Donald Trump is a convicted felon,” Swalwell wrote on X. “This verdict is not a win for any single person. It’s a win for an idea. The idea that we all follow the same rules. The rule of law won today.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the charges against Trump, thanked the jurors and prosecution team during a press conference Thursday night after the verdict was announced.

“While this defendant may be unlike any other in American history, we arrived at this trial, and ultimately today at this verdict, in the same manner as every other case that comes through the courtroom doors—by following the facts and the law and doing so without fear or favor,” Bragg said.

“I did my job. We did our job. Many voices out there. The only voice that matters is the voice of the jury. And the jury has spoken.”

When asked about sentencing for Trump, Bragg said, “I’m going to let our words in court speak for themselves when we get to the sentencing…”

Trump supporters crowded outside the Manhattan courthouse and screamed their objections after the verdict was announced.

“There is no justice in this country!” one yelled.

“Not f-cking guilty!” another screamed.

Meanwhile, anti-Trump protesters gathered outside the courthouse to count the charges that Trump was found guilty on. Many held signs saying, “Not Above The Law” and “Lies Have Consequences.”

Outside of the political arena, late night comedian Jimmy Fallon reacted to the verdict with a parody music video portraying Trump singing, “I fought the law, and the law won.”

Trump’s sentencing hearing is set for July 11.

—Chad de Guzman and Koh Ewe contributed reporting.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at