Donald Trump: Legal experts weigh in on the absence of his family from Stormy Daniels hush money trial

Donald Trump is currently facing a trial in the Stormy Daniels hush money case. As the ex-president appears in court, his family is visibly absent from the scene. Legal analysts weigh in on how that pans out for him.

Donald Trump Melania Trump Stormy Daniels hush money case
© Bloomberg/Getty_Images
Donald Trump Melania Trump Stormy Daniels hush money case

Donald Trump is always in the news for one thing or another - from his Ohio rally comment to his plans to change the US if he is re-elected. Amidst this a long-standing case of his alleged extramarital affair with Stormy Daniels - a woman who has made a name for herself in the adult entertainment industry - which he supposedly tried to cover.

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Reportedly, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen privately paid £94,000 to Stormy to be quiet about her fling with Trump. The former POTUS is facing criminal trial for his hush money payments and illegal business dealings.

Why is Donald Trump’s family not appearing in court with him?

After the internet trolled Trump for appearing to be sleeping on his own trial, another thing that came to notice was how he appeared in the court without his family. The third day of witness testimony for the case began on Thursday 25 April 2014 and Trump’s family has not been seen in court yet.

While it’s not clear why his family has not appeared in court to support him, many legal analysts feel it is the ‘right’ decision on his part to keep his family out of the proceedings for this case especially. Former U.S. attorney and University of Michigan law professor Barbara McQuade told Newsweek:

I think Trump is making the right decision to have no family in court. I think juries can see through the manipulative tactic of bringing family members to court as props to elicit their sympathy.
A person who really loves their family would not subject them to the pain of listening to ugly accusations and evidence against him.

The absence or presence of Trump’s family in the courtroom wouldn’t affect his case in any way but some law experts feel that having his family around would be beneficial for his case. Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg said:

Jurors are very perceptive. They can see when a defendant has the support of family and friends, and when he is isolated from them.
It doesn't help Trump that he sits alone in the courthouse, except for his staff and Secret Service.

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani adds that having family support in a case where allegations relate to an extramarital affair is essential. She added:

It won't make or break the case, but having no family there is a bad look for the former president.

How does Melania Trump feel about the Stormy Daniels case?

The absence of Trump’s family from court in the Stormy Daniels case has fueled speculation about the state of Trump’s relationship with his family, particularly Melania. Trump’s wife has made her feelings pretty clear by opting not to attend his post-arraignment speech, despite it occurring at her own house, reports Vanity Fair.

Amidst this, The New York Times’ Katie Rogers has reported that Melania has privately called the legal proceedings ‘a disgrace.’ She also believes the trial is ‘unfair’ as per the people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, Melania’s former press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Melania ‘was pissed at Trump’ when she first learned of the hush money payment, and ‘wanted him to be a little humiliated.’

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Sources Used

Newsweek: Donald Trump's Family Skipping Court 'Right' Decision, Legal Analyst Says

Vanity Fair: Melania Trump Thinks the Hush Money Trial Is a “Disgrace,” Is Probably Still Pissed at Her Husband for Allegedly Sleeping With a Porn Star: Report

Donald Trump's hush money case is putting the spotlight on marriage with Melania Donald Trump's hush money case is putting the spotlight on marriage with Melania