Tiffany Trump finally shows up to support dad as hush money trial comes to a close

Members of the Trump family came out to support the former president as closing arguments began in his hush money trial on Tuesday morning.

Donald Trump Jr, Tiffany Trump, Eric Trump, and Lara Trump were all seen standing behind the former commander-in-chief at Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday, before taking their seats directly behind Mr Trump alongside legal adviser Alina Habba. It was a rare sighting of Mr Trump’s younger daughter, Tiffany Trump, and her husband Michael Boulos. Meanwhile, former First Lady Melania Trump, Barron Trump, and Ivanka Trump have been conspicuously absent from the trial.

Mr Trump faces allegations that he falsified business records to cover up a hush money payment to adult actor Stormy Daniels issued just before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an affair with Mr Trump that took place about a decade previously. Mr Trump has rejected that the affair ever took place and has pleaded not guilty.

The former president has called the case, and the 34 charges against him, a “scam” pushed by his political opponents to keep him away from the campaign trail.

The at-times salacious and provocative testimony in the trial went on for five weeks. The prosecution is now hoping that they will have convinced the 12-strong jury of Manhattan residents that the misdemeanor charges that Mr Trump faces should be converted to felonies because the supposedly unlawful actions were carried out in furtherance of another crime – namely to keep important information about then-candidate Trump from the electorate and thus subverting an election.

Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, Eric Trump, and Lara Trump listen to Donald Trump speak to the media on 28 May at Manhattan Criminal Court (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, Eric Trump, and Lara Trump listen to Donald Trump speak to the media on 28 May at Manhattan Criminal Court (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen testified during the trial that Tiffany Trump was targeted in an extortion plot in 2016. During cross-examination, Trump attorney Todd Blanche suggested that a 26 October 2016 phone call may have been about something other than the payment to Ms Daniels.

Cohen said he remembered speaking with Ms Trump and David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer, regarding an alleged blackmail attempt against her.

“You handled it and spoke to Mr Pecker, and Ms Trump about it and spoke with general counsel at AMI to shut this down?” Mr Blanche asked.

“Yes, to Pecker and Ms Trump about it to figure out a way to shut it down,” Cohen replied. But he said this conversation was about Ms Daniels and not about Ms Trump.

“My recollection is that I was speaking to him about Stormy Daniels because that was what he tasked me with and that’s what I was working,” he said.

Trump allies Steve Witkoff, Will Scharf, and Deroy Murdock were also seen at the court on Tuesday.

A long line of Trump allies have made the trek to New York to support the former president, including congressional Republicans such as Reps Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Byron Donalds, and Speaker Mike Johnson.

Others include running mate hopefuls such as North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

As he spoke in the hallway at the Manhattan Criminal Court before entering the courtroom, Mr Trump repeated his regular talking points, slamming Judge Juan Merchan as “conflicted” and corrupt. He also read from conservative opinion pieces from Jonathan Turley of Fox News and from Andy McCarthy.

“The judge never allows us anything,” Mr Trump said.

“We had an election expert who was going to say everything was perfect,” he added. “I could give you a list of 40 people who would say the same thing.”