HomePoliticsRepublicans are flocking to Trump's trial to attack the judge, the court...

Republicans are flocking to Trump’s trial to attack the judge, the court and the law

WASHINGTON – Republicans in Congress have found a new way to prove their loyalty Donald Trump: flocks to New York City and attacks the American justice system in the courthouse where his criminal hush money trial is underway.

Nearly a dozen Republican lawmakers spent Thursday away from work in Washington and hanging out in a Manhattan courtroom where the Republican presidential hopeful is. facing 34 felonies of falsifying corporate records to conceal payments made to keep porn actor Stormy Daniels quiet about an alleged extramarital affair with Trump a decade before he ran for president.

The goal of the Republicans going to Trump’s trial is simple: to be seen on television bashing the court, the judge, the witnesses or the laws in general – whatever it takes to get credit for the fight on his behalf. It amounts to a party-wide embrace of the grievances once held only by Trump, and an attempt to link the entire Republican Party to the former president’s victim narrative.

“I want all news to start asking the question: What is the crime?” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), one of the lawmakers in the courthouse on Thursday, shouted at the end of a press event they loved. “The suspect does not know the crime that was committed!”

“Beetle juice!” one heckler shouted back, a reference to Boebert being kicked out of a musical production of the film last year for vaping and groping her date.

House Republicans showed up at Trump's hush money trial on Thursday, making sure they went on television and took credit for attacking the US justice system on behalf of their party leader.

House Republicans showed up at Trump’s hush money trial on Thursday, making sure they went on television and took credit for attacking the US justice system on behalf of their party leader. Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

In the weeks since the trial began, Trump has alternated between the two to sleep through procedures and violating a gag order – 10 times – which prevents him from commenting on witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, the judge, the Manhattan district attorney or their family members. He has been repeatedly fined and warned of a possible prison sentence if he continues.

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Meet Trump’s most die-hard supporters in Congress, who, especially in an election year, are eager to work with him and carry out his attacks on the rule of law.

“This is a fabricated crime!” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) falsely claimed during the press event with Boebert. He accused one of the witnesses in the case, Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, of lying. He called the judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, “this corrupt judge” and accused his family members of also being corrupt.

“We see today the lengths the Democratic Party will go to try to rig or steal another election,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, falsely claimed at the meeting. “They tried it in 2020. They’ll do it again in 2024 by trying to keep the nominee off the ballot.”

In fact, Trump tried to steal the 2020 presidential election by spreading a lie about widespread voter fraud. one of 147 Republicans in Congress who voted to throw out the election results to help Trump steal them.

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“You have a corrupt prosecutor. You have a corrupt key witness. You have a corrupt judge,” Good said, and that is exactly what Trump would like to hear. “This is an unfair, sham trial.”

JEENAH MOON via Getty Images” data-src=https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/RUCgu16T7yYHtn5bkKJ2ew–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the_huffington_post_584/ 188e4d2908b4cf2dd21c0b862892c304>

“I’m in the picture, I’m in the picture!” — something Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) likely said in his head as he positioned himself to appear in a photo with Donald Trump during the former president’s criminal hush-money trial. JEENAH MOON via Getty Images

The Republican lawmakers who came to Trump’s trial on Thursday are here two days after Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) decided he would also should appear. Johnson, who is a lawyer and was the architect of the Republican plan to reject the 2020 election results, called Trump “a friend” and said the case against him is nonsense.

“I called President Trump and told him I wanted to be here myself to call out what a travesty of justice is,” Johnson said. a press event on Tuesday outside the courthouse. “This is the fifth week that President Trump has been in court for this sham trial.”

“I am disgusted by what is happening here,” Johnson added, saying the justice system is being “abused” during Trump’s trial. There is no evidence of this.

The Republicans who went to Trump’s trial have parroted many of the same attacks on the judge and the judge’s family, and on the credibility of witnesses. One reason for that may be that Trump edits the talking points and gives them to his allies to discuss outside the courtroom. A New York magazine journalist said he saw Trump do that this week.

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Cory Mills (R-Fla.), who was part of a group of Republican lawmakers who went to Trump’s trial on Tuesday, disputed the idea that the Republican presidential candidate is ordering his allies to say things he is not allowed to say because of his gag order .

“It’s almost insulting, by the way, when people try to pretend that we as members of Congress who draft legislation are not smart enough to come to our own conclusions,” Mills told HuffPost. “I find it insulting when it almost seems like we’re being told that we’re puppets here because we can’t come up with our own original thought process.”

In addition to trying to curry favor with Trump, some Republicans are also coming to his trial because they are auditioning to be his vice presidential pick. They include former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

Back on Capitol Hill, some Republicans grumbled about their colleagues skipping work just to draw media attention to themselves for supporting Trump. So many Republican lawmakers went to New York City on Thursday that the House Oversight Committee had to postpone a hearing.

“I think they’re affecting our schedule, and that’s a problem,” said one House Republican, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “She wants to be in the spotlight. There are workhorses and show ponies here.”

A handful of Senate Republicans have expressed similar sentiments.

“I think it’s a terrible mistake for our country to see people attacking our justice system,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). said Wednesday in an MSNBC interview.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) summed up the situation to HuffPost on Tuesday as “ridiculous” and left us with one question.

“Do we have anything to do here other than watch some stupid porn trial?”

Arthur Delaney contributed reporting.

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