Trump allies, potential VP contenders flock to Manhattan courthouse

Political allies of former President Donald Trump, many of whom may be vying for future office with him, have begun attending to the undercover New York money criminal. trial Entering its fourth week, it highlights how Trump tried to make New York his campaign trail in the wake of his required court presence.

Former Trump Republican rival and now staunch supporter Vivek Ramaswamy is expected to be in court on Tuesday, according to his spokesman. His appearance follows the attendance of Republican Sens. J.D. Vance and Tommy Tuberville, New York GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, and the state’s Republican attorneys general – Steve Marshall of Alabama and Brenna Byrd of Iowa – on Monday. Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott traveled with Trump to court last week.

Those who appeared with Trump highlighted the former president’s gag order, which prohibits him from speaking about potential witnesses, jurors, prosecutors or court staff and their families.

Trump has already been found to have violated the gag order 10 times, and now as Judge Juan Merchant threatens Trump with potential prison time if he violates the order again, lawmakers in court have begun launching attacks on his behalf.

on monday, VanceViewed as a contender for Trump’s vice presidency, he tried to discredit Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, Which was witnessed on Monday.

“This man is a convicted felon,” Vance said of Cohen outside the Manhattan courthouse. “Would any sane, rational person believe anything Michael Cohen says?”

He continued: “The thing that the president was prevented from saying, which is a disgrace, is that practically every person involved in this trial is a democratic political activist.”

Politicians’ statements began to echo Trump’s previous statements and talking points. The former president previously shared several articles attacking Judge Merchan’s daughter, a digital advertising consultant with Democratic clients, before prosecutors requested, and were granted, an expanded gag order to include family members.

The appearances were also a show of loyalty as Trump waded through a vast list of possibilities Ticket buddies He said in April that he did not plan to choose a vice presidential nominee anytime soon.

“Well, I’m in no rush and we’ll do it sometime during the convention, but we have a lot of great people in the Republican Party,” Trump said. Interview with ABC affiliate WPVI in AprilWhen asked about a potential vice presidential candidate.

Agents were able to use their visits to New York to make media appearances to repeat Trump’s political and legal messages while he remains stuck in court. At the same time, it gives them a chance to prove themselves as potential candidates.

Vice presidential candidates also appeared alongside Trump at the limited campaign events he held during his days off from court. They have also been featured guests at numerous fundraisers.

Last weekend, while rallying in Wildwood, New Jersey, Trump brought up “something” with North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, who then endorsed Trump. Suspending his presidential bid late last year. Burgum was also a guest speaker over the weekend.

“He made his money in technology, but he probably knows more about energy than anyone I know, so get ready for something,” Trump said. “Okay, just get ready. But Doug Burgum was amazing.”

In fundraising emails over the past few weeks, the Trump campaign has been asking his supporters who they want to see as his running mate, while at the same time soliciting small-dollar donations out of their curiosity about who it would be — even as the previous one was. The president himself has repeatedly said he does not plan to make his announcement until closer to the Republican National Convention this summer.

Now, in the coming weeks, a slew of vice presidential candidates will also join him at fundraisers as he courts wealthy donors during his time away from court.

On Tuesday, Republican Sens. Tim Scott and Marco Rubio and GOP Govs. Burgum and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem are set to join Trump at a high-profile fundraiser in Manhattan, hosted by billionaire financier Howard Lutnick.

Other major Republican donors and fundraisers are co-hosting, including former Trump ambassadors Duke Buchan, Woody Johnson, Cyril and Charles Kushner, billionaire John Paulson, who hosted a fundraiser in Palm Beach last month where Trump raised $50 billion, and John Catsimatidis, owner of WABC. . who reportedly canceled Rudy Giuliani’s radio show over false election claims.

On Wednesday, his day off from trial, Vance will join Trump again, this time at a fundraising luncheon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Then later that day, Trump will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, for another fundraising dinner, hosted by Joe Craft and former Ambassador Kelly Craft.

On Thursday, Trump is required to have a day in court, but on Friday, May 17 — the day he took the day off from court to attend his son Barron Trump’s graduation — Trump is scheduled to headline a fundraiser in Minnesota for the Lincoln-Reagan Party Dinner Republican in the state.

The fundraiser comes as Trump has publicly complained several times that his impeachment trial is preventing him from traveling to battleground states. However, Trump has spent Spend Most of his days off from court he attended closed-door meetings, and he has only held three rallies since the start of his trial — two of which came on the same day.

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

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