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Gaetz invokes Trump’s call to far-right Proud Boys at hush-money trial

Matt Gaetz echoed Donald Trump’s infamous remarks about the far-right Proud Boys on Thursday, as the Florida Republican congressman and other rightwing supporters of the former US presidentattended his criminal trial in Manhattan.

“Standing back, and standing by, Mr President,” Gaetz wrote on social media, with a photo of his group of supporters standing behind Trump outside the court where Trump is on trial on election subversion charges arising from hush-money payments to an adult film star during the 2016 campaign.

The Proud Boys, a “western chauvinist” group, were involved in street violence during Trump’s years in power, clashing with leftwing protesters.

Identifiable by their black and yellow colors, they participated in the attack on Congress of 6 January 2021, when Trump told supporters to “fight like hell” to block certification of his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden, in service of Trump’s voter fraud lie.

Proud Boys leaders convicted of crimes including seditious conspiracy are among hundreds of rioters jailed over the attack.

Trump faces jail himself if convicted in New York, where he faces 34 charges, or in three other cases containing 54 more criminal counts, concerning election subversion and retention of classified information.

Gaetz offered a form of a famous Trump utterance. In a debate with Biden in September 2020, the then president was asked if he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups who clashed with social justice protesters that summer, following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

Trump said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa [anti-fascist groups] and the left.”

Amid uproar about an apparent endorsement of violent

Read more on theguardian.com