UK

Johnson: Trump presidential win ‘more likely, not less’ following conviction

The former president is the first to be convicted of felony crimes.

File photo date 31/08/22 of former prime minister Boris Johnson
File photo date 31/08/22 of former prime minister Boris Johnson (Andrew Boyers/PA)

A second Donald Trump presidency is “more likely, not less” following his hush money trial conviction, Boris Johnson has said.

A New York jury found Mr Trump guilty of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who said the two had sex.

The former president, the first to be convicted of felony crimes, insisted he was a “very innocent man” and claimed without evidence the trial was “rigged”.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Mr Johnson called the trial “a machine-gun mob-style hit-job on Trump”.

The former prime minister said: “The American people have looked at this case, and in spite of all the portentous claims about its HISTORIC importance, they have concluded that it was, by and large, a load of stunted-up old nonsense.

“The vast mass of American voters could see what I believe was really happening: that the liberal elites were just appalled at Trump’s continuing popularity and his ability to connect with voters – and they were using anything they could find to derail his campaign.

“If you look dispassionately at his time in office, both on the domestic and international front, it was far more successful than his Left-wing critics allow. They should not be using legal tricks like this to prevent him from receiving the judgment that really matters – the verdict of the people.

“By pursuing these cases, they have helped to make his victory more likely, not less.”

Mr Johnson’s comments come as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak refused to comment directly on the conviction, telling reporters on Friday the trial was not his “focus”.

“You wouldn’t expect me to comment on another country’s domestic politics or judicial processes,” he said.

“I’m focused squarely on the election here at home, talking to people across the country about the choice at our election.

“Of course I respect the justice system of the United States.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the trial was not his ‘focus’
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the trial was not his ‘focus’ (Yui Mok/PA)

“I wouldn’t also comment on judicial processes while they’re ongoing in our own country, because there’s a separation between politicians and judicial systems, and we should let judicial systems do what they need to do independently of politics.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was an “unprecedented situation”, adding: “First and foremost we respect the court’s decision in relation to the decision in the Trump case”.

“We will work with whoever is elected president… that’s what you’d expect,” he said.

“We have a special relationship with the US that transcends whoever the president is, but it is an unprecedented situation, there is no doubt about that.

“And there’s a long way yet to go I think in relation to what happens next.”