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GOP proposes controversial bill specifically designed to rescue Trump from the New York conviction

Texas Senator John Cornyn sent a stark warning to New York Judge Juan Merchan earlier this week, seeking not to put former president Donald Trump in prison as it would constitute a “further abuse of power.” Cornyn’s statement is one of many in recent days, as Republicans seem to be united like never before following Trump’s conviction in the hush-money case last week. Trump can run for president regardless of the guilty verdict and sentence, but GOP lawmakers know that house arrest or prison time would have a significant impact on Trump’s numbers in the presidential race.

Republican lawmakers uniting against the Biden administration

Republican lawmakers are killing funding bills after Trump’s conviction. Speaker Mike Johnson on Tuesday announced a “three-pronged approach” for how Republicans on Capitol Hill would push back against the prosecutions of the former president.

“We’re looking at various approaches to what can be done here,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said at a news conference, “through the appropriations process, through the legislative process, through bills that will be advancing through our committees and put it on the floor for passage, and also through oversight. All those things will be happening vigorously, because we have to do that because the stakes are too high.”

Killing funding for election security

This week, the House Appropriations Committee’s Republican members introduced a funding bill that turns down a $96 million proposal from the Biden administration. This money was meant for grants under the Help America Vote Act, which since 2002 has sent billions of federal dollars to help states and local governments update voting machines, train staff, improve election system security, and cover other voting-related expenses.

The bill also proposes to allocate only $20 million to the Election Assistance Commission, which is the federal body in charge of overseeing these grants and ensuring that voting machines meet certain standards. This amount is $114 million below what was asked for the fiscal year 2025 and $7.7 million less than the agency received in 2024.

A new controversial bill to save Trump

House conservatives are pushing Speaker Mike Johnson to schedule a vote on a bill designed to demonstrate their support for former President Trump following his unprecedented criminal conviction, as reported by Axios. Trump’s supporters in the House are preparing an aggressive defense of the former president, which involves challenging the Justice Department. This strategy may pose challenges for the party’s members who are more politically vulnerable.

These conservatives are advocating for a vote on legislation that would enable sitting or former presidents to transfer any state legal cases against them—like the New York case that led to Trump’s conviction—to federal court, say several sources from the House Republicans.

House GOP could soon vote on a bill designed to demonstrate support for ex-President Trump, letting him to move state-level cases to federal
Former President Donald Trump. Courtesy of Collin Rugg on X (@CollinRugg)

Trump personally pushing the bill

It’s not surprising that Donald Trump is the orchestrator of the latest political maneuver. Last month, Rolling Stone revealed that Trump had convened “several” meetings with Republican lawmakers and attorneys, urging them to draft legislation that would protect him from prosecution outside federal court. This push to get the legislation passed is a part of a broader attempt by Trump’s allies to reverse his guilty verdict instead of waiting for the appeal process. The bill has already made it through the House Judiciary Committee. However, a floor vote appears doubtful, sources close to Speaker Mike Johnson suggest, due to its lack of popularity among some Republicans. Moreover, it is unlikely to succeed in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

The Georgia case

Trump is currently embroiled in additional state-level charges in Georgia, where he and others are implicated in a racketeering case aimed at overturning the state’s 2020 election results. If the legislation being advocated by House conservatives were enacted, Trump would have the option to transfer the Georgia case to federal court. Should he be convicted and then re-elected as president, he might attempt to pardon himself, although presidents cannot pardon state-level convictions.

This bill has already passed the Judiciary Committee, positioning it as a straightforward choice for leadership to quickly bring it to the House floor for a vote.

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