House Democrat slams Republicans showing up at Trump trial for skipping out on work and ‘tapdancing on Broadway’


Nearly a dozen House Republicans showed up in Manhattan outside the courthouse of former President Donald Trump’s trial on Thursday, disrupting scheduled legislative business in the Capitol in the process.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), surrounded by fellow Republican lawmakers, said they were there to protest the gag order preventing Trump from speaking.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks during a news conference near Manhattan criminal court Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

“We are here of our own volition because there are things we can say that President Trump is unjustly not allowed to say,” Gaetz said. “This is a corrupt judge, these are corrupted witnesses, this is a corrupt prosecution that belies any sense of the facts or the law, and so we are going to keep speaking out against this.”

The move by House Republicans to forgo their responsibilities on Capitol Hill garnered the criticism of Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX). 

“You’re paid to be here in Washington legislating, it’s the middle of a work week,” Crockett wrote on x. “I guess we’ll hold down the fort for you while you’re tapdancing on Broadway.”

Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) offers an amendment as the House Oversight and Accountability Committee holds an organizational meeting for the 118th Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With nearly a dozen Republicans missing session on Thursday, the GOP lost its slim majority over Democrats, thus jeopardizing control of the floor. A vote was scheduled by Republicans on Thursday afternoon on a bill to rebuke President Joe Biden for pausing an arms shipment to Israel and mandating that he quickly deliver the weapons. However, the bill passed, with 16 Democrats joining in advancing the measure. 

The Republican House members’ excursion to New York led to the Oversight Committee postponing a meeting scheduled to vote on holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. Five of the panel’s members, Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Michael Cloud (R-TX), Mike Waltz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), stood in solidarity with Trump outside of the courthouse.

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) visited New York to show his support for the former president. 


Johnson’s visit prompted Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) to share with NBC News that he believes Democrats made a mistake by killing the motion to oust him, arguing Johnson’s visit to Trump’s trial in Manhattan has exposed the House speaker’s “true colors.”

“It showed his true colors and why, with good intentions, we made a mistake in strategically saving his job,” Connolly said. “Because now we have enabled him to act with impunity like he did.”

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