Wisconsin’s congressional delegation reacts to Trump verdict

Jurors in the New York criminal trial said they unanimously agreed that Trump falsified business records

Former President Donald Trump arrives at court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York
Former President Donald Trump arrives at court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Trump appeared in a New York City courtroom on charges related to falsifying business records in a hush money investigation, the first president ever to be charged with a crime. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

Now that former President Donald Trump has been convicted on 34 felony counts of falsified business records, members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation are responding to the guilty verdict. 

Jurors in the New York criminal trial said they unanimously agreed that Trump falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Here are the reactions from Wisconsin’s members of Congress.

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US Sen. Tammy Baldwin

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who will be on the ballot this November, issued a statement saying Trump had his day in court.

“A jury of his peers saw that there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt he was guilty. No one, including a former President, is above the law,” she said. 

Baldwin’s opponent, Eric Hovde, released a video on social media reacting to the verdict. 

“To me, this is a very sad day for America because it shows our justice system has been weaponized and our courts have been turned into political theater,” he said. 

“And all we’ve now done is weaponized our justice system and turned us into a third world Banana Republic,” he continued. “It’s a real shame, and I’m just heartbroken for our country that another institution has been corrupted by politics.”

US Sen. Ron Johnson

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson also took to social media to criticize the verdict.

“After this travesty of justice, our judicial system will never be the same,” he said. “How can this not be considered the most egregious example of election interference?”

US Rep. Gwen Moore

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, told reporters Friday that she accepts the rule of law and has confidence in the justice system. 

“These 12 people certainly had a deeper dive into the facts than I did. They were a jury of his peers. The one thing I was struck by is what Manhattan District Attorney (Alvin) Bragg said, that while this seems really sensational to us, this is something that happens every day in a courtroom with regular people. And the president was treated just like any other defendant.” 

US Rep. Derrick Van Orden

U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Prairie du Chien, criticized the verdict in the sharpest of terms.

“Millions of Nazi and Imperial Japanese soldiers could not take down America but one Scumbag New York judge just did,” he posted on social media, with an attached photo of New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan. 

US Rep. Mark Pocan

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, told reporters Friday morning that people have to remember that a jury of Trump’s peers made this decision. He said Trump’s attacks on prosecutors and the judicial system “is really an attack in many ways on our democracy that we’re seeing. I would expect this if this were a more autocratic or dictatorial nation, but we’re a democracy.” 

Pocan also criticized how Republican members have responded to the verdict. 

“It’s just ridiculous watching the over the top responses,” he said. “And I understand they’re afraid for themselves, electorally what the consequences are, but at some point we gotta quit worrying about those things and worry about the country and what our jobs are.”

US Rep. Glenn Grothman

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, said Trump’s conviction represented a “dark day for America.”

“Whether Democrat or Republican, in America, if we don’t like a political candidate, we beat them at the ballot box, not by convicting them of nonexistent crimes,” he posted on social media

“These charges would not have come up if Donald Trump wasn’t running for president. This conviction tarnishes America’s reputation in the world and is something that previously would only happen in a third-world banana republic.”

US Rep. Tom Tiffany

U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, said Democrats “are convicting President Trump because they don’t want to face him at the ballot box.”

“This is what you would see in Communist China and the Soviet Union. Now, you are seeing it in Joe Biden’s America,” he posted. “Democrat judge. Democrat prosecutor. Democrat jury. This is an embarrassment to our judicial system.”

US Rep. Scott Fitzgerald

U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Clyman, said in a statement that Democrats have “taken lawfare to a new low.”

“The verdict delivered in President Trump’s trial today is an absolute sham and based largely on the ‘testimony’ of a convicted liar whose credibility sits about as low as it gets,” he said. “The American people are watching closely — and what they see is complete abuse and weaponization of our government against political opponents.”

US Rep. Bryan Steil

U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, issued a brief written statement in response to a question from WPR.

“I fully expect the verdict on New York v. Trump to be appealed and overturned,” Steil said.

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