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“Shame on you!”: Franklin Graham open support for Trump in New York criminal case backfires

“It’s an assault on America,” Donald Trump said last week on Monday. “And that’s why I’m very proud to be here,” he added as he was entering the courtroom in New York for the start of the trial in the criminal case where he is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, tied to his role in a hush-money payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels. This trial comes one year after his indictment, following extensive legal battles and relentless criticism of the case’s key figures. The former president went on trial last week in what appears to be a historic and solemn moment for America.

Hush money payments are not illegal, but…

Hush money payments are not illegal. However, Trump is accused of doctoring business records to conceal damaging information that might have jeopardized his campaign, in what might be seen as an early form of election interference. While this case is driven by allegations of personal misconduct and might have less political impact than his other three impending trials—which involve deeper constitutional and legal issues—it remains crucial. But this case is important because it might be the only one of four cases to take place before the election. So far, Trump and his legal team manage to delay the start of the trials for all other cases.

The support

Under the US Constitution, Trump can run for president again, even if found guilty. Polls show that the majority of Republican voters would still support him as their candidate regardless of a criminal conviction. Trump enjoys widespread backing, from the general public to high-profile figures. Last Friday, evangelist Franklin Graham expressed his support for Trump on social media, which unexpectedly drew significant public attention.

Read also: President Biden will have tough time to win Michigan and Trump is not the problem

The controversial post

Evangelist Franklin Graham was criticized by political experts and onlookers on Friday after he explicitly sided with Donald Trump in the former president’s ongoing criminal trial in New York.

“Pray for former President [Trump],” he wrote on social media. “His enemies want to do everything they can to destroy him, to put him in jail, or to drag out this trial to prevent him from campaigning. I’m not telling you to vote for him—I’m asking you to pray for him.”

Evangelist Franklin Graham expressed his support for Trump on social media, which unexpectedly drew significant public attention
Credit: Franklin Graham, X

The reactions

Joe Walsh, a former GOP lawmaker who identified as a “Tea Party Republican,” called Graham out from the perspective of a fellow Christian.

“Hey [Graham], you & I are Christians. Jesus Christ is our Lord & Savior. And Donald Trump is EVERYTHING Jesus taught you & I NOT to be,” Walsh wrote on Friday. “Trump is the ANTITHESIS of how Jesus taught you & I to live. My God man, how dare you continue to support Trump. Shame on you.”

Evangelist Franklin Graham expressed his support for Trump on social media, which unexpectedly drew significant public attention
Credit: Donald Trump, Instagram

Democratic Representative Ted Lieu also chimed in.

“Dear [Graham]: Judges and prosecutors and juries are not enemies. They are Americans trying their best to apply the law,” he said. “Donald Trump is a criminal defendant. I will pray our criminal justice system treats Trump just like any other criminal defendant.”

Read also: Huge blow for Biden, Dems in Texas: Trump has double-digit lead among Hispanic voters

Conservative Army Iraq War Veteran Peter Henlein asked, “Why might Christianity be on the decline in this country?”

“Maybe it’s because some of its most prominent leaders do things like ask you to pray for a serial fraudster, $60 bible huckster, 20 year Jeffrey Epstein bestie who spent a lifetime screwing people over because he is on trial for paying hush money to p*rnstars he cheated on his wife with,” he added.

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