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Trump allies join forces to hammer ‘sham’ trial ‘weaponized’ against 45th president: ‘Political persecution’

Allies of former President Donald Trump, including former 2024 presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, slammed the ongoing NY v. Trump trial as a “sham” promoted by Democrats ahead of the 2024 election. 

“I learned a lot from being in there in person. It is one of the most depressing places I have been in my life. But it is fitting because the only thing more depressing than the environment of that courtroom is what’s actually happening in there. It’s straight out of a Kafka novel. The prosecution’s main strategy appears to be to bore the jurors into submission. And if you look in that direction, sadly, it may appear to actually be working,” Ramaswamy said Tuesday outside the New York courthouse, adding that the case is “politicized persecution.” 

“The whole case that Alvin Bragg has brought depends on one premise for them to charge this as a felony, is that Donald Trump somehow should have used campaign funds to make an allegedly personal payment. Yet if he had done that, their case against him would be even stronger. This is garbage.… It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. This is a sham. This is not the United States of America. This is some third-rate banana republic,” Ramaswamy said.

Florida Rep. Cory Mills, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Ramaswamy, Donalds and House Speaker Mike Johnson joined Trump in court on Tuesday. A Trump campaign official told Fox News Digital that the supporters all volunteered to join Trump in court to support their friend, and were not invited by the campaign.

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Trump trial press conference

Rep. Byron Donalds speaks during press conference outside NY v. Trump trial  (Fox News)

“There’s nothing that has been wrong here. Nothing that has been done poorly by President Trump. The only thing that’s being done wrong is by this judge. His daughter is making money, raising money for Democrats, and all of the fundraising emails, and all the fundraising things are about this trial that his daughter is using. He won’t recuse himself. This is a travesty of justice. This is a misuse of the justice system,” Donalds said during the press conference. 

Trump allies in court

Representative Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, from left, Doug Burgum, governor of North Dakota, US House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, and Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management, watch as former US President Donald Trump, center left, and Todd Blanche, attorney for former US President Donald Trump, center right, speak to members of the media (Curtis Means/Daily Mail/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Trump’s legal team had previously demanded presiding Judge Juan Merchan’s recusal from the case, citing that Merchan’s daughter works as a Democratic consultant.

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Mills slammed the trial as “the weaponization of what was the Department of Justice,” and Burgum called the case “election interference” that is “tying up the president for being out on the campaign trail.”

The allies joining Trump Tuesday follow fellow supporters such as Ohio Sen. JD Vance, New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, and Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville who attended Trump’s trial on Monday. 

JD Vance speaks to press

Senator JD Vance, a Republican from Ohio, second left, Senator Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, left, and Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican from New York, second right, speak to members of the media outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York, US, on Monday,  (Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Trump is in court for his 17th day of the trial on Tuesday. The case focuses on Cohen paying former pornographic performer Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged 2006 extramarital affair with the then-real estate tycoon. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime.

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Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case and has maintained his innocence. 

This week began with testimony from Cohen, who is considered the prosecution’s star witness in the case. The former Trump attorney detailed to the court that he spent his own funds to pay Daniels $130,000 in order to execute a non-disclosure agreement and obtain rights to her claims of an affair. In October 2016, according to Cohen’s testimony, he told Trump that Daniels must be paid in order to quiet her claims ahead of Election Day the following month.

Trump speaks outside court

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media alongside his lawyer Todd Blanche at his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to an extramarital affair with Stormy Daniels, at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 14, 2024 ( Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Cohen’s testimony also included how he secretly recorded Trump in 2016 regarding another payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. McDougal also claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which the 45th president has repeatedly denied. Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker purchased exclusive rights to her story to bury the claims ahead of the 2016 election, according to trial testimony. 

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Cohen’s testimony comes after Daniels took the stand last week, and detailed to the court that she met Trump in 2006 at Lake Tahoe in Nevada during a celebrity golf tournament. She alleged that the pair had sex in Trump’s hotel room during the event, which Trump has repeatedly denied in public comments. Daniels’ testimony also included describing to the court how she got into the pornography business after working as an exotic dancer as a teenager.

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is expected to testify on Monday. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Legal experts subsequently sounded off that Daniels’ testimony was irrelevant to the case and that it should not have been admitted into the record. Trump’s legal team twice moved for a mistrial, but was denied.

MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTION

Stormy Daniels stands in front of a pink background

Piers Morgan’s planned interview with Stormy Daniels is back on after the adult film star postponed it last week due to some security issues.  (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Burgum added during the Tuesday press conference that while the trial continues, allies of Trump’s will continue campaigning for the 45th president as Americans deal with spiraling inflation under the Biden administration. 

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“We’re all here today because of the circus of this trial. But I want to say a word to those Americans out there that are dealing with Biden’s inflation. And when their paychecks aren’t helping them get through the end of the month because they’re paying more for their gas and their food. They’re paying more for their electricity. I want them to know that while this trial is going on, there’s many of us around the country that are out helping campaign for President Trump to make sure that the message gets through,” Burgum said in closing remarks. 


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