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Trump Trial Is Ideal Stage for Desperate Republicans to Suck Up to Him

Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Johnson, and Tim Scott are the latest to put in an appearance.

Mike Johnson and Vivek Ramaswamy stand behind Donald Trump as he speaks
Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s hush-money trial has become a real who’s who of conservatives vying for the presumed GOP presidential nominee’s favor.

Before the trial began on Tuesday, some of Trump’s former GOP nomination opponents, as well as some of the biggest players in the Republican Party, showed up to support him. Biotech investor Vivek Ramaswamy—who is reportedly under consideration to be homeland security secretary if Trump wins in November—and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, whom Trump has confirmed is on his veep long list, were at the courthouse, apparently bearing no ill will toward the man who overwhelmingly defeated them in the 2024 Republican primaries.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who never performed above single-digit support in the primaries, also came out to back Trump. As did House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is not a running mate contender but enjoyed Trump’s support during a chaotic bid to oust him from the speakership.

They all join Senators J.D. Vance and Tommy Tuberville, who appeared with Trump outside the courtroom on Monday.

A majority of Trump’s high-profile attendees have refused to provide direct answers in recent weeks when questioned about whether they’ll accept the November election results. Scott, for his part, refused six times to give his answer on the issue during an interview on Meet the Press. The show of loyalty is a significant rejection of the rule of law in favor of power in Trump’s potential administration—and it’s especially poignant in the face of his first criminal trial.

Trump is accused of using Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Trump’s Biggest Donors Behind Group Doxxing Pro-Palestine Students

These Republican billionaires are backing a shady group harassing college kids.

A student (back to the camera) is draped in a Palestinian flag. Others are in the background wearing keffiyehs and a Palestinian flag.
Ying Tang/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Accuracy in Media, a deliriously named far-right group known for doxxing students, revealed that some of Donald Trump’s biggest donors are among its top contributors. The conservative donors were revealed by the group’s 2022 tax returns reviewed by CNBC. The group reported $1.9 million in contributions between May 2022 and April 2023, according to CNBC.

According to the tax returns, family foundations for Richard Uihlein, the conservative billionaire founder of shipping supply company Uline, and Adam Milstein, a real estate executive, both gave $10,000 to Accuracy in Media. The Adolph Coors Foundation, the charity for the Coors brewing family, reportedly donated $15,000. As CNBC reported, these foundations are all regular donors to Republican campaigns.

Included in Accuracy in Media’s tax filings is an eye-popping $1 million donation from GOP megadonor Jeff Yass. Accuracy in Media disputes the accuracy of Yass’s donation, which appears on two pages of the group’s tax filings, and claims its presence is an error, for which it blamed its accountant.

Accuracy in Media is best known for its “doxxing trucks”—LED trucks the organization hires to circle college campuses such as Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and more. The trucks depict images of students, faculty, and staff and falsely accuse them of being antisemitic for espousing pro-Palestine views or engaging in activities calling for a cease-fire.

One student featured on the trucks filed a lawsuit in November against Accuracy in Media and its founder Adam Guillette for defamation, civil rights violations, and more. In late October last year, Jewish students at Columbia University protested the presence of the doxxing truck, where it regularly visited for weeks before branching to more campuses.

Accuracy in Media blamed its accounting firm, JBS & Co., for the inadvertent disclosure of the right-wing benefactors behind its doxxing trucks and harassing web pages created to single out students opposed to Israel’s devastation of Palestine. JBS & Co. told CNBC the information it filed, including the disputed presence of Yass’s $1 million donation, was provided to it by Accuracy in Media. To date, none of Accuracy in Media’s tax filing information has appeared on its own LED truck.

Michael Cohen Confirms Damning Note on Trump’s Hush-Money Payments

Donald Trump’s former fixer is using this trial to expose everything about Trump’s hush-money scheme.

Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Michael Cohen verified handwritten notes in court during Donald Trump’s hush-money trial Monday detailing the former president’s payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The notes were written on a bank statement of a wire transfer of $130,035, the amount of money paid to Daniels, with Cohen’s help, to prevent her affair with Trump from becoming public before the 2016 election. One note in Cohen’s handwriting shows how a $50,000 payment for tech services was added to the wire transfer amount for a total of $180,035. An additional note on the statement in Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg’s handwriting shows that subsequent amount being “grossed up” to $360,000 so Cohen would avoid federal taxes.

Cohen, Trump’s former fixer and attorney, testified that he had been reimbursed for legal expenses from the Trump Organization before, but it had not been “grossed up” in those cases. Cohen’s testimony corroborates exactly what another key witness testified last week when he took the stand.

Former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney also confirmed these handwritten notes, as well as other notes that McConney took on Trump stationery. Like Cohen, McConney also couldn’t recall another time when a reimbursement for expenses was doubled for tax reasons. At the time, Trump lawyer Emil Bove tried and failed to have the reasons behind the inflated payment to Cohen stricken from the record.

Prosecutors hope that this paper trail, confirmed by Cohen’s testimony, makes it plainly clear to the jury that Trump, through Cohen, paid off Daniels and then attempted not only to hide the payment but to make sure that reimbursing Cohen wouldn’t be exposed or reduced by taxes, and was fully involved in the entire process. Trump faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime, and has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Michael Cohen Just Blew Trump’s Hush-Money Case Wide Open

Cohen just made it very hard for Trump to claim he didn’t know about the payments.

Donald Trump looks to the side
Sarah Yenesel/Pool/Getty Images

It’s only the first day of Michael Cohen’s hush-money trial testimony, and he’s already put a huge nail in the coffin of Donald Trump’s legal defense.

In opposition to everything Trump’s attorneys have attempted to argue, Cohen testified Monday that Trump knew every detail about the $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. In fact, not only did Trump sign off on the payments to cover up his affair with Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election, but he personally promised to pay Cohen back for them.

Cohen said that when he agreed to pay Daniels out of his own pocket, Trump promised to reimburse him.

When prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked if Cohen would have paid Daniels without first getting Trump’s approval, Cohen said no.

“Everything required a sign-off from Mr. Trump,” Cohen told the court. “But on top of that, I wanted the money back.”

That’s counter to what Trump’s attorneys have attempted to argue, which is that the funds came from Cohen alone and that Trump was not aware of the hush-money payments. But other witnesses in the criminal trial have made similar accusations, including Daniels’s former attorney Keith Davidson, who testified that he understood at the time the agreement was drawn up that the ultimate source of the money would be Trump.

The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Michael Cohen Reveals Trump’s Gross Reaction to Stormy Going Public

Michael Cohen isn’t holding back in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial.

Michael Cohen walks
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

When Donald Trump heard that Stormy Daniels intended to sell her story of their affair, he thought it would be a disaster—but only because it would hurt what women thought of him, while men would think it was “cool,” Michael Cohen testified Monday.

“This is a disaster—a total disaster—women will hate me. Guys they think it’s cool, but this is gonna be a disaster for the campaign,” Trump said, according to his ex-fixer and attorney’s testimony during the former president’s hush-money trial Monday.

According to Cohen, Trump’s polling with women was poor following the release of the infamous Access Hollywood video, where he ​​described women’s bodies with obscene language and bragged about forcing himself on them. Cohen recalled Trump telling him that Daniels going public would be a disaster, and Trump later ordered Cohen to “get control over it.”

Cohen would end up helping to pay off Daniels to keep the affair under wraps until after the 2016 presidential election.  

During her testimony last week, the adult film actress revealed salacious details about her 2006 tryst with the president, including how Trump didn’t use a condom and compared her to his daughter Ivanka. Daniels also said she used an excuse to avoid sex a second time with the former president. Despite the likelihood of these details coming to light with Daniels going public, Trump apparently thought men would appreciate that he had an affair with a porn star. This misogynistic view of extramarital sex lines up with how Trump framed the Access Hollywood video as “locker room talk” with the help of a suggestion from his wife, Melania.

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime, and has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

You Won’t Believe Melania Trump’s Reaction to Access Hollywood Tape

Michael Cohen says she helped come up with the Trump campaign’s response.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump stand next to each other
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Michael Cohen offered new insight Monday into Donald Trump’s infamous “locker room talk” defense about the Access Hollywood tape—and who allegedly came up with it.

While testifying on the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial, Cohen dished out details pertaining to the Access Hollywood tape that nearly tanked Trump’s chances at taking the White House in 2016. In the bombshell recording, Trump can be heard bragging about forcing himself on women, telling interviewer Billy Bush that he would “grab them by the pussy” and describing their bodies and the way he ogles at them with obscene language.

The tape’s release shocked the nation—so much so that media coverage of Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in 2016, fell to the wayside. But Trump’s campaign was salvaged by one line that continues to bolster disgusting, misogynist rhetoric employed by private citizens and public figures across America: It was just “locker room talk.”

“I don’t think you understood what was—this was locker room talk,” Trump said at the time in an aimless apology. “I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”

But it wasn’t Trump who cooked up the campaign lifeline. Recalling a conversation he had with the former reality TV star, Cohen claimed that the spin actually came from Melania Trump.

“And the spin that he wanted put on it was that this is locker room talk, something that Melania had recommended, or at least he told me that’s what Melania had thought, and use that in order to get control over the story and minimize the impact on him and his campaign,” Cohen testified.

Read more about Trump's behavior towards women:

Michael Cohen Completely Throws Trump Under Bus in Hush-Money Trial

The key witness in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial has taken the stand.

Michael Coen walks as photographers in the background capture photos of him
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Michael Cohen has not held back while testifying against his former boss Donald Trump.

Trump’s ex-fixer and attorney took the stand Monday in the former president’s hush-money trial in Manhattan and proceeded to show in great detail some very strong evidence against the former president.

Cohen told the court that he overheard Trump’s conversation with former tabloid magnate David Pecker about paying to suppress a story that Trump had an affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, debunking Trump’s assertions that he has no knowledge of any such payments.

Cohen also testified that he directly discussed an agreement to pay off McDougal with Trump, who was very happy to hear when it was finalized.

Early on in the trial, Cohen provided secret recordings of the former president discussing the financial particulars of the hush-money payments at the center of the case, showing the extent of Trump’s involvement in suppressing negative stories about himself in advance of the 2016 election. On Monday, Cohen authenticated one such recording regarding the payments to McDougal.

Cohen’s testimony has been eagerly anticipated by Trump’s critics as it could potentially damage the former president more than that of the other witnesses in the hush-money trial, as Cohen carried out the alleged hush-money payments on Trump’s behalf. Earlier in his testimony on Monday, Cohen testified that Trump didn’t use or have an email address out of fear that emails could provide documented evidence against him. Cohen’s testimony shows that such evidence existed in other forms anyway.

Trump faces 34 felony charges in the hush-money case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime for the payments, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Michael Cohen Says Trump Warned Him About This Creepy, Horrific Detail

Trump worried “a lot of women” would want to share negative stories about him.

Donald Trump looks forward
Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

Around the start of his 2016 campaign for president, Donald Trump warned his closest advisors that there would be a tidal wave of negative stories coming out about him—especially from women, his former fixer Michael Cohen said Monday.

While on the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial, Cohen recalled a revealing conversation he had with Trump just before he announced his campaign, in which the former reality TV star warned him that they could see a spike in sexual assault allegations.

“You know that when this comes out, meaning the announcement, just be prepared, there’s going to be a lot of women coming forward,” Cohen said Trump told him at the time.

And come forward they did. At least 26 women have accused Trump of touching them inappropriately, with some accounts dating back decades. Several have come forward into the public eye to advance their allegations against the three-time GOP presidential nominee, often risking the ire and relentless harassment of Trump’s cult-like following.

Yet just a couple have found relative success in holding him accountable. Writer E. Jean Carroll was the first woman whose case against Trump made it to a courtroom. She won big against Trump last May when a jury unanimously found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming her, awarding her $5 million in damages, and again in January when another jury decided he owed her $83.3 million for defaming her a separate time.

But her justice still hangs in the air. Trump has posted a $92 million bond to appeal the ruling, while Carroll has become a villain in Trumpworld, suffering relentless online vitriol slung by his frenetic base.

Trump has issued individual and blanket denials to the abuse allegations, often claiming that the women were paid to lie about the stories. Meanwhile, Trump was reportedly paying women including porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to stay silent about their sexual encounters.

Daniels is the only other woman to testify against Trump in a court. She gave bombshell testimony last week about her relationship with the former president and the payment she received to keep quiet about it. In fact, some of Trump’s other accusers have been contacting each other in light of Daniels’s testimony, discussing how much they related to her story.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Read about one of the women who has come forward:

Michael Cohen Reveals Totally Normal Reason Trump Never Had an Email

Trump’s former fixer is taking the stand in his hush-money trial and exposing everything.

Michael Cohen
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t have an email address—because they’re just like a paper trail, says his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

Cohen was called to the witness stand Monday morning in Trump’s hush-money trial in Manhattan, and he quickly revealed the damaging details about how Trump viewed emails.

“Mr. Trump never had an email address,” Cohen said. He quoted Trump saying to him that “emails are like written papers. There are too many people who have gone down” because “prosecutors” had access to their emails.

Words like these are not how innocent people speak regularly, and this kind of revelation does not portend well for Trump for the rest of Cohen’s testimony, which has been eagerly awaited by Trump critics for its potential to be some of the most damaging to the former president.

Cohen allegedly made payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf to cover up their affair so it wouldn’t damage his run for president in 2016. Cohen has since cooperated with prosecutors not just in the hush-money trial but also spent more than 50 hours talking to investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump investigation. Earlier in the hush-money trial, Cohen provided evidence that possibly destroyed Trump’s defense in the form of secretly recorded conversations of the former president showing that he had detailed knowledge of the payments to Daniels. Trump faces 34 felony charges in the hush-money case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime for the payments, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Cohen has made no secret of now holding disdain for his ex-boss, calling him “Von ShitzInPantz”and a “racist jackass who referred to African nations as ‘shithole countries.’” Trump is stewing over a gag order preventing him from attacking Cohen and other witnesses in the case, as well as court staff and their families.

Michael Cohen Says He Lied for Trump … and That’s Not the Worst of It

Trump’s former fixer reveals the extreme lengths he went to over the course of his job.

Michael Cohen walks
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen testified Monday that he regularly bullied and harassed people who posed a threat to his boss’s ambitions—and his efforts were all rewarded.

While on the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial, Cohen admitted that completing “the task” was the only thing that mattered while working for Trump, specifying that lying for him “was needed” and that bullying Trump’s opposition was also sometimes necessary “in order to accomplish the task.”

“The only thing that was on my mind was to accomplish the task to make him happy,” Cohen said, adding that he was rewarded for the aggressive behavior by being given more power in Trump’s organization, including through job titles and seats.

Cohen described Trump as a “micromanager” who was aware of his every move and said that the pair spoke “every single day, and multiple times a day.” Other times, Cohen would communicate with Trump via one of his other close confidants, including his former assistant Rhona Graff, Trump Organization employee turned director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller, Trump’s children, or Hope Hicks.

Those admissions are not good for Trump’s legal team, who have attempted to frame the former president as an individual completely unaware of the behind-the-scenes actions intended to clean up his public profile ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier this month, Hicks testified under subpoena that Trump understood it was prudent to bury the hush-money scandal before the election—even after Trump claimed he had no knowledge of the hush-money payments.

“Mr. Trump’s opinion was that it was better to be dealing with it now and it would’ve been bad to have that story come out before the election,” Hicks said.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.