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Some Democrats express glee over Trump convictions

The responses from most Democratic officials were restrained, even somber in tone, after a jury found former president Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts in his New York hush money trial.

“The verdict speaks for itself,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted Thursday, echoing many of his colleagues.

But still, there were some Democrats who expressed unbridled joy over what they saw as long-overdue accountability for Trump, who is facing 54 additional charges in three other criminal indictments.

“Hallelujah!!!” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wrote on X on Thursday, adding that her “faith in the criminal justice system has been strengthened!’

Waters, a vocal Trump critic, also recalled how she had predicted in a speech three years ago that adult film actress Stormy Daniels would be “the one to get Trump.’ The hush money trial centered on business records that prosecutors said were falsified to conceal money Trump paid to Daniels in 2016.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) used no words but conveyed a no less celebratory message by simply posting an an image of Boston Red Sox hitter David Ortiz, wearing his No. 34 jersey with his arms outstretched, a reference to Trump’s 34 guilty counts.

pic.twitter.com/MNhb98b3hX

— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) May 30, 2024

Asked Thursday for his thoughts on the verdict, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told WUSA 9 News that he was thinking about another controversy: the appearance of flags that had been embraced by Jan. 6, 2021, insurrectionists outside the northern Virginia home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. (Alito has said it was his wife’s decision to fly the flags.)

“My first reaction is that Mrs. Alito is going to need a lot more flags to fly at her house,” Connolly joked.

Those reactions were the exception to otherwise straight forward — and less celebratory — responses from Democratic officials.

“We respect the rule of law, and have no additional comment,” was the initial response from White House Counsel’s Office spokesman Ian Sams.

On Friday, President Biden briefly reprimanded Trump for saying the verdict was rigged before promptly pivoting to remarks about the Middle East at the White House.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said. “The justice system should be respected. We should never allow anyone to tear it down.”

In dozens of news releases and social media posts, the overwhelming sentiment from Democrats was that no one, not even a former president, was above the rule of law. Most avoided delving into the specifics of the felonies or about what awaits Trump at his July 11 sentencing.

For months, Trump has baselessly accused the Biden administration of politically targeting him. Meanwhile, Biden’s reelection campaign had largely stayed quiet about Trump’s New York trial, in part because they don’t believe any Trump convictions will fundamentally change the dynamics of a close race.

On Thursday, Biden campaign spokesman Michael Tyler released a statement that warned voters that Trump could still return to the White House as he would likely be the Republican presidential nominee. (Even as a felon, Trump can still run for and serve as president.)

“Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his own personal gain,’ Tyler stated. “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.”

But if Biden administration officials and Democratic lawmakers tried to stay sober about news of Trump’s verdict Thursday, Democratic voters did not.

Soon after the verdict was announced, the liberal political action group Move On began offering free “Trump is a Felon” stickers to those who filled out a form on their website. In less than 10 minutes, the group reported it had received more than 10,000 orders, a number that quickly doubled through the evening.

In Washington, bars and restaurants began announcing food and drink specials connected to Trump’s guilty verdict within a half hour of the verdict dropping. Nearly as quickly, at the capital city’s famed “Barbie Pond on Avenue Q,” a miniature Trump doll appeared locked inside a cage next to several Barbie dolls holding signs that read “#FELON” and “#LOCKHIMUP.”

On “The View’ Friday, all six co-hosts — including former Trump staffer Alyssa Farah Griffin — made an appearance to discuss Trump’s guilty verdict and criticize the former president.

“I’m going to say something you’ve never ever heard me say before: Donald John Trump is a convicted felon,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said, as her colleague Ana Navarro clapped.

Some revealed they could not contain their excitement when they heard the news.

“I got so excited, I started leaking a little bit,” co-host Joy Behar said, to laughter.

Tyler Pager contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post
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