Trump’s visitors have included House Speaker Mike Johnson, the most powerful GOP lawmaker in the United States.

A long list of prominent GOP politicians have flocked to Trump’s ongoing trial in Manhattan.They include the speaker of the House, one governor, and several senators and House members.It’s an effort to show loyalty — and for some, boost their VP chances.

Former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial in New York is suddenly the biggest magnet for ambitious Republican politicians hoping to demonstrate their loyalty.

In recent weeks, the Manhattan criminal courthouse has played host to the speaker of the House, several GOP senators and vice-presidential contenders, over a dozen House members, and even two state attorneys general.

It’s resulted in at least one senator missing a vote, the postponing of a congressional mark-up, and a bevy of Republican heavyweights turning themselves into attack dogs for the presumptive 2024 nominee — who remains barred from criticizing jurors and witnesses via a gag order.

And Trump has yet to receive a courtroom visit from his own wife, Melania.

Here are all of the Republicans who’ve flocked to the trial so far.

Sen. Rick Scott was the first elected Republican to show up. He ended up missing a vote.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott walks behind Trump at the trial on May 9.

On Thursday, May 9, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida became the first elected Republican to show up to the trial.

“What he is going through is just despicable,” Scott told reporters outside the courtroom, arguing the trial was “clearly criminal” and was being run by “political thugs.”

Scott’s visit came in the middle of the week, while the Senate was taking votes on a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration for the next five years.

The Florida senator, who’s up for reelection in November, ended up missing a procedural vote on the bill later that day.

That prompted his Democratic opponent, former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell, to slam him as “sucking up to a defendant found liable for sexual abuse” and putting his “own extreme agenda before the people he was elected to represent.”

Sen. JD Vance was the first VP contender to show up.
Sen. JD Vance snaps a photo at the trial on May 13.

On Monday, May 13, Sen. JD Vance of Ohio was among the next crop of senators to show up — and the first vice presidential contender to do so.

He later took to social media, calling the courtroom “dingy” while suggesting that the “main goal of the trial is psychological torture.”

Sen. Tommy Tuberville
Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama at the trial on May 13.

Tuberville came to the trial alongside Vance, where he derided jurors as being “supposedly American.”

He later told the conservative network Newsmax that he came to the trial to help Trump “overcome this gag order.”

Gov. Doug Burgum was the 2nd VP contender to show up.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum at the trial on May 14.

Burgum — another VP contender whose political stock has been on the rise recently — attended the trial on Tuesday, May 14.

He and the other Republicans in attendance quickly made waves on social media for wearing apparently matching outfits.

Gov. Burgum calls hush money trial a “sham trial” and a “scam trial.”

— Emmanuel Touhey (@EmmanuelTouhey) May 14, 2024

Vivek Ramaswamy showed up, too.
Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy at the trial on May 14.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the tech entrepreneur and 2024 presidential candidate, showed up to the trial on the same day as Burgum.

He also happens to be a vice presidential contender — albeit, a lower-tier one.

House Speaker Mike Johnson
Johnson speaking to reporters outside the trial on May 14.

The highest-ranking Republican to visit the trial has been House Speaker Mike Johnson, who traveled to Manhattan on the same day as Burgum and Ramaswamy.

The speaker delivered a series of remarks — including slamming the district attorney, the judge, and Michael Cohen — without taking questions afterwards.

“He is soon to be officially the nominee of one of the major parties in our country,” Johnson said of Trump. “Running for president, and they have him tied up here in this ridiculous prosecution. That is not about justice, it’s all about politics, and everybody can see that.”

He concluded by insisting that he came to the trial “on my own” because he’s “deeply concerned about this.”

Over a dozen other House Republicans have also shown up
Nine House Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, attended the trial on Thursday, May 16.

On Thursday, May 16, the biggest crop of House Republicans yet attended Trump’s trial.

That included Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who was met with chants of “Beetlejuice” as she took to the microphones outside the courtroom.

I’ll never stop standing up for President Trump, even if I’m the last one standing.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) May 16, 2024

Here are the 14 rank-and-file House Republicans who’ve attended the trial so far:

Andy Biggs of ArizonaLauren Boebert of ColoradoMichael Cloud of TexasEli Crane of ArizonaByron Donalds of FloridaMatt Gaetz of FloridaBob Good of VirginiaDiana Harshbarger of TennesseeCory Mills of FloridaNicole Malliotakis of New YorkRalph Norman of South CarolinaAndy Ogles of TennesseeAnna Paulina Luna of FloridaMike Waltz of Florida

The top law enforcement officials in Iowa and Alabama have also flocked to a criminal defendant’s defense.
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird speaks to reporters outside the trial on May 13.

One other intriguing cohort of trial attendees: two Republican state attorneys general.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall were among the cohort of Republicans who attended the trial on Monday, May 13.

Their attendance is particularly striking: both are the top law enforcement officials in their respective states, and they’re publicly taking the side of a criminal defendant in another state.

Both may be seeking to burnish their credentials with the MAGA-right ahead of future gubernatorial or US Senate races.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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