After parade of support, one Trump family member was at verdict

Eric Trump stands in the background at the New York City courthouse

Throughout his historic seven-week criminal trial, several of Donald Trump’s family members accompanied him to court in a show of strength and support.

But in the end, there was just one: Eric.

The day the jury reached a verdict, Mr Trump’s second son was the only relation in the courtroom, absorbing the 34 declarations of “guilty” from a seat directly behind his father.

As court adjourned for the last time, Eric Trump stood. The family patriarch grasped his son's chest, before walking out as a convicted felon. The younger Trump trailed behind him.

The first two rows behind the defence table were closely scrutinised throughout the trial. They were occupied at various points by Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s eldest son; Lara Trump, his daughter in law and co-chair of the Republican National Committee; and on the day of closing arguments, Tiffany Trump, his youngest daughter who rarely engages in politics.

Eric Trump, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, attended the trial more than any other family member.

Outside of court, Donald Trump Jr frequently was his father’s megaphone to media, echoing claims of a politically motivated prosecution, and on social media – including a TikTok filmed with his father on the first day of deliberations.

“This case was rigged from the start,” the eldest Trump child declared on X after the verdict.

But the absences were more notable. The two highest-profile women in Trump’s life did not attend a single day.

Wife Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, never appeared at 100 Centre Street. And they have remained all but invisible in the verdict’s aftermath.

The former first lady of the United States also did not put out a statement after a New York jury found that Trump had broken the law by covering up a payment to an adult film star who claims that she and Trump had sex in 2006.

The sexual encounter that Stormy Daniels described in explicit detail in the courtroom allegedly occurred just four months after Melania Trump had given birth to their son, Barron. The payment was aimed at preventing her from going public just before the 2016 election with the story.

During Ms Daniels' testimony, she discussed the sexual encounter she claimed to have with Trump in his hotel room in Lake Tahoe in Nevada while both were attending a golf tournament there.

Ms Daniels said on the stand that Trump's mention of his wife during their meeting was "very brief".

"He said, 'Don't worry about it, we actually don't even sleep in the same room,'" she told the court.

She also testified that during their hotel meeting, they discussed her childhood and her adult-film work, and Trump showed her pictures of his wife. Ms Daniels said she responded that his wife was ''beautiful''.

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks also took the stand to be grilled about a Wall Street Journal story alleging affairs with multiple women, including Playboy model Karen McDougal and Ms Daniels.

She said Trump worried about the story. "He was concerned how it would be viewed by his wife and he wanted me to make sure that the newspapers weren't delivered to their residence that morning," she testified.

Toward the end of April, Trump during his usual pre-court comments mentioned Melania Trump. CBS reported that he wished her a happy birthday and said he was heading to Florida that evening to be with her.

CNN reported that Trump's wife and their son were in New York when the verdict came down.

Ivanka Trump, who had followed her father to Washington to serve as a top White House aide, has conspicuously withdrawn from political life after her father’s presidency ended with an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

She has made only the briefest appearances in his legal dramas. Her lawyers successfully fought to have her severed from her father’s civil business fraud trial last year, which ensnared her brothers. When she appeared as a witness, it was for one day of soft-spoken testimony, before she returned to her Florida home.

After her father was convicted on Thursday, Ms Trump posted a photo of him holding her as an infant, with the caption, “I love you dad.”

She used the Instagram platform’s Story feature, and so the post was only available for a fleeting 24 hours before disappearing forever.

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