Opinion: Bootlicking Trial Crashers Prove This Is All a Joke to Trump

Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Andrew Kelly/Reuters

The theme of Donald Trump’s defense in his New York criminal trial is that he wanted to kill the stories of his alleged sexual liaisons with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels to protect his family and his “brand”—and it had nothing to do with politics.

However, that defense is undercut by Trump’s rotating entourage of politicians making a spectacle at his trial. It’s not about family or his brand, it’s about how this case is impacting his campaign for president—just like it was in 2016 when the “catch-and-kill” scheme to bury embarrassing stories was implemented.

Boebert, Gaetz, and a Clown Car of Trump Wannabes Show Up to Trial

Since the trial began, Trump has typically had a small group of Republican elected officials accompany him to court, where they follow a similar script.

They stand behind him while he rants to the press—just before court starts for the day—about how cold the courtroom is, how he is unable to campaign, and how nobody (supposedly) is allowed to protest outside. Then, during the morning break, they go outside to perform the task for Trump that he can’t do because of his gag order—attacking Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter, Stormy Daniels, and Michael Cohen.

And they all typically leave the courthouse, declining to stay for the rest of the proceedings. When Speaker Mike Johnson showed up on Tuesday, he just read his prepared script outside and left, never even entering the courthouse.

With Michael Cohen on the stand today, Trump showed up with a much larger entourage than usual—with GOP Reps. Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Andy Ogles, Anna Paulina Luna, Eli Crane, Andy Biggs, Ralph Norman, Diana Harshbarger, Michael Cloud, and Bob Good in attendance.

Several of them made posts on X showing they were there to specifically say things that Trump cannot. Lauren Boebert—who did not appear with her son at either of his most recent criminal court dates in Colorado, where he told the judge he could not afford an attorney—was able to find time to attend Trump’s hearing though.

At the morning recess Thursday, all of the Members of Congress left the trial to make their statements outside. With hecklers yelling and jeering, each one gave separate speeches repeating the same talking points for which Trump was sanctioned—attacking Cohen, Daniels, and Judge Merchan’s daughter.

It is also interesting to note that every elected official who has appeared with Trump at his trial is either not up for re-election in 2024 or is in a very safe Republican district. Nobody running in a swing district or state has decided to put their electoral future on the line to support Trump, only people who will suffer no political costs by showing up in court for Trump.

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But that doesn’t mean there isn’t competition among the ranks. Bob Good has a serious primary challenger from the right in Virginia state Sen. John McGuire—who one-upped Good by reportedly riding with Trump to court from Trump Tower in his motorcade.

Do not mistake what these MAGA performances are. They’re attempts to delegitimize the case by making it political, as Trump stands trial for illegally manipulating an election. It was political then, and it’s political now.

Ron Filipowski is the Editor-in-Chief of MeidasTouch.com and the host of the “Uncovered” podcast.

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