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“They’re defending the crimes he committed:” Former Florida Republican slams Congress members for “bending a knee” to Trump at New York trial


Florida – As the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump unfolds in New York, a notable number of Republican House members from Florida and other states have opted to leave their legislative responsibilities to show their support in the courtroom.

They're defending the crimes he committed Former Florida Republican slams Congress members for bending a knee to Trump at New York trial

Allies Gather Around Trump

Trump’s inability to speak directly about the trial has led him to utilize a network of supporters to relay his perspective. Among them were his son Eric Trump, who questioned the relevance of Daniels’ explicit details, and Senator Rick Scott of Florida, who accompanied Trump to one of the trial sessions.

According to The Hill, prominent figures from Florida, such as Reps. Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, and Mike Waltz, and from other states, Lauren Boebert (CO), Andy Biggs (AZ), and Eli Crane (AZ), were spotted in the courtroom. Others, including Reps. Andy Ogles (TN), Ralph Norman (SC), and House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (VA), were also present, signaling a significant show of solidarity from Trump’s congressional allies.

Congress in the Courtroom

During a House Judiciary Committee meeting, US Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) took a sharp jab at his absent GOP colleagues. He highlighted the irony of their presence in New York instead of participating in votes and hearings in Washington. “It’s nice to see that some of my colleagues on the other side could make it today. I don’t know if that means that there weren’t enough seats in the courtroom in New York. I know some members will miss this vote because they want to be at the [former] president’s trial,” Swalwell remarked.

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Swalwell further criticized the lawmakers for neglecting their congressional duties, suggesting that their actions epitomize the phrase ‘do-nothing Congress.’ “I don’t think that anything could animate the phrase ‘do-nothing Congress’ more than missing votes and cancelling hearings to go up and be a spectator at your cult leader’s trial,” he added, labeling their behavior as a clear neglect of their legislative responsibilities.

Media and Political Commentary

The scenario also caught the attention of the media and former political figures. In a conversation with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, former US Representative David Jolly from Florida — who has since distanced himself from the Republican Party — discussed the broader implications of the GOP lawmakers’ actions. Wallace pointed out that no one defended Trump’s initial conduct, yet now his allies defend the crimes committed to cover up that conduct.

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Jolly emphasized the absence of the large-scale support Trump has often claimed. “Look who’s not there! The thousands of protesters that Donald Trump asked to come to his side,” Jolly observed, noting the lack of widespread public outrage or support for Trump at the trial. He criticized the attending members of Congress for their undue loyalty, viewing it as an act of subservience rather than a genuine defense of justice or democracy.

“The millions of Americans that he says are outraged by this, Speaker Johnson, and the back bench members of Congress say that they are there representing. Nobody else really cares about this. They’re not out there trying to defend Donald Trump. They’re hoping the matter goes away, which then leads to this question, which you posed, about how emasculating it is for members of Congress to show up to this trial simply to bend a knee to the former president, and show loyalty, either out of some sort of patronage opportunity, or for the act of consideration for a spot on the ticket,” Jolly added.

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Jolly also expressed concerns about the impact of such actions on the integrity of Congress and the judicial system. “We’ve seen the Speaker of the House go to an active trial, and now to see the members follow him there, and essentially try to interfere with the administration of justice, to tell the American people that the courts now are corrupt, to try to undermine the judiciary,” he stated, describing these actions as a grave threat akin to the insidious behavior that led to the January 6th Capitol riot.

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