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Jean-Pierre Says Trump’s Manhattan Trial ‘Related To 2024 Elections’

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


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre may have let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, when she said Tuesday that former President Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York City is “related to the 2024 elections.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., along with several other Republicans, traveled to New York City this week to attend Trump’s trial, where he faces 34 felony counts related to alleged payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

At the White House, a reporter asked Jean-Pierre during a press conference, “Was it appropriate for Speaker Johnson to show up at the trial of the former president?”

Jean-Pierre said in response that she didn’t “want to comment, obviously, as this is related to the 2024 elections.” The Hatch Act prohibits White House officials from interfering in elections, including by making comments that could influence an election.

“I can’t speak to the speaker’s schedule. That is something for him to decide,” she went on, adding: “Let’s not forget this is also connected to an independent judicial process, so I’m going to be really mindful, and he [Johnson] makes his choices on what he does with his business; that is his choice to be made.”

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Former GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy also traveled earlier this week 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 Trump in court on Tuesday, according to Fox News. He spent 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.

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

“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.

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