Republican senators have finally had it with Democrats: ‘We are no longer cooperating’

Setting aside the theater of “strongly worded statements,” an initial Republican octet urged their peers to join in a legislative stand against “those who turned our judicial system into a political cudgel.”

After months of crying foul over the perceived political persecution of former President Donald Trump, Thursday’s verdict in a Manhattan courthouse begged the question of the GOP: what are you going to do about it? In response, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and seven of his congressional colleagues issued an open letter Friday with three specifics to send a message that “partisan lawfare” would neither be allowed nor tolerated.

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

So too did Lee promote the message on his personal account as he wrote, “I hope to have every Republican senator sign this. This is a call for Senate Republican Conference unity. Now is a time for choosing. Will we let the Republic fall or are we going to do something about it?”

Co-signed by Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and JD Vance of Ohio, the letter began, “The White House has made a mockery of the rule of law and fundamentally altered our politics in un-American ways.”

“As a Senate Republican conference, we are unwilling to aid and abet this White House in its project to tear this country apart,” argued the senators. “To that end, we will not 1) allow any increase to non-security related funding for this administration, or any appropriations bill which funds partisan lawfare; 2) vote to confirm this administration’s political and judicial appointees; and 3) allow expedited consideration and passage of Democrat legislation or authorities that are not directly related to the safety of the American people.”

Hours later, Lee updated the list of signers to include Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin with the message, “Democrats don’t get to wreck our judicial system and expect any cooperations on their legislative priorities.”

To that, the latter lawmaker added, “I’m happy to join this statement holding [President Joe Biden] responsible for the mockery he has made of our rule of law.”

Biden had initially reacted to Trump’s felony conviction on all 34 counts in his New York criminal case regarding falsifying business records by boldly claiming, “The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed.”

He would go on to add after recapping some of the points about the trial by jury, “And it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, and it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict.”

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy had challenged the president over his point about no one being “above the law” and asked amid allegations of influence-peddling, “Are you worried this could happen to you someday — somebody comes up with some charges and tries to bring you into court after your term?”

“Not at all,” responded Biden. “I didn’t do anything wrong. The system still works.”

While it remained to be seen how the pledge would impact the remainder of the 118th Congress, reactions on social media sounded off with support for going beyond sternly written letters, including SiriusXM host Andrew Wilkow who posted, “My man.”

Kevin Haggerty

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