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$1.8K to stand in line: Line sitters are cashing in on Donald Trump's hush-money trial, reports say

Cameron Manley   

$1.8K to stand in line: Line sitters are cashing in on Donald Trump's hush-money trial, reports say
  • Donald Trump's hush-money trial is proving beneficial for professional line-sitting businesses.
  • Limited courtroom spots and long wait times are driving the demand for their services.

Donald Trump's hush-money trial at Manhattan's criminal court isn't being televised, and with limited spots inside the courtroom for the public and media, seats are given out on a first-come-first-served basis.

But for those who don't fancy the inevitably long queues, there's another option — hire someone to do it for you.

Professional line sitters, who will wait in line so you don't have to, have been cashing in on the former president's trial. Trump is facing 34 counts of fraud relating to a hush-money payment to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

This past week, Trump's former "fixer" Michael Cohen, the key witness behind prosecutors' "election conspiracy" theory, took the witness stand in the court, further fueling the public appetite to watch the action unfold.

Robert Samuels, who runs the line-sitting company Same Ole Line Dudes, told NBC News that the trial had meant his company had "definitely had to staff up.

The high demand for spots has also been leading to big money offers for places toward the front of the queue.

On Thursday morning, one woman who was 12th in line was offering her place for $450, while a lawyer behind had shelled out hundreds of dollars for line sitters so she could get a place in an overflow room, The New York Times reported.

The first person in line on Wednesday morning had paid $1,800 for someone to keep their spot for them, the NBC News report said.

Since the trial began, Samuels said he had doubled his prices from $25 to $50 per hour and increased the number of line standers he has available from 26 to 32, the report added.

Line sitting is a controversial practice

Professional line sitters help people wait for hugely popular events or offerings, such as buying the latest sneakers or seats at exclusive restaurants.

"Whether it's iPhones, the latest Air Jordans, or the hottest Broadway tix in town, Same Ole Line Dudes, understands your wants & needs and is here to help," Same Ole Line Dudes says on its website.

But high-profile trials are often the big moneymakers for such firms.

One Washington-based professional line stander previously told BI that the Supreme Court was one of her biggest money-spinners.

"For Supreme Court lines we charged $40 an hour per person. That was the most expensive line because it was a limited-seating event and a longer wait, and we had to plan more," she said, adding that her usual rate was $25 to $35 an hour.

"The longest we have camped out in a line was for a Supreme Court case, for three to four days. For these kinds of lines we have a group of people who rotate so that everyone gets to take a break," she continued.

But professional line standing has been a controversial practice, especially for courtroom spaces.

The Supreme Court says on its website that attorneys who are admitted as members of the Supreme Court Bar must not employ line sitters to hold their places to hear arguments.

"Only Bar members who actually intend to attend argument are allowed in line for the Bar section; 'line standers' are not permitted," it says.

Members of the public do not face the same restrictions, however.

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