Some Republicans call Trump’s guilty verdict ‘a sham.’ Here’s what NC lawmakers say.

Rep. Richard Hudson called the verdict in President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial “a complete and total SHAM” after a jury found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

“The American people know that this verdict is election interference and the Biden admin is behind all of it,” Hudson, a North Carolina Republican who leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, posted to social media, repeating conspiracy theories about Trump’s 2024 opponent. “I stand with President Trump.”

The trial was in a state-level case spearheaded by a New York district attorney, not one brought by the Biden administration at the federal level. Trump also faces federal charges in separate cases.

Trump became, on Thursday, the first former U.S. president convicted of a felony.

And North Carolina lawmakers reacted quickly in both social media posts and news releases. Many reactions defended Trump, insulted the prosecution and spread conspiracy theories. Others applauded the functioning of the judicial system.

Trump’s New York hush money trial

Since April 22, jurors have listened to evidence and testimony accusing Trump of falsifying business records connected to $130,000 spent to stop adult film star Stormy Daniels from discussing an alleged sexual encounter she and Trump had prior to the 2016 election.

On Thursday, those jurors announced that they had reached a verdict and that Trump was guilty on all counts. This came just moments before the judge was set to send them home for the evening.

Rep. Deborah Ross, a Democrat from Wake County, wrote on social media that “this is how the legal system is supposed to work.”

“A jury of his peers deliberated the facts and came to this unanimous decision,” Ross posted on social media. “The bottom line is that no one is above the law.”

The prosecution laid out a case to the jurors that Trump made the payments to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election and committed tax fraud.

Defense attorneys argued that Trump, who pleaded not guilty, made the payments to shield family members from embarrassment.

Trump served as president from 2017-2021, but lost his 2020 reelection bid to President Joe Biden. That led to conspiracy theories of voter fraud and an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, where supporters of Trump tried to stop the certification of Biden’s election.

Trump faces another 54 charges across three cases, including some stemming from his role in the attempts to overturn Biden’s election.

Trump will be sentenced in this case at 10 a.m. July 11, just days before the Republican National Committee’s convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He is 77 years old.

Reaction from NC politicians

Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican, posted that he was shocked by the verdict and that the case should have never been brought forward.

“From the beginning, it was clear that a radical, politically-motivated state prosecutor was using the full weight of his office to go after President Trump at the same time he turned a blind eye to violent criminals,” Tillis said. “I expect and hope that President Trump will appeal this verdict to address fundamental questions, including whether President Trump received a fair trial and whether the Manhattan D.A. even had jurisdiction on a federal election matter.”

Republican Sen. Ted Budd called the verdict, “a total disgrace” and said other officials turned down prosecuting the case because Trump “committed no crime.”

“President Trump deserves the same Constitutional rights as any American,” Budd said. “But from the start, this was a rigged charade designed to weaponize the justice system to interfere in the presidential election and hurt President Trump. If Americans can be found guilty of a crime based on underlying allegations that were never charged, all of our constitutional rights are at risk.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican, said in a news release that the district attorney “engaged in legal alchemy that has set a very damning precedent” and said that the verdicts are “steeped in partisan animus.”

She said she believes the verdicts will be thrown out on appeal, but the damage to Trump has been done.

“This is beyond outrageous,” Foxx said. “The rule of law has long served as the foundation for our country, but today, a dark, new chapter has been opened — one where judicial warfare is given a higher priority than fairness.”

Rep. David Rouzer, a Republican, said the trial had weak evidence, questionable witnesses and bent rules. He called it “a failure of what is suppose to be an impartial judicial process.”

Rep. Dan Bishop, a Republican, said Americans will have the ultimate verdict when they vote Trump back into office. Election Day is Nov. 5, and the conviction does not prevent Trump from running for office.

Rep. Greg Murphy, a Republican recovering from surgery on a tumor near his brain, said, “We are officially now a banana republic,” using a derogatory term used to describe tyrannical countries in the tropics.

Rep. Wiley Nickel, a Democrat, said in a news release that the American people had been “lied to enough by the former President.”

“It’s no wonder that trust in government is at an all-time low,” Nickel said. “I’m glad to finally have some honesty and truth from this verdict so that our country can begin to heal from President Trump’s divisive rhetoric and extremism. Donald Trump should never be in a position of power again.”

The case

Trump’s trial began on April 15 with jury selection. Trump was required to attend each day, and was the first former president to ever be held in contempt of court for violating a gag order. The judge found Trump in violation of the gag order 10 times.

Video cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, leaving the public to rely on reporters inside to detail what was happening.

Trump chose not to testify during the trial.