Hours after two former aides to President Donald Trump were convicted on felony charges Tuesday, a crowd in Charleston, West Virginia, chanted “Lock her up!” at the mention of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 Democratic opponent.
Trump held a rally in West Virginia to endorse the state’s attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, for the U.S. Senate. Morrisey attacked his opponent, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), for supporting Clinton after she’d implied during her presidential campaign that she would put “miners and coal companies out of business.”
“Manchin even called Hillary warm, compassionate, engaging, tough ― can you believe that?” Morrissey asked.
The crowd immediately began repeating “Lock her up!” ― a common chant on the 2016 campaign trail as Trump branded his opponent “Crooked Hillary” and railed against her use of a private email server during her time in office.
Clinton’s gaffe about miners occurred during her 2016 campaign when she attempted to discuss energy policies to help replace the declining coal market. She later attempted to clarify that she didn’t personally want to put coal miners out of work, but meant that “the way things are going now, they will continue to lose jobs.”
The Charleston crowd’s hostility to Clinton was unsurprising but ironic, considering the legal developments that unfolded on Tuesday regarding two of Trump’s own former aides.
Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager, was convicted of eight felony counts hours before the rally and could potentially face up to 80 years in prison. The verdict was the first official legal victory for the special counsel team being led by Robert Mueller.
At the same time, Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to illegally interfering in the 2016 election at the direction of a “candidate for federal office.” Cohen admitted to paying off two women, without revealing their names, to hide the information during Trump’s campaign.
The women Cohen is referring to are presumably adult film star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who both claimed to have been paid off to keep silent about affairs with Trump. Because Trump is alleged to have directed these payoffs, the campaign is implicated for not disclosing payments that may constitute campaign donations.