Mike Johnson, Doug Burgum & other Republicans join Trump hush money trial in show of solidarity - Hindustan Times
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Mike Johnson, Doug Burgum & other Republicans join Trump hush money trial in show of solidarity

May 14, 2024 07:31 PM IST

US House Speaker Mike Johnson has joined former President Donald Trump at his hush money trial in Manhattan on Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said.

Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson has joined former President Donald Trump at his hush money trial in Manhattan on Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said.

Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson is joined by former President Donald Trump at his hush money trial in Manhattan on Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said.(AP)
Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson is joined by former President Donald Trump at his hush money trial in Manhattan on Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said.(AP)

Johnson, the top Republican in Congress, is the latest and most senior party member to attend the proceedings, in which Trump is charged with trying to cover up a payment to an adult film star in the final weeks of his 2016 presidential campaign.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, widely seen as a possible Trump running mate, were also due to attend on Tuesday, along with hardline House Republicans Byron Donalds and Cory Mills and former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Ahead of Cohen's second day testimony, Trump said: “The gag order has to come off— There’s never been anything like this in our country. It’s a scam.”

Trump has already drawn support in the form of personal appearance from several Republicans on Capitol Hill including Republican Senators Rick Scott, J.D. Vance - another potential Trump vice president - and Tommy Tuberville.

On Monday, Vance, Tuberville and House Republican Nicole Malliotakis stood behind Trump in a courthouse hallway as he railed against the proceedings, the judge and his November rival, Democratic President Joe Biden.

Outside the courtroom, the lawmakers echoed Trump's theme that the prosecution is politically motivated and have attacked the credibility of Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, a star witness in the case.

Cohen returns to the stand for more testimony

Trump’s fixer-turned-foe returns to the witness stand and could face a bruising round of questioning from the former president’s lawyers as soon as Tuesday.

Michael Cohen's testimony on Monday linked Trump to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. He's the prosecution’s star witness.

Trump’s lawyers will get their chance to begin questioning Cohen as early as Tuesday.

Cohen placed Trump at the center of the hush money scheme, saying he had promised to reimburse money the lawyer had fronted for the payments and was constantly apprised of the behind-the-scenes efforts to bury stories feared to be harmful to the campaign.

Text messages, audio recordings, notes and more have all been introduced or shown to jurors in recent weeks to illustrate what prosecutors say was a scheme to illegally influence the election that year. And sometimes dramatic testimony from witnesses that included former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, ex-Trump staffers and porn actor Stormy Daniels added to the intrigue.

(With agencies input)

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