Senate Dems in battleground races careful to weigh in on Trump verdict

Democrats facing the most competitive Senate elections heading into November were among the last to weigh in on the guilty verdict handed to former President Trump on Thursday as they fight off the potential for Republicans to flip their seats. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Bob Casey, D-Penn., didn’t respond to the news of Trump’s conviction on Thursday night or Friday morning, while their colleagues on both sides of the aisle sounded off. Trump was found guilty by a New York jury on 34 counts of falsifying business records, which he did to cover payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels that had been made after an alleged affair with her. SCHUMER URGES TRUMP ALLIES TO LET LEGAL PROCESS ‘MOVE FORWARD’ AFTER GUILTY VERDICTMontana, Ohio, and Nevada are home to the most competitive Senate races in the country, according to non-partisan political handicapper the Cook Political Report, in which incumbent Democrats contend with a real risk of losing their seats, in addition to the Senate majority. “Senator Tester respects the judicial process and believes everyone should be treated fairly before the courts, and voters will have the opportunity to make their voices heard at the ballot box in November,” a Tester spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Friday afternoon. “Every American, even a former president, is subject to the rule of law and must be held accountable for criminal actions,” said Rosen in a statement. “A jury has made its decision, and I respect our legal system and the outcome of this fair and impartial process.”‘BOOM’: DEMOCRATS CELEBRATE TRUMP GUILTY VERDICT AS BIDEN WEIGHS REMAINING THREATIn her own statement, Baldwin told Fox News Digital, “Donald 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.””I’m not a lawyer or a judge, but I’ve said from the beginning that no one is above the law,” Brown said in a statement. “Ultimately, this is up to the legal system to sort out and for the American people to decide in November.”Casey told Fox News Digital in a statement, “The former president had his day in court in front of a jury of citizens, as we all deserve, and this verdict reflects that.”‘ELECTION INTERFERENCE’ CLAIMS MUDDY BATTLEGROUND STATE POLITICS AMID COMPETITIVE RACESNational Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Mike Berg slammed the senators’ mild responses, saying in a statement to Fox News Digital, “All of these Democrats endorsed Joe Biden, who is leading this witch hunt, so it’s clear they support his legal warfare against President Trump. Democrat Senator Jon Tester even advocated for physical violence against President Trump, so his refusal to embrace the verdict is very surprising.”In 2019, Tester told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “I don’t think, even in states where Donald Trump won big, that it does you any good running away from Donald Trump. I think you need to go back and punch him in the face,” when responding to a question about Republican colleagues supporting the then-president. SPEAKER JOHNSON PLANS TO INVITE ISRAEL’S NETANYAHU TO MEET WITH CONGRESS SOONER RATHER THAN LATERRepublican lawmakers promptly responded to the verdict on Thursday, with most of them criticizing the conviction. Democratic lawmakers’ reactions varied from celebration to solemn acknowledgment and claims that the verdict must be respected. However, notably missing from the responses on X and in public statements were those of the five most vulnerable incumbents, many of whom are from battleground states that have voted for Trump in the past. Tester hails from a state where Trump beat President Biden by over 16% in 2020, despite losing the presidency. In 2016, Trump won the red state by an even larger margin. 
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