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Live updates from Trump trial as Michael Cohen testifies for second day

Spend enough time in the courtroom here and you’ll likely hear a court clerk issue a stern warning: “If I see that cell phone again, I’ll ask you to leave.” »

According to court rules, members of the public are not allowed to use their phones. They can’t even get them out of their pockets in the room. No need to glance at text messages, order lunch, or even just check the time.

But there was Vivek Ramaswamy, the entrepreneur and former presidential candidate, sitting among a group of Republican lawmakers Tuesday, listening to his phone.

Ramaswamy is part of a steady stream of Republican politicians who have come to watch parts of the trial in recent weeks. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and Senators JD Vance and Tommy Tuberville were in attendance in recent days.

This morning’s entourage includes North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Representative Byron Donalds and Representative Cory Mills. House Speaker Mike Johnson was seen arriving with Trump outside the courtroom and spoke to reporters during the trial.

Some of the lawyers in the group – the attorneys general, for example – seemed to know by nature that phones are frowned upon in court. Vance, the junior senator from Ohio, was nonetheless glued to his camera Monday.

Maybe the court doesn’t want to fight a senator or congressman. But what about Ramaswamy? Or Susie Wiles, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, who also spent long minutes looking at her phone? Why are they allowed to use their phones while other members of the public are not?

The answer lies in where Trump’s guests are seated. Both sides can use the first two rows of the gallery for their “teams”. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg occasionally sits on the prosecution’s side, alongside members of his team and even a retired former prosecutor who once worked on the case.

By and large, those sitting in front are officers of the law. Ramaswamy is not. However, because he sits in one of Trump’s designated rows, he is now technically part of Trump’s hearing team and is therefore free to withdraw.

News Source : www.cbsnews.com
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