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  5. Melania Trump still hasn't shown up at the hush-money trial, but a long list of GOP elites have visited her husband in court

Melania Trump still hasn't shown up at the hush-money trial, but a long list of GOP elites have visited her husband in court

Natalie Musumeci,Laura Italiano,Jacob Shamsian,Bryan Metzger   

Melania Trump still hasn't shown up at the hush-money trial, but a long list of GOP elites have visited her husband in court
  • Donald Trump is on trial in NY in relation to a hush-money payment to a porn star.
  • Despite his wife Melania Trump's absence, various GOP elites have shown their support in court.

Former President Donald Trump has still not had the courtroom support of his wife Melania Trump at his New York trial on criminal charges related to a hush-money payment made to a porn star.

And though the former first lady has been a no-show since the trial began more than four weeks ago, a long roster of GOP elites and dignitaries have lined up — literally — to rally behind Trump in a chilly 15th-floor downtown Manhattan courtroom.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee had his largest posse yet on Tuesday, as his defense team readied to cross-examine his attorney-turned-nemesis Michael Cohen — the prosecution's star witness in the case.

Ex-GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, House Speaker Mike Johnson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. Cory Mills of Florida, as well as Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump, and his wife and RNC cochair, Lara Trump, were among the Republican allies to join the former president at the courthouse Tuesday.

Donald Trump has welcomed all the support from his advocates who have flocked to the grimy criminal courthouse.

"I do have a lot of surrogates, and they are speaking very beautifully, and they come from all over Washington, and they're highly respected, and they think this is the greatest scam they've ever seen," Trump told reporters in the courtroom hallway Tuesday morning as his entourage stood several feet behind him.

Outside the courthouse, Johnson slammed the trial and Cohen, saying, "No one should believe a word he says today."

Johnson said prosecutors had Trump "tied up here in this ridiculous prosecution" as he is "soon to be officially the nominee of one of the major parties in our country."

"That is not about justice, it's all about politics, and everybody can see that," the house speaker said.

The DNC jumped at the chance to criticize Donald Trump's massive posse who showed up to court on Tuesday.

"Trump's pathetic band of MAGA extremists seemingly have nothing better to do than echo Trump's lies and nod approvingly in the background — because they certainly aren't doing their day jobs of serving their constituents or running a functional political operation," Alex Floyd, the DNC rapid response director, said in a statement.

Eric Trump has been the only Trump kid to show up in court

So far, Eric Trump has been the only one of Donald Trump's children to attend his father's trial. The younger Trump has made a handful of courtroom appearances.

On Monday, while seated in the front row of the courtroom, he took the opportunity to live-tweet as Cohen was questioned by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger.

"I have never seen anything more rehearsed!" Eric Trump posted on the social media site X about Cohen's testimony.

With the courtroom packed on Tuesday, Eric Trump gave up his coveted front-row seat to Donalds.

A day earlier, when Cohen first took the witness stand Monday, Donald Trump had the courtroom support of other right-wing loyalists, including Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

"Does any reasonable, sensible person believe anything that Michael Cohen says? I don't think that they should," Vance told reporters outside the courthouse.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have also backed Trump in the courtroom.

"They might as well just convene the GOP convention here," MSNBC's Katie Phang, who was also there, quipped in a post on X on Tuesday.

Conservative media personalities, including Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and Andrew Guiliani, the son of Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have made courtroom appearances as well.

High-profile left-leaning media figures, like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell, have graced the courtroom, too.

CNN's Anderson Cooper has also attended the trial.

Legal experts have told Business Insider that it's Melania Trump's presence at her husband's trial that could be the most "powerful." It remains to be seen if she'll show up.

The prosecution is expected to rest its case later this week.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office allege Donald Trump illegally disguised records reimbursing Cohen for a $130,000 hush-money payment made to the adult film actor Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 election.

The payment, prosecutors say, was to buy Daniels' silence over a one-time sexual encounter the porn star says she had with Donald Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel suite in 2006 during a celebrity golf tournament. Donald Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.

Prosecutors hope Cohen's testimony will bolster their argument that Donald Trump orchestrated the payment to Daniels as part of an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

"There was no crime," Donald Trump railed Tuesday as he spoke to reporters in the courtroom hallway. "Everybody is saying there's no crime. But I've been here for almost four weeks in an icebox — I call it the icebox — listening to a judge who's totally corrupt and conflicted."

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