Republican presidential rivals react to Trump’s civil trial verdict

The reactions of Donald Trump’s Republican rivals in the 2024 campaign came Tuesday after a jury found the former president guilty of sexually assaulting advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy questioned whether there would have been a lawsuit if the accused had been anyone other than Trump.

former President Donald Trump

FILE: Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Based on the sheer timing of the allegations – that the alleged crime took place in the mid-1990s and Ms. Carroll only brought charges between 2019 and 2022, well past the normal statute of limitations for the underlying crime and in the midst of a…” “A barrage of others Indictments of Trump on other old allegations — this appears to be just another part of the establishment’s anaphylactic response against its main political allergen: Donald Trump,” Ramaswamy said.

Vivek Ramaswamy in New Hampshire

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is interviewed by Fox News Digital on May 4, 2023 in Durham, New Hampshire (Fox News)

Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old first-time candidate and multimillionaire who announced his candidacy in late February, said the 2024 presidential race would be easier without Trump, but lamented the weapon of “law with decades-old allegations.” “undermine” political opponents.

Trump is appealing the verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s civil trial, saying he has “absolutely no idea” who she is

“I want to win this race by showing voters how I can take the America First movement beyond Trump, and I look forward to facing him on the debate stage,” Ramaswamy said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who served two terms, and Republican presidential nominee Asa Hutchinson took a different approach than his younger rival, saying the jury’s decision must be taken seriously.

Asa Hutchinson speaks in Iowa

FILE: Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaks to guests at the Spring Kick-Off of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition April 22, 2023 in Clive, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“Throughout my 25+ years of courtroom experience, I have seen firsthand how reckless and arrogant disregard for the rule of law can backfire,” Hutchinson said in a statement to Fox News. “The jury’s verdict should be taken seriously and is another example of unsustainable behavior by Donald Trump.”

A jury Tuesday found Trump liable for the 1996 sexual abuse of advice columnist E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million.


The verdict was announced on the first day of deliberations in a federal courtroom in New York City. The jury dismissed Carroll’s claim that she was raped, but found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation of Carroll after she made her allegations public.

Trump refrained from participating in the civil trial and was not present when the verdict was read.

Paul Steinhauser of Fox News and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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