Oregon political leaders react to Trump guilty verdict

MEDFORD, Ore.- Oregon political leaders are reacting after former President Donald Trump was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

On Thursday afternoon, a New York jury reached a guilty verdict after nine and a half hours of deliberations over the course of two days. Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump is now the first president in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony.

U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley were quick to react to the verdict. In a statement released by Senator Ron Wyden, he wrote:

Justice has spoken in the courtroom today, but that won’t change the fact that one of our country’s two largest political parties is backing a convicted felon as its nominee in a presidential election. Democracy is on the ballot this November.

Senator Jeff Merkley also released a statement, writing:

The jury has spoken. Trump broke the law and used his money, power, and privilege to conceal the crime. For the first time in his life, Trump has been held accountable for his misdeeds. Justice had a good day.

The Chairman for the Jackson County Republican Party, Randell Embertson, agrees with Trump’s Attorney Todd Blanche, who says Trump is innocent and did not commit any crimes. “This person’s running for president, the people will decide,” Embertson said. “He’s never been convicted of any crime prior to this. It’s appalling, it’s unconstitutional, it’s a break of civil rights. The justice system is in shambles.”

Embertson says there is no basis to the conviction, and he feels it’s election interference. He says if the people of Southern Oregon aren’t worried yet, they should be.

Successful billionaires and former presidents, like that, that’s a big person and for them to be run through the gauntlet like this, it really puts a lot of people lower in status than that, like, what’s the government, what could the government do to me?

State Representative Pam Marsh, on the other hand, is more on the same page as Merkley and Wyden. Marsh, like Embertson, was very surprised by the news.

We see these trials go on, we read the day-to-day, it feels pretty tiresome, and then all the sudden the former president is guilty of 34 felonies. Again, it’s shocking, it’s mind blowing and it’s hard to contemplate that we are facing this kind of situation here in America.

Marsh says this is a prime example of the justice system doing what it was meant to do. “I think the most significant part here really is that you had a jury of peers, who sat, who paid attention, who listened,” Marsh said, “I don’t think you can undermine a justice system that’s built on juries and the jury’s participation.”

Judge Juan M. Merchan has set sentencing for July 11.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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