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Former President Donald Trump complained about lack of support from his allies at the beginning of his hush money trial, but as the trial progressed, more and more of his supporters began showing up in the Manhattan courtroom. While Trump did not ask anyone to attend the trial, word of his frustration spread, prompting his staunchest defenders to spring into action. GOP senators and House members have traveled to New York to show their support for Trump, even coordinating their outfits to demonstrate unity. Trump’s team has been fielding interest from lawmakers and organizing campaign stops with Trump supporters before and after trial appearances.

Attending the trial alongside Trump has become a new litmus test for loyalty within the GOP ahead of November, offering participants the opportunity to score points with Trump and gain visibility. It has also become an audition for a potential future role in a Trump administration, as evidenced by the presence of North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, both on the shortlist for vice president. Members of the House Freedom Caucus, some of Trump’s closest allies, have also made the pilgrimage to New York to support Trump, meeting with him before court proceedings and joining him in his motorcade.

The attending GOP lawmakers paid their own way to New York, with the Trump campaign not footing the bill for their travel expenses. Lawmakers left their day jobs behind to be in attendance at the trial, with so many Republicans in New York that there were more House Democrats present on Capitol Hill for a period. The House Judiciary and Oversight committees had significant business to attend to, and some GOP members missed crucial meetings and votes due to being in New York supporting Trump.

During the Oversight committee meeting, tensions escalated with GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene sparking outrage by attacking Democratic representatives, leading to a heated exchange. Greene’s frustration with her colleagues, who publicly supported Trump during his trial but have not always backed Trump-favored policies she has pushed, became evident. Greene was particularly annoyed with GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, who attended Trump’s trial and later voted with Democrats to prevent Greene from speaking further during the committee meeting. Boebert defended her actions, emphasizing the importance of serious business and accountability in government proceedings.

Overall, the support shown for Trump at his trial has showcased divisions within the Republican Party, with lawmakers juggling their support for Trump with their duties in Congress. The trial has become a focal point for GOP loyalty, with participants hoping to curry favor with Trump and potentially secure future roles in a Trump administration. The influx of Trump supporters in New York has highlighted the continued influence and appeal of the former president within the Republican Party, setting the stage for further political maneuvering and alliances as the November election approaches.

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