Trump trial veepstakes? Trump allies show up in force ahead of Michael Cohen’s second day of testimony

Former President Trump’s unprecedented trial in Manhattan is featuring support from GOP lawmakers and politicians who have been floated as potential running mates for Trump’s 2024 run. Outside the courtroom Tuesday, Trump was flanked by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida Rep. Cory Mills and former 2024 GOP contender Vivek Ramaswamy, all of whom are defenders of the 45th president and could be in the running as potential vice presidential picks. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson also notably appeared in support of Trump’s battle against 34 counts of falsifying business records, Fox News Digital reported. “Vivek is here right now, so he can speak for himself – he said, ‘This is a sham trial. It’s politically motivated. It’s an assault on the leading candidate for U.S. president.’… He’s going to talk to you. The speaker of the House is here. We have Byron Donalds, Cory is here. We have a lot of great people here to talk to you,” Trump said outside of the courtroom Tuesday. MICHAEL COHEN TESTIMONY TO CONTINUE AFTER EX-LAWYER REVEALS SECRET RECORDINGS OF TRUMP IN NY TRIALThe lineup comes after the former president was joined Monday by Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who has also been floated as a potential running mate, New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and his son Eric Trump. Eric Trump is also in court with his father again Tuesday. Trump is back in court Tuesday for his 17th day of the trial, where the court is expected to again hear from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. MASSIVE TRUMP BEACH RALLY IN DEEP-BLUE NJ DRAWS STARK CONTRAST TO BIDEN’S BEACH WEEKEND: ‘BIDEN COULD NEVER’Monday was an action-packed day in court, hearing testimony for the first time from Cohen. The case focuses on Cohen paying former pornographic actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.TRUMP BLASTS ‘HIGHLY CONFLICTED’ JUDGE AFTER MICHAEL COHEN’S FIRST DAY OF TESTIMONY WRAPSProsecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime.Cohen took the stand Monday morning, and detailed to the court that he spent his own funds to pay Daniels $130,000 in order to execute a non-disclosure agreement and obtain rights to her claims of an affair. In October 2016, according to Cohen’s testimony, he told Trump that Daniels must be paid in order to quiet her claims ahead of Election Day the following month. He testified that he spoke with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg about how to fund the payment, with Weisselberg saying he was not in a position to initially foot the bill. Cohen said he did not discuss the matter with his wife, and decided to gather funds through a home equity line of credit instead of drawing the money from his personal account. MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTIONCohen’s testimony also included how he secretly recorded Trump in 2016 regarding another payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. McDougal also claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which the 45th president has repeatedly denied. Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker purchased exclusive rights to her story to bury the claims ahead of the 2016 election, according to trial testimony. Cohen said he secretly recorded Trump in September 2016 as proof Trump planned to reimburse Pecker for purchasing the potentially damaging story, according to the testimony. Cohen added that in addition to easing Pecker’s mind that he would be repaid, he also made the recording in order to keep Pecker “loyal” to Trump. TRUMP, DEFENDERS SHOW UP IN FORCE AHEAD OF COHEN TESTIMONYThe large showing of Trump allies this week comes as Trump has played coy with the press as to who he will select as his veep, only telling the media the selection will be made ahead of the Republican National Convention in July. “This weekend, we had 15 people…. They’re all out there campaigning,” Trump told Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin last week after a closed-door fundraiser in Florida. “It might actually be more effective this way because, you know, every one of them thinks they could be chosen, which I guess possibly is so.”MICHAEL COHEN’S CREDIBILITY ISSUES, BRAZEN TIKTOK USAGE RAISE MEDIA EYEBROWS AHEAD OF TESTIMONY MICHAEL COHEN EXPECTED TO TAKE THE STAND AS NY V. TRUMP TRIAL RESUMESOn Monday, Vance, Malliotakis and Tuberville held a brief press conference outside the courthouse, where they railed against the gag order imposed on Trump amid the trial, which prevents him from speaking publicly about witnesses and family members of court officials. Trump was found in violation of the order on 10 separate occasions, resulting in a combined $10,000 fine, with presiding Judge Juan Merchan warning Trump could face jail if he continues to violate the order. “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,” Vance said. 
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