Kennedy’s Response to the Trump ‘Guilty’ Verdict: Beat Trump at the Ballot Box, Not in the Courtroom

Kennedy’s Response to the Trump ‘Guilty’ Verdict: Beat Trump at the Ballot Box, Not in the Courtroom
Adam Garrie | May 31, 2024

By Adam Garrie, The Kennedy Beacon

On May 30, the day Donald Trump became the first former or sitting president to be convicted of multiple felonies, independent presidential candidate and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. commented on the jury verdict that set social media alight. Taking to X, Kennedy

Kennedy further warned that the Democratic party strategy to fight Trump in court would “backfire.” Kennedy continued, “The DNC feels like it has a candidate that cannot win fair and square in the polls and so they have to win in the courts…they have to win by clearing the deck and getting their opponents out of the race.”

The Trump convictions have been described as “lawfare” by the former president’s supporters. This denotes a belief that the political branches of government weigh on the theoretically independent judicial branch to obtain convictions against a political opponent. Many opponents of Trump from the Democratic Party have described the convictions as long overdue justice against a controversial figure.

Kennedy’s view avoids the emotionally charged nature of these opinions and instead focuses on the democratic principles that tie qualifications for political office to the popular will. Kennedy’s reaction to the Trump verdict is equally informed by his decades of experience as a litigator as well as his current role as candidate for the world’s most important political office.

Speaking at a talk on economics and cryptocurrency that was scheduled prior to the announcement that the New York jury reached a decision in the Trump trial, Kennedy explained that in his view, the so-called “hush money” case was the “weakest” of the several criminal cases which the former president faces.

Kennedy added that while he believes that the judicial branch largely retains its independence, “a large part of the American public believes that the judicial system has been weaponized” against Trump on a political basis. Kennedy compared the matter to his own lawsuits against the White House and associated Federal agencies that concern the censorship he faced during the COVID pandemic. He also related the weaponization of the judicial system against Trump to his own legal fights to attain free and fair ballot access across all 50 states. [He is presently officially on the ballot in 7 states, and has submitted enough signatures to be on the ballot in 9 more.]

Kennedy further explained how he feels the Democrats used undemocratic tactics to drive him away from the party of his father, grandfather and uncles and in this sense expressed a degree of sympathy with a former president fighting an election in courts while simultaneously attempting to win votes.

The independent candidate reiterated that the decision of the New York jury did not change his views on Trump’s handling of the pandemic and his bloating of the national debt but reiterated that such debates should be held in the political realm rather than in the judicial system.

Kennedy’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan, reacted to the verdict by calling for an end to the “weaponizing” of the justice system.

Shanahan wrote on X, “Our country is deeply divided. Under the last two administrations Americans have witnessed the weaponization of the justice system for political gain. The result: anger and division in America. Weaponizing the press, the judiciary, and each other puts us all in the barrel.”

She continued, “No matter your political allegiance, the judicial system is supposed to protect all of us equally. It is not to be weaponized for political purposes. When it is, that is the surest sign of tyrannical influence.”

Kennedy campaign director Amaryllis Fox invited voters to support a candidate running an issues-based campaign while criticizing the Biden and Trump campaigns for airing their political grievances in the courts.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who previously criticized CNN’s initial decision to exclude Kennedy from the first presidential debate of the 2024 presidential cycle, wrote that the Trump verdict did “great damage…to the public’s faith in the American legal system.” He added, “If a former President can be criminally convicted over such a trivial matter – motivated by politics, rather than justice – then anyone is at risk of a similar fate,” echoing the remarks of Kennedy and Shanahan.

Musk’s fellow tech entrepreneur David Sacks, who has often expressed support for Kennedy, commented, “There is now only one issue in this election: whether the American people will stand for the USA becoming a Banana Republic.”

The overarching view of Kennedy and those associated with his campaign has been to condemn the use of the judicial system to achieve political goals. Implicit in this critique is the realization that once the floodgates of a politicized judicial system are opened, courts can be and likely will be weaponized against any candidate or faction speaking truth to power.

Kennedy has frequently said that the American people need to have faith in the fairness of the electoral system, and that this cannot be accomplished through lawfare. He believes it can only be accomplished through civilized debates.