Jury Will Note Melania Trump’s Absence From Donald’s Trial: Legal Analyst

The jury in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial will take note of former first lady Melania Trump’s absence, according to former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Joyce White Vance.

Trump is facing trial after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged him with falsifying business documents to cover up a hush money payment allegedly made to adult film actor Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. Bragg’s office alleged the payment was intended to prevent her from speaking publicly about her claims of having an affair with Trump.

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels and pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges. He has accused Bragg of targeting him for political purposes.

While several high-profile Republican politicians, including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance and Rep. Lauren Boebert, have made appearance at his trial, several members of his family have not appeared in the courtroom in the month since jury selection began.

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 16, 2024, in New York City. A legal analyst said the jury would take note that Trump’s wife, Melania, has not attended his hush…

Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images

On Thursday, Vance, who served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama under President Barack Obama and has previously been critical of Trump amid his legal cases, warned that the jury will take note that Melania Trump has not attended the trial in a post to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

“In court with Trump today: Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz. When you can get these two but not your wife in court, it’s got to register with the jury,” Vance posted.

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Newsweek on Thursday he agrees that the jury will notice her absence.

“It has to be incredibly embarrassing for Melania to hear evidence of Trump’s affair with an adult film actress without using protection. There was additional damaging testimony about them sleeping in separate rooms and Trump saying that he wouldn’t be on the market long if Melania divorced him,” he said.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for response via email.

It remains unknown if Melania Trump plans to attend at any point for the rest of the trial. Her former aide Stephanie Winston Wolkloff told CNN this week that she does not believe Melania will attend.

“Melania is Melania’s own person,” she said. “In regards, again, to a marriage that you want to consider to be something that most people are trying to still understand, don’t. I do not see her supporting him this way …. I think you can feel that humiliation without having to put yourself in front of the cameras. Everything Melania does is staged.”

Meanwhile, Eric Trump has so far been the only Trump child to show up to court.

Mary Trump, the former president’s estranged niece, questioned why Donald Trump Jr. has not shown up to the trial during an MSNBC interview Wednesday night. However, she said it is less surprising that Ivanka Trump has not attended.

“Ivanka made the calculation a long time ago that it was not in her best interest to remain in anyway associated with the rest of her family. She doesn’t need them. All of these relationships are transactional, and she is a legitimately wealthy person because of the person she’s married to,” she said.