Former U.S. President Donald Trump indicted by a Manhattan grand jury


  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn said he believes Trump will not win in the 2024 elections
  • Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said Trump has no business being the Republican nominee once again
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called both the case and the jury "a joke"

Several Republican lawmakers on Tuesday distanced themselves from Donald Trump after the former president was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming magazine writer E. Jean Carroll, saying that the verdict could sink his chances of winning back the White House.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told Capitol Hill reporters that Trump's electability is now in question and that he doesn't think the real estate mogul would win the 2024 race.

"The fact is, I do not think he could win the presidency," Cornyn was quoted as saying by NBC News. "Regardless of what you think about him as an individual, to me, electability is ... the sole criterion."

However, Cornyn said he doubts that the ruling will change anybody's mind about Trump.

"I don't think it changes anybody's minds, one way or the other. ... I think people who support President Trump, support President Trump. People who don't support President Trump, don't support him, and I don't think this will have any impact," Cornyn said, The Hill reported.

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said that the verdict creates a "concern."

"How could it not create a concern? If what the woman says ... he's been found to be civilly liable, how could it do anything else but create a concern?" Cassidy, who voted to convict Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, told reporters.

Asked if the decision should disqualify Trump from office, Cassidy said that it was "up to voters" but added, "If she were your sister, what would you think? It kind of speaks for itself. You feel for Ms. Carroll, a woman should not be assaulted, period, end of story, period."

Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota also told reporters he "would have a difficult time" supporting a presidential candidate who has been found liable for sexual abuse.

"You never liked to hear that a former president has been found – in a civil court – guilty of those types of actions," he said. "It focuses a lot of us on what we've been saying for some time now, which is we are looking for an individual to lead this party forward in a united method and we're looking forward to those individuals coming forward."

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted to convict Trump twice in his impeachment trials in the Senate, said that Trump has no business being the Republican Party's nominee once again.

"I hope the American people, the jury of the American people, reach the same conclusion as the jury of his peers, which is that Donald Trump should not be our nominee and he certainly shouldn't be president of the United States," Romney said.

"I think that there will be some people, surely, who say, 'You know, I don't think it's a good idea to have someone who's been convicted of sexual assault to be the face for my children and my grandchildren and the world," he added.

However, there are still some who lined up behind Trump.

Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, who also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan during the Trump administration, called the case the latest act in the "legal circus" against the former president, Politico reported.

"I think we've seen President Trump under attack since before he became president," Hagerty told Fox News. "This has been going on for years. He's been amazing in his ability to weather these sorts of attacks and the American public has been amazing in their support through it."

Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville said that he expects more cases against Trump in the election cycle. "People are gonna come at him from all angles. ... People are gonna try and convict him on the papers in Mar-a-Lago. [They] can't have him win," he said.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called both the case and the jury "a joke," while Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma said it's going to be "very difficult" for Trump to win cases and get a fair trial "in any of these liberal states."

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) walks through the Senate Subway on his way to a security briefing for senators on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 30, 2022.