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Mike Johnson and Vivek Ramaswamy: Republicans flock to court to show they stand with Trump


When Donald Trump’s criminal trial began, his courtroom entourage consisted of a gaggle of lawyers and campaign aides. This week, it’s started to look more like a preview of July’s Republican National Convention.

With Michael Cohen, Mr Trump’s former lawyer and pivotal witness for the prosecution, on the stand, the number of prominent Republican officeholders in attendance has expanded dramatically.

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson – the top Republican in the US – met the former president at the courthouse in Manhattan, greeting him with a smile and a nod. Then, while the hush-money trial was still ongoing, he gave a brief statement to the press outside.

“I am disgusted by what is happening here,” he said, “what is being done to our entire system of justice.”

Mr Trump denies 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. New York prosecutors are using a novel legal theory to argue that the alleged cover-up amounts to election interference.

Mr Johnson called the trial a “sham” and a “disgrace,” said Cohen was a proven liar, and claimed that Mr Trump was being targeted by his political opponents to keep him off the presidential campaign trail as he tries to win back the White House. He even boasted about the size of the crowd at Mr Trump’s Saturday campaign rally in New Jersey.

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