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Trump allies join him for Michael Cohen's secret testimony

Trump allies join him for Michael Cohen's secret testimony
Trump allies join him for Michael Cohen's secret testimony


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A coterie of Donald Trump's close Republican allies, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, appeared at the Manhattan criminal courthouse on Tuesday to show support for the former president as his lawyers tried to confuse the witness star of secret trials.

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Florida Congressmen Byron Donalds and Cory Mills filled the ranks behind the defense table at which Trump has sat in recent years. weeks, to watch lawyer Todd Blanche question fixer Michael Cohen about his desire. see his former boss behind bars.

In a series of heated exchanges, Cohen, a Trump loyalist turned nemesis, confirmed that he had previously called the defendants names such as asshole dictator and Cheeto-sprinkled cartoon villain, and that he had said that Trump belonged, in a fucking cage, like an animal. .

Cohen also admitted that he said I really hope this man ends up in prison. He confirmed he made more than $3 million selling books in which he lambasted Trump, his former employer and longtime mentor.

A courtroom sketch of Michael Cohen being cross-examined by lawyer Todd Blanche as Donald Trump looks on Reuters

Trump appeared to have his eyes closed for much of the afternoon.

The appearance of Cohen, whose payments to buy the silence of a porn actor who claimed to have an affair with Trump are at the heart of the Manhattan affair, attracted a rotating cast of campaign surrogates and possible running mates. former president, including U.S. senators. JD Vance and Tommy Tuberville, New York Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, and the attorneys general of Iowa and Alabama.

The debates, which Trump is required to attend in person most days of the week, have limited his ability to hit the campaign trail, but the presumptive Republican White House nominee nonetheless leads Joe Biden in several swing states, according to a recent review. elections, less than six months before polling day in November.

This is election interference of the clearest kind, said Trump, who is under a silence order preventing him from attacking witnesses or jurors in the case, as he left the courthouse Tuesday. It's a shame… I'm not allowed to talk about much of my case. And nothing like this has ever happened.

Johnson echoed the former president at a news conference earlier Tuesday morning, calling the New York trial a sham.

It's all about politics and everyone can see that, he said. The American people see through these politically motivated attacks.

In separate remarks outside the courthouse, Ramaswamy called the Manhattan case an injustice, adding: It's a sham, it's not the United States of America, it's a third-rate banana republic .

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson echoed the former president, calling the trial a sham.

On Monday, Cohen had described a scheme he orchestrated on Trump's behalf to buy the silence of people threatening to come forward in the run-up to the 2016 election with allegations of infidelity on the part of his former boss.

He testified that he paid $130,000 of his own money to Stormy Daniels, a porn actor who alleged an extramarital sexual relationship with Trump, after the then-presidential candidate said it would be a disaster for his campaign if his story were to be made public.

Trump is accused of falsifying records of subsequent reimbursements to Cohen.

Under questioning by prosecutors, Cohen said he regretted doing certain things during [Trump] that I shouldn't have… lied, intimidated people to achieve a goal. He added: I violated my moral sense and suffered punishment, as did my family.

Members of Trump's immediate family largely stayed away from the trial, except for his son Eric, who regularly attended. Other members of the Trump team, including lawyer Alina Habba and advisers Boris Epshteyn and Jason Miller, were often present.

It's the most bizarrely bizarre thing in conservative politics I've ever seen, former Republican congressman Reid Ribble, a Trump critic, told the Financial Times. You would normally be 100 miles away from anyone who cheats on their wife… You can see who wants to be. [vice-president].

That the Republicans, the pro-family, pro-law-and-order party, historically bow to this just seems stranger to me.

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