Thin crowd of pro-Trump supporters gathers outside hush money trial courthouse

NEW YORK — A small crowd of a few dozen flag-waving Donald Trump supporters mixed with a smattering of anti-Trump protesters outside Manhattan Supreme Court as the historic first criminal trial of a former U.S. president kicked off Monday.

Andrew Giuliani, son of former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, stood among the fans of his “uncle figure” and repeated Trump’s familiar refrain that the hush money case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is nothing more than election interference.

Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and others in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

“This is the first time in the history of America that you have the leading presidential candidate being politically prosecuted by a political opponent,” Giuliani Jr. said. “And it’s very scary if we think about the future of our constitutional republic.

“The more opportunities that people have to actually see just how much he is being politically persecuted, I think it helps him,” Giuliani added.

On the other side of the political spectrum was Marc Leavitt, a lawyer and political satirist who stood on a bench in Collect Pond Park playing the National Anthem and “Yankee Doodle” on the flute.

The 70-year-old described Trump as a “scourge on our democratic system” while holding a sign that read: “Trump is a narcissist liar who thrives on violence but is only a coward draft dodger who grabs other people’s money. The Truth: Trump lost.”

“Today is a great day for the rule of law. It’s a great day for a trial. It’s a great day for democracy,” Leavitt said. “No man or woman is above the law, certainly not our former embarrassment-in-chief.”

Dion Cini, 55, a Sheepshead Bay resident who runs a website selling Trump-related merchandise, said the former president has the 2024 election in the bag “as long as the Democrats don’t cheat as much as they did last time.”

“They just overshot,” Cini said of the justice system and Trump’s several criminal indictments. “They should have done one indictment, maybe two indictments. But I mean, how obvious can you get?”

Asked why there wasn’t a better turnout for Trump outside the courthouse, Cini replied: “They’re afraid of the FBI.”