Politics

Two weeks after hush money verdict, Trump to meet with Senate Republicans

WASHINGTON — (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will meet with Senate Republicans Thursday, speaking to the group just two weeks after he was convicted on 34 charges in his hush money trial and as GOP senators have increasingly rallied around him.

The invitation was issued by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the chairman of the GOP conference, and Trump has accepted, according to two people familiar with the planning who requested anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting. The meeting will be held in a location away from the Capitol, as is common practice for campaign-related events.

The gathering will be the first time that Trump has met with the GOP conference since he was president, and the first time since the attack by his supporters on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The meeting was first reported by NBC News.

Many senators who had criticized Trump after the attack have now endorsed his run for the presidency, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other members of Senate leadership.

The GOP Senate conference was also uniformly supportive of Trump after the May 31 hush money verdict, with many of them joining Trump's criticism of the judge and jury. The verdict made Trump the first former American president found guilty of felony crimes when a New York jury convicted him on all charges in a scheme to influence the 2016 election with a hush money payment to a porn actor.

Instead of distancing themselves from Trump, Republicans have rallied around him in hopes that voters will believe that the jury verdict in the New York court was a form of political retribution. Some senators attended the trial to show their support for Trump.

Trump is expected to appeal last month’s conviction on all 34 charges.

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