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The Trump Trial Circus



ZOEY YI (COHOST): Since the Trump Hush Money trial started last week, journalists from all over the world have packed the courtroom in downtown Manhattan to cover every move of the drama inside. 

 

TOMASSO BARONIO (COHOST)But what about the drama outside the courtroom? Pascal Hogue spent a day outside the courthouse to report on the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the Trump trial: the supporters of the former President, his opponents, and everyone in between.


PASCAL HOGUE:


The trial starts at 9:30, but it’s 6 in the morning, and there are already about fifty journalists waiting in line across the street from the courthouse.

 

It’s chilly but Robert Samuel has seen worse.


ROBERT SAMUEL:

 

Not hard. We’ve done zero degrees for Hamilton tickets so this is child’s play.


HOGUE:


Samuel is the owner of Same Ole Line Dudes LLC. Media organizations pay him and his team of 30 linesitters to queue up as early as midnight. 

 

SAMUEL:


So we feel like we’re making a dent in history you know helping the reporters that we’re waiting for reporting on the events that’s going on inside. 

 

HOGUE:

 

Samuel typically charges 25 dollars an hour to wait in line – for things like Cronuts and Lucali Pizza. But for the Trump trial – he’s charging double that – plus a 15 dollar premium for unexpected things. As he says this, he’s interrupted by a guy on a bike screaming at the top of his lungs. 

 

SAMUEL:      

 

Oh God. See, this is the kind of stuff that puts you on edge. // The crazies are out. Because of that reason is why we have the Premium. 

 

HOGUE:

 

The professional line sitters are only one sign of the circus unfolding here. The Trump hush-money trial has drawn an eclectic mix of people over the past two weeks around the courthouse.


It’s ten to nine, the media frenzy reaches a fever pitch as Trump’s motorcade arrives at the courthouse. The journalists head inside and the only ones left waiting are “regular” New Yorkers like Alejandro Maher. 

 

ALEJANDRO MAHER:

 

I’m an attorney, so this is my neck of the woods. I’d be stupid not to give it a shot. To see the opening statements. 

 

HOGUE:

 

But Maher’s surprised that so few people are in line.

 

MAHER:

 

I was expecting more people from the public trying to get in. This is it? I mean the whole New York City this is it? I’m surprised. 

 

HOGUE:

 

Right behind Maher is Andrew Giuliani – son of the former New York City Mayor. Trump is  a family friend.

 

ANDREW GIULIANI:

 

Almost like an uncle figure. And so here personally supportive of him.

 

HOGUE:

 

That’s why he wants to see the opening statements. 

 

GIULIANI:

 

I want to see for my own two eyes the judge, his mannerisms. I certainly have my suspicions with the judge. This is a sad and historic day in the history of our country. 


It’s now 10:30am - the line to get in is totally gone…now it’s just the protesters. 


MARC CRAWFORD LEAVITT:

 

This is a great day for democracy. A great day for the rule of law. 


HOGUE:


Marc Crawford Leavitt is wearing a sparkling, star-spangled banner jacket and a sign that says “Trump is a liar.” 


LEAVITT:


And I’m happy to be a New Yorker and I’m happy that this trial is taking place. 

 

HOGUE:


He’s also a musical satirist.


LEAVITT:


This is a duet between Trump and Putin. Starts out with both.  

God bless Ame-Russia. Lands that we love. From the red states to the red state. From the Capitol to the Kremlin’s dome. God bless Ame-Russia, our Game of Thrones.

 

HOGUE:

 

About 15 feet away, there’s a couple dozen Trump supporters. Some are waving flags, some are chitchatting.. others are waiting for journalists to interview them.

 

ORA:

 

[HOGUE] What’s your name? 


[ORA] Ora. 


[HOGUE] And your last name?


[ORA] I don’t have to give it to you. You seem to be a left-wing reporter. 

 

HOGUE:

 

Ora is wearing a Make America Great Again hat. She’s originally from Colombia.


ORA:

 

I am Black and I am an immigrant. And I love this country.// This country embraces us, regardless of who we are. And has given us the opportunity to succeed. 

 

HOGUE:

 

Sophia – who wouldn’t say who she supports…  says she’s here to protect the democratic process.

 

SOFIA:

 

This is a travesty. This is not a trial. This is not a case. This is nonsense. 

 

HOGUE:

 

But passionate support for Trump only fills part of the long hours…It’s around noon - and Ricky Caballero has been arguing with another man about American history for a while… 

 

[FIGHT:]

 

RICKY CABALLERO 1:

 

1776 they had slaves. The civil war didn’t happen until the 1800s. 1776 there were still slaves. The founding fathers had slaves. The founding fathers had slaves.

 

PERSON 1:

 

Did they have slaves of indentured servants?

 

CABALLERO:

 

Slaves. George Washington had slaves.

 

HOGUE:

 

Amid the ruckus, Marc Crawford Leavitt takes out his flute for a patriotic tune. 

 

LEAVITT:

 

[Flute.]

 

HOGUE:


At 12:30, the court adjourned for the day. The trial – and the circus around it – is expected to last six weeks.

 

Pascal Hogue. Columbia Radio News. 

 


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