Updated May 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump loyalists follow him from Mar-a-Lago to Manhattan during hush money trial

Illustration of a group of people in business attire all wearing red ties

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The New York courthouse hosting Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial has become a Manhattan Mar-a-Lago as the former president's allies have flocked to the trial to show their allegiance.

Why it matters: Earlier in the trial, Trump reportedly sulked about not having supporters by his side and how it's impeded his ability to court donors and campaign for a second presidential term.

  • His allies began to show up the same week as the first member of Trump's inner circle took the stand.

The latest: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) accompanied Trump on Thursday.

  • House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) joined Trump at the courthouse Tuesday in a show of support.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy, a former GOP presidential candidate and current vice presidential hopeful, joined Trump in court on Tuesday.
  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, another Trump vice presidential contender, also attended Tuesday.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) joined Trump at the court house on Monday.

  • "Americans see through this charade," Malliotakis and two other Republican representatives said in an opinion piece about the trial last month.
  • Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also joined Trump on Monday.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) attended court with Trump last Thursday.

  • He called the trial against Trump "political persecution" during a Thursday morning in a Fox & Friends interview.
  • "I support my friend," he said. "I support Donald Trump."
  • Outside the courthouse, Scott said Trump didn't ask him to attend with him.

Jeanine Pirro, Fox News host and former judge, was in the court's overflow room on Thursday.

Eric Trump, the former president's son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, was in court multiple times, including during adult film actress Stormy Daniels' testimony.

  • He called the case a "massive extortion play" in a post on X after sitting front row at the trial.

Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, joined Eric Trump at the trial late last month.

  • Patxon took to social media to call the case "a travesty of justice."

Trump advisers and aides showed up during the third week of the trial.

  • Susie Wiles is a senior adviser to Trump's 2024 campaign.
  • Dan Scavino was a White House deputy chief of staff during Trump's presidency.
  • Natalie Harp, a former One America News anchor, is an aide who often prints out news for Trump to read.
  • Jason Miller, an aide in Trump's former campaigns, rejoined his campaign after stepping down as Trump's spokesperson for some time.
  • Boris Epshteyn, former White House aide and Trump's adviser, was indicted in Arizona last month for 2020 election subversion. The Georgia special grand jury in one of Trump's other criminal cases recommended charges against Epshteyn, but he ultimately was not indicted there.

Catch up quick: Trump is on trial for a payment made to Daniels just before the 2016 election to cover up an alleged affair.

  • Daniels testified that the payments were meant to buy her silence during the 2016 campaign in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape that damaged Trump's reputation.

Go deeper: Trump's hush money trial progresses as three others hang in limbo

Editor's note: This story was updated with new developments.

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