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Republican lawmakers join Trump at New York hush money case

Republican lawmakers have flocked to New York City in recent days to stand alongside former President Trump as he attends his hush money trial.

Trump’s entourage on Monday included multiple members of Congress: Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) joined Trump last week for a court appearance, making the New York courtroom the latest place to curry favor with the former president and his supporters.

“Nice to see some elected Republicans standing behind him for once. Glad some Republicans could take time away from their do nothing jobs to support Trump in court today,” Laura Loomer, a staunch Trump ally, posted on X. 

Trump is under a gag order that prohibits him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and the judge’s family. But his allies in Congress are under no such restrictions, and some of them have given full-throated defenses of the former president by attacking the credibility of witnesses and the judge.

Scott, the Florida senator, has in recent days attacked the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, claiming she was a Democratic operative and that her work tainted the judge’s impartiality. Trump previously made similar remarks, but he was reprimanded after Merchan expanded the gag order.

Vance’s appearance on Monday was particularly notable given the chatter around him as a potential running mate for Trump in November’s election. He is the first major vice presidential contender to join Trump in court.

The Ohio senator, appearing Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” echoed many of Trump’s claims that the case against him is politically motivated and that he did nothing wrong.

“I think that when you look at all of these attacks on Donald Trump, you have to be honest with yourself and say, this is not about law and this is not about justice,” Vance said.

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