Mitch McConnell Allies Refuse to Say if They Would Support Donald Trump if He Is Convicted

John Thune and Mitch McConnell
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Republican Senate allies of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently refused to say if they would support former President Donald Trump if a Manhattan jury convicts him.

Trump faces 34 charges of improper business record entries. He could see jail time.

CNN’s Manu Raju asked establishment Republican senators if they would support Trump after a potential conviction.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who wants to replace the outgoing McConnell as minority leader, said it depends but gave no guarantee. “We’ll see how the trial comes out. I’m not weighing in on that,” he said.

Thune issued a statement to Breitbart News, providing context to his statement to CNN. “Whatever happens in this politically motivated trial isn’t changing anyone’s mind, myself included. We are working with President Trump and his team to put an end to the dangerous Biden-Schumer agenda,” he said.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who recently tried to push an amnesty bill through the Senate, would not commit to supporting Trump.

“I want to be able to have people that are role models and leaders and all those things as well,” he said. “For me, the policy issues are going to matter significantly.”

Thune and Lankford stand in contrast to many Republican lawmakers who vigorously defended Trump against the charges that many legal commentators say are bogus.

Those include:

  • Sen. Rick Scott (FL)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (SC)
  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville (AL)
  • Sen. J.D. Vance (OH)
  • Rep. Byron Donalds (FL)
  • Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY)
  • Rep. Cory Mills (FL)
  • Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (FL)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL)
  • Rep. Eli Crane (FL)
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ)
  • Rep. Michael Waltz (FL)
  • Rep. Bob Good (VA)
  • Rep. Ralph Norman (SC)
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO)
  • Rep. Diana Harshbarger (TN)
  • Rep. Andy Ogles (TN)
  • Rep. Michael Cloud (TX)
  • Gov. Doug Burgum (ND)

Trump’s lawyers rested their defense on Tuesday. The jury will likely deliberate on Wednesday, May 29, the Associated Press reported:

The jury was sent home until May 28, when closing arguments are expected, but the attorneys would return later Tuesday to discuss how the judge will instruct jurors on deliberations. Trump, the first former American president to be tried criminally, did not stop to speak as he left the courthouse and ignored a question about why he wasn’t testifying. The Republican presumptive presidential nominee had previously said he wanted to take the witness stand to defend himself against what he claims are politically motivated charges.

After the defense rested, Judge Juan M. Merchan told jurors the court session could run late Tuesday to accommodate both prosecution and defense summations — the last time the jury would hear from either side. Merchan told jurors he then expects his instructions to them on deliberations would take about an hour, after which they can begin discussing the case, possibly as early as next May 29. Until now, they have been told not to discuss the case with anyone outside court and not to discuss the case among each other.

Merchan noted that normally summations would immediately follow the defense resting its case, but he expects summations in this case will take at least a day and, given the impending Memorial Day holiday, “there’s no way to do all that’s needed to be done” before then.

Editor’s note: this story was updated after publication to add further comment from Sen. John Thune.

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.


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