Russia Reacts To Trump’s Conviction, Says ‘illegal Means’ Used To Get Rid Of Political Rivals

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Trump was found guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up the hush money paid to an adult film star ahead of the 2016 elections. Russia has previously made scathing remarks on the US by saying that it is misusing law to persecute political rivals.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with former US President
Image Source : REUTERS (FILE) Russian President Vladimir Putin with former US President Donald Trump.

Moscow: After the chaotic political drama that followed after former US President Donald Trump’s conviction in the hush money case, Russia reacted sharply to the development, saying all lefal and illegal means are being used in the United States “to get rid of political rivals”. This came as Trump became the first US President on Thursday to be convicted of a crime when a New York court found him guilty of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payment to an adult film actor ahead of the 2016 elections.

“If we speak about Trump, the fact that there is simply the elimination, in effect, of political rivals by all possible means, legal and illegal, is obvious”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a news briefing on Friday after the landmark decision. Tensions between the US and Russia have soured deeply in the last two years following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Trump was found guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election and paying hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. A sentence would be delivered in a hearing scheduled on July 11, which is unlikely to impede his presidential bid. US President Joe Biden’s campaign said the verdict will do little to change the dynamics of the November election.

International reaction to Trump’s conviction

There was a divided international reaction to Trump’s historic conviction, with many refraining from comment. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, “I’ve known President @realDonaldTrump to be a man of honour. As President, he always put America first, he commanded respect around the world and used this respect to build peace. Let the people make their verdict this November! Keep on fighting, Mr. President!”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called it an “unprecedented situation”, but said that he respected the court’s process and there was still a long way to go. Nigel Farage, a prominent British leader who campaigned with Trump, called the verdict a “disgrace” and asserted that Trump will now “win big”.

“Solidarity and full support for @realDonaldTrump, victim of judicial harassment and a process of political nature. In Italy, we are sadly familiar with the weaponisation of the justice system by the left, given that for years attempts have been made to eliminate political opponents through legal means. I hope Trump wins; it would be a guarantee of greater balance and hope for world peace,” said Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini.

Republicans rally behind Trump

As Trump denounced the trial as ‘rigged’ and said the matter was far from over, Republicans have increasingly rallied behind Trump, condemning the ‘political persecution’ of the former President and asserting that the verdict would bolster his chances of securing the White House for the second time. They also repeated allegations of Democrats weaponising the criminal justice system to crush political opponents.

Republican donors pooled millions of dollars to Trump’s campaign after his conviction, reinforcing their support as he returns to campaigning as a convicted felon. Like his supporters, many conservative donors already viewed the New York hush money case as political persecution. Mega-donors including casino billionaire Miriam Adelson and hotelier Robert Bigelow lined up behind Trump, with their donations set to bolster a wave of pro-Trump ads, door-knocking and phone banking in battleground states.

After the 12-member jury on Thursday handed down its verdict finding Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records he faced, Justice Juan Merchan set the former US President’s sentencing for July 11. Prison time is rare for people convicted in New York state of felony falsification of business records, the charge Trump, a businessman-turned-politician, faced at his six-week trial.

The case is widely viewed as less consequential than the other three criminal cases Trump faces on charges over efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden and his retention of sensitive government documents after leaving the White House in 2021. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the other three cases, which are unlikely to reach juries before his November 5 election rematch with Biden….See More

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