New York jury verdict against Trump not valid, J.D. Vance says

Describing the jurors as from “extremely left-wing jurisdictions,” Sen. J.D. Vance said Sunday the New York jury verdicts in the E. Jean Carroll defamation and sexual assault cases against President Donald Trump had no validity.

A former “Never Trumper,” Vance (R-Ohio) now fully backs the former president, who is originally from New York City. Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million in damages to advice columnist Carroll and is the center of a myriad of cases set to play out this year amid his 2024 campaign.

“This case, like so many legal cases against Donald Trump, they’re trumped up — they’re in extremely left-wing jurisdictions, or it’s actually the Biden administration prosecuting his chief political rival,” Vance said to host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

“George, if you look at all of these cases, the through line, two-fold. No. 1, they’re funded by Donald Trump’s political opponents, and the goal here is not to help us actually have a real conversation about how to advance the country forward. Their goal is to defeat Trump at the courts because these people know they can’t defeat him at the ballot box,” he told Stephanopoulos.

Stephanopoulos pressed Vance as to whether he believed any verdicts by a group of average citizens in New York City had any validity. “Well, when the cases are funded by left-wing donors and when the case has absolute left-wing bias all over it, George, absolutely I think that we should call into question that particular conclusion,” he said.

The response mirrors that of the former president, who criticized the verdict in a post to his site Truth Social.

“Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party. Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!” Trump wrote.

When asked about claims that support for Trump sanctions behavior like sexual assault and defamation, Vance said that the statement was unfair to victims.

“I think it’s actually very unfair to the victims of sexual assault, to say that somehow their lives are being worse by electing Donald Trump for president, when what he’s trying to do, I think, is restore prosperity,” Vance said.

“I think most Americans recognize that this is not what we want to fight the 2024 election over. Let’s fight it over issues,” Vance said.