Speaker Johnson defends Trump outside ‘sham’ New York trial

Johnson, the highest-ranking Republican in Congress, was in criminal court with Trump on Tuesday morning. After commuting with Trump in his motorcade from Trump Tower, the speaker read a statement in nearby Collect Pond Park where he said he was “deeply concerned” about “this sham of a trial.”

“I told him I wanted to be here myself to call out what is a travesty of justice,” Johnson continued, “President Trump is a friend and I wanted to be here to support him.”

His appearance comes less than a week after Trump helped save Johnson’s speakership after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a staunch Trump ally, attempted to oust him. Trump spoke privately to Greene and urged her to drop her push to oust Johnson — though Greene went on to trigger a vote to oust him, which Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly rejected.

Throughout his remarks, Johnson stuck to Trump’s script where he discussed the length of the trial preventing Trump from the campaign trail.

“They are doing this intentionally to keep him here and keep him off of the campaign trail,” Johnson said.

In addition to Johnson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Vivek Ramaswamy, and GOP Reps. Byron Donalds and Cory Mills also attended court Tuesday and also spoke to reporters in Collect Pond Park.

Burgum, who never commented on any of Trump’s criminal charges while on the primary presidential campaign trail, was quick to call the trial “election interference.”

“I think one thing that we’ve all known is this was a sham trial, but when you have an opportunity to see it up close and personal, you can see it’s actually a scam trial,” Burgum said, speaking on his time spent in the courtroom this morning.

“I think the only conclusion, of course, is its election interference, and it’s tying up the president for being out on the campaign trail.”

Ramaswamy promised to continue supporting Trump if he is found guilty — later saying others should do the same.

“I am ashamed as an American citizen to sit here in a courtroom watching the former leader of the free world, and let’s be honest, likely next leader of the free world, sitting with the indignity in this dingy third rate courtroom,” Ramaswamy said outside the courthouse.

Eric Trump, one of Trump’s sons, has been attending court to support his father. On Tuesday, his wife and RNC Co-Chair Lara Trump joined him for the proceedings.

“They view this as a scam,” Trump said about his court guests after court proceedings finished on Monday. “I think it’s a terrible thing that’s happening to democracy in this country.”

Trump was flanked with guests on a pivotal day in his court proceedings as his former-fixer Michael Cohen resumes his testimony. Cohen testified on Monday as well.

Johnson attacked Cohen’s credibility.

“This is a man who is clearly on a mission for personal revenge, and who is widely known as a witness who has trouble with the truth,” Johnson said.

Trump’s show of force comes as he has attempted to maximize his campaigning abilities while he sits in the courtroom with his guests giving statements attacking the case and witnesses, something Trump is barred from doing under his gag order, while also pushing out campaign talking points.

The increase in guests to court comes as Trump previously complained about the lack of supporters surrounding the courthouse, blaming the lack of attendance on security procedures. While supporters are allowed in the park across from the courthouse, few have shown up.

ABC News’ Kendall Ross and Kelsey Walsh contributed to this report.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *