Judge says Gore, unlike Trump, ‘was a man’ and accepted election loss
A federal judge knocked former President Trump on Monday for his repeated claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, arguing that former Vice President Al Gore “was a man” and accepted his election loss in 2000.
“Al Gore had a better case to argue than Mr. Trump and he was a man about what happened to him,” Senior U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said, according to CNN. “He accepted it and walked away.”
Walton was referring to Gore’s decision to concede the race to President George W. Bush after weeks of legal battles, which were triggered due to an extremely close vote tally in Florida.
The judge’s comments came during a plea hearing for Adam Johnson, the Capitol rioter who was seen carrying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) lectern through the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riots.
Johnson, 36, was arrested two days after the attack and charged with single counts of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or groups without lawful authority, theft of government property and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
He pleaded guilty on Monday to the charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, according to CNN.
Johnson’s plea agreement included sentencing guidelines for zero to six months in prison and between $500 and $9,500 in fines, according to The Washington Post.
Walton said he was concerned that Johnson might be persuaded to make similar mistakes in the future.
“And what concerns me, is that you were gullible enough to come all the way up here from Florida based upon a lie and then associate yourself because of that lie with people and try to undermine the will of the American public about who should be the president of the United States,” Walton said, according to the Bradenton Herald.
“I have concerns about whether you will be gullible when something like this arises again,” he added. “That concerns me, it really does because we are in a troubled situation as a country.”
Johnson accepted blame for the situation he found himself in, telling Walton that he got “caught up in the moment” and experienced a “hard couple of years” that prompted him to spend time “listening to a lot of information and reading things” online, according to CNN.
Walton is the latest judge to criticize Trump for falsely telling his supporters that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Walton was appointed in 2004 by Bush, who defeated Gore in the highly contentious 2000 presidential race.
A federal judge on Friday appeared to imply that Trump played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by provoking his supporters, saying at a sentencing hearing that the audience at his rally preceding the riots were “called to Washington, DC, by an elected official, prompted to walk to the Capitol by an elected official,” according to CNN.
That judge, Amit Mehta, said the rioters were “a pawn in the game played by people who know better.”
“People like Mr. Lolos were told lies, were told falsehoods, were told the election was stolen when it was not,” Mehta said, according to CNN, referring to John Lolos, the rioter being sentenced.
“Regrettably, people like Mr. Lolos who were told those lies took it to heart. And they are the ones paying the consequences,” he added.
More than 700 people have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 riots, according to Insider.
The Hill reached out to Trump for a response to Walton’s comments.
–Updated on Nov. 23 at 10:23 a.m.