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Former GOP Rival To Join Trump In Manhattan For Hush Money Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy is traveling to Manhattan to show support for the man who vanquished him and is now the likely 2024 nominee.

Ramaswamy, a multimillionaire and one-time biotech executive, joined former President Donald Trump in court on Tuesday, according to Fox News. He plans to spend the entire day with Trump, a spokesperson for Ramaswamy told the outlet.

“The best proof that the Trump trial is a sham: if DJT had done the exact *opposite* of the alleged crime, they’d still be prosecuting him & have an even stronger case,” Ramaswamy said in a statement.

He has long been considered a potential vice presidential pick by many, though Trump’s people appeared to dismiss those reports earlier this spring.

Ramaswamy has condemned the numerous prosecutions targeting Trump, asserting that the criminal justice system has been weaponized against him in a bid to obstruct his potential return to the White House.

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“Every one of these prosecutions… is backfiring,” Ramaswamy said during an April appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “These people are sick and tired of being lied to. They’re sick and tired of the lawfare.”

“I’ve talked to many Democrats who disagree with Donald Trump on many policies but believe we’re not a country where you’re supposed to use prosecutorial power to eliminate your opponents,” he added.

Other allies of the former president have attended court proceedings to demonstrate their support. Among them are U.S. Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York, and attorneys general Steve Marshall of Alabama and Brenna Bird of Iowa. Additionally, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was present with Trump in court last week.

Fox News also reported that House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) will join Trump in Manhattan.

Vance is another potential running mate, and he addressed the charges against Trump outside the courthouse in Manhattan on Monday.

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“The thing that the president is prevented from saying, which is a disgrace, is that every single person involved in this prosecution is practically a Democratic political operative,” he said during a morning break.

The case against Trump centers on the alleged falsification of business records. Prosecutors claim that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to silence her allegations of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump.

Allegedly, the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and falsely categorized the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors aim to demonstrate that Trump knowingly falsified records to commit or conceal another crime.

Several legal analysts on both the left and the right have criticized the case as a fabrication of charges against Trump because of his frontrunner status for the White House. He has characterized the Manhattan case, and three others filed against him by Democratic authorities as “election interference” designed to keep him off the campaign trail.

Trump has entered into a plea of not guilty to the allegations. Last week, Daniels testified, asserting that she encountered Trump in 2006 at Lake Tahoe during a celebrity golf tournament. She claimed that they engaged in sexual activity in Trump’s hotel room during the event, a claim that Trump has consistently denied in public statements.

On Monday, Cohen stated in his testimony that he had covertly recorded the president discussing a payment to former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker before the 2016 election. He testified that Pecker had given $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to buy her story of an alleged affair with Trump and to keep her allegations silent before the election.

Trump himself criticized Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, outside of the courtroom on Monday as well.

“We have a corrupt judge, and we have a judge who is highly conflicted, and he’s keeping me from campaigning,” he said outside of the courtroom. “He’s an appointed New York judge. He’s appointed. You know who appointed him? Democrat politicians. He’s appointed. He’s a corrupt judge and he’s a conflicted judge. And he ought to let us go out and campaign and get rid of this scam.”

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