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Did Justice Prevail in Trump Verdict? Or Has Rule of Law Become a Political Weapon? Valley Lawmakers Sound Off
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 weeks ago on
May 31, 2024

"We are reminded that no one in America is above the law," Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said about former president Donald Trump's conviction on 34 felony charges in his hush money trial. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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Congressmember Jim Costa took a cautious tone, reacting to former President Donald Trump’s guilty verdict.

Speaking to the media at Yosemite International Airport on Friday, Costa, D-Fresno, repeated his statement from the previous day.

“We’ve always taken pride in an independent judiciary, whether or not, we agree with the verdict. Yesterday’s decision … was determined by a jury of former President Trump’s peers. We’re reminded that no one in America is above the law.

“Sadly, in a divided nation that we live in today — and we recognize we live in a divided nation today — many will take issue with the judgment of the court. And, for me, I think we must, for the sake of our nation, and I will try every possible effort on my part and our well-being to work to heal these divisions that we have in America, and to move forward in what’s in the best interests of the American public,” Costa said.

Costa called the 34 charges of falsifying business records fair. He said if he was in the same situation — using his access to classified documents as an example — he would be charged.

“When you look at it in its totality, that in my mind, shows an individual who has a sense that the law that applies to every other American, doesn’t necessarily apply to him,” Costa said.

He would not comment how much jail time Trump should receive.

Other Delegation Members React

Here is a collection of comments from other members of the Central Valley delegation:

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove:

“This verdict perverts the rule of law into a political weapon: a poisonously partisan prosecutor; a politically corrupt judge and a contaminated jury pool. It has done catastrophic damage to the American tradition of fair and free elections and to the moral authority of the law itself.  Our democracy is indeed at stake.”

Rep.-elect Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield:

“(Thursday’s) verdict against President Trump is a historic turn in the politicization of our institutions. The American people are rightfully concerned with the weaponization of the legal system.”

Fong will be sworn-in officially Monday, 4 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol.

David Valadao, R-Kings County, and John Duarte, R-Modesto, did not respond to requests for comment.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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