Sen. Mike Lee and nine other GOP senators have vowed to not allow the confirmation of Biden administration political and judicial appointees as well as Democrat legislation not related to the safety of Americans.

After a Manhattan jury handed down a guilty verdict for former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts, Lee and other senators circulated the letter on social media.

“Strongly worded statements are not enough,” Lee wrote on social media when he posted the letter. “Those who turned our judicial system into a political cudgel must be held accountable. We are no longer cooperating with any Democrat legislative priorities or nominations, and we invite all concerned Senators to join our stand.”

Sens. J.D. Vance, Tommy Tuberville, Eric Schmitt, Marsha Blackburn, Rick Scott, Roger Marshall and Marco Rubio also signed their names to the letter. Sens. Josh Hawley and Ron Johnson later joined.

Some of the signatories have close relationships with Trump — Lee has been floated as a possible attorney general and Vance, Rubio and Scott are rumored contenders as Trump’s running mate.

“The White House has made a mockery of the rule of law and fundamentally altered our politics in un-American ways,” said Lee and the other senators. “As a Senate Republican conference, we are unwilling to aid and abet this White House in its project to tear this country apart.”

Specifically, the letter outlines three sets of the actions the senators are vowing to not engage in due to the trial and its result.

The senators said they wouldn’t allow increases in funding for the administration that aren’t related to security — “or any appropriations bill which funds partisan lawfare,” the senators wrote. They also won’t confirm political and judicial appointees from the administration. And finally, the senators said they won’t “allow expedited consideration and passage of Democrat legislation or authorities that are not directly relevant to the safety of the American people.”

The Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate currently and if the senators remain committed to not allowing confirmations and blocking appropriations bills, business could slow down.

Following the reading of the verdict, Lee has vocalized his criticism repeatedly — of both the verdict and the trial. In a social media post, he said he hopes every Republican senator signs the letter.

“This is a call for Senate Republican Conference unity,” Lee said. “Now is a time for choosing. Will we let the Republican fall or are we going to do something about it?”

The letter comes as some Republican politicians are mobilizing in response to the Trump verdict.

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan has sent letters to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and prosecutor Matthew Colangelo, asking them to come before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

“This hearing will examine actions by state and local prosecutors to engage politically motivated prosecutions of federal officials, in particular, the recent political prosecution of President Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” the letters stated.

The GOP has largely responded with criticism and outrage toward the verdict — Utah Republicans have been among those voices. House Speaker Mike Johnson and other key Republican figures have decried the verdict. Trump’s campaign said it received an influx of small dollar donations amounting to $34.8 million after the verdict was handed down.

There’s been at least one exception — former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Americans should respect the verdict and the process. To which senior Trump adviser Chris LaCivita responded, “You just ended your campaign.”

Sen. Susan Collins, typically a Trump critic, raised criticism of the verdict.

“It is fundamental to our American system of justice that the government prosecutes cases because of alleged criminal conduct regardless of who the defendant happens to be. In this case the opposite has happened,” Collins said in a statement to The Hill. “The district attorney, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, brought these charges precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct.”

Democrats have responded to the verdict differently.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries took to social media to defend the verdict. “America is a nation built upon the rule of law,” said Jeffries. “The jury has spoken and carefully rendered a decision. Responsible leadership requires the verdict to be respected.”

Reportedly, Democrats are conflicted over how to respond to the verdict.

“On one side, the party’s establishment figures are preaching caution and sobriety and have no evident plans to immediately capitalize on the historic jury decision to benefit President Joe Biden,” wrote Lauren Egan, Myah Ward and Elena Schneider for Politico. “On the other, a number of prominent officials and operatives see the unanimous verdict as a political gift and are incredulous that the party would not use it as a cudgel.”

Sen. Lee, Reps. Curtis, Maloy, Moore and Owens weigh in on Trump verdict

It’s unclear how the verdict will impact the political landscape moving forward. Some pollsters like Nate Silver are largely withholding judgment and forecasting some improvement for Biden — but they are unsure if it’ll last. There was some polling before about how a conviction may impact voters, but as the Deseret News’ Samuel Benson wrote, “The best polling on the matter will be the next polling — now that a verdict has been reached and voters do not have to speculate whether Trump will or won’t be convicted.”

The verdict is unprecedented in that no former president has ever been convicted of a felony up until this point. Trump will still be able to continue his campaign for presidency.

During a press conference in his eponymous tower, Trump addressed a crowd about his verdict.

“This is all done by Biden and his people,” Trump said. “This is done by Washington. No one has ever seen anything like this.”


Trump referenced the gag order that prevents him from speaking about attorneys, witnesses and others related to the case. He said the judge was “conflicted,” but said he couldn’t say more.

“I am not allowed to talk about it,” Trump said. “There has never been anyone so conflicted as this.”

Biden spoke about the verdict and trial during his press conference on Friday afternoon. Biden said it was “reckless” and “dangerous” to call the trial rigged.

“Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years, and it is literally the cornerstone of America — our justice system,” said Biden. “The justice system should be respected, and we should never allow anyone to tear it down. It’s as simple as that.”

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