At Least 9 Republican Lawmakers Are at Trump's Trial, Which Might Pose a Headache for Republicans

Nine Republican lawmakers went to New York to be in court with former President Trump on Thursday. This is part of a trend of GOP lawmakers attending the hush money trial.

The decision could put the attendance of GOP members at risk for an important vote later in the day. This comes after the House Oversight and Accountability Committee rescheduled a hearing to help them attend court.

Representatives Matt Gaetz from Florida, Lauren Boebert from Colorado, Andy Biggs from Arizona, Mike Waltz from Florida, and Eli Crane from Arizona were seen in the courtroom. Representatives Andy Ogles from Tennessee, Anna Paulina Luna from Florida, Ralph Norman from South Carolina, and House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good from Virginia were also seen at the Manhattan courthouse.

Boebert and Gaetz were seen sitting in the front row of the gallery, next to Eric Trump and the Secret Service agents of the former president. Good was also sitting in the front row, on the opposite side of Trump’s security team.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna from Florida, Rep. Andy Ogles from Tennessee, Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida, Rep. Andy Biggs from Arizona, and Rep. Lauren Boebert from Colorado were present at Manhattan criminal court in New York on Thursday, May 16, 2024, as former President Donald Trump made an appearance. The photo is credited to Mike Segar and was taken by a pool photographer.

There are five more lawmakers sitting in the second row, which is also where Trump’s guests sit.

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However, there wasn’t enough room for everyone in the entourage to sit, so Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn asked some lawmakers to sit in the back of the room.

Several lawmakers were talking a lot after they entered the courtroom, especially during the multiple sidebars that started Thursday’s proceedings.

As the jurors came into the room, Boebert turned her body to keep facing them while they walked to the jury box. Although they are part of a large group, the lawmakers are simply the most recent GOP figures to attend the trial. Speaker Mike Johnson (La.) has also attended.

The trip to New York is happening on a day that was supposed to be busy, especially for the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. Both had planned morning hearings for a major Republican goal: to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

A source confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday that the Oversight schedule was changed at the last minute so that the lawmakers could go to New York.

Trekking to Trump’s trial means that Gaetz and Biggs will not be able to attend the Judiciary hearing on the matter. However, Oversight members like Boebert and Luna may be able to attend the hearing, which has been rescheduled to 8 p.m. EDT.

A spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee told The Hill on Wednesday that the markup is now starting at a different time to accommodate members’ schedules, due to conflicts.

Returning late could cause problems for House Republicans. The chamber will be voting at 4 p.m. on a bill that aims to undo Biden’s decision to restrict certain arms transfers to Israel. The White House has stated that Biden would reject the bill.

Some Democrats initially showed support for the measure, but now Democratic leaders are actively opposing it. Heavy absences by Republicans could make it difficult for GOP leaders to successfully complete their goal.

Several Republican lawmakers, such as Reps. Byron Donalds, Nicole Malliotakis, and Cory Mills, and Sens. JD Vance and Tommy Tuberville, visited the Manhattan courthouse this week. Additionally, potential Trump running mates like North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Vivek Ramaswamy were also present.

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