Witnesses offer rare insight into Donald Trump’s marriage with Melania

Donald Trump’s trial has offered a rare new look at his marriage to Melania, provided by witnesses from his inner circle.

The former president, now the first to be convicted, ended his marriage to the 54-year-old ex-model following chilling allegations from former porn star Stormy Daniels about a one-night stand in 2006.

Unlike some of Trump’s children, Melania Trump did not attend the trial, which took place in Manhattan court.

One witness who was close to Trump during his 2016-2020 presidency described their relationship as “just like any other marriage”.

On evenings when Trump was busy in the Oval Office, his personal secretary, Madeleine Westerhout, often called the first lady.

“To tell her she was late,” Westerhout testified at Trump’s trial. “For example, ‘Honey, I’m going to be late for dinner.'”

Westerhout, 33, who also broke down in tears as she recounted her dismissal from Trump’s team, gave a glowing account of the Trump marriage, which has been described as a relationship of mutual respect. She recalled moments when Trump would call Melania just to check in and wave to her from the Oval Office window.

However, other witnesses painted a less idyllic picture of the marriage, which has long been the subject of public curiosity and speculation. The comments by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, indicated Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward his wife’s potential reaction to allegations of his infidelity.

“Don’t worry,” Trump reportedly said. “How long do you think I’ll be on the market? Not long.”

It was also revealed that Trump and Melania slept in separate bedrooms on different floors, seemingly leading separate lives.

The trial focused on whether Trump falsified business records to hide a hushed-up payment to porn star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election.

This crime, usually a misdemeanor, becomes a felony if it is committed to cover up another crime. Prosecutors argued that the second crime was an illegal attempt to influence the election by keeping Daniels’ story from voters.

The jury convicted Trump on all 34 counts, rejecting his defense that the payment was made solely to keep Melania from finding out.

Daniels, 45, testified that Trump was not bothered by the idea of ​​his wife discovering their affair. She described meeting Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006 and later having dinner with him in his hotel suite.

When she asked about his wife, Trump reportedly replied, “Oh, don’t worry about it. In fact, we don’t even sleep in the same room.”

Her account matched that of Mary Jordan, Melania Trump’s biographer, who said the couple had separate bedrooms at both Trump properties and the White House.

She described how Trump prefers a dark color scheme and early morning TV sessions, while Melania has different tastes and habits. The former housekeeper even claimed that their rooms were on different floors.

During the trial, Daniels and other witnesses expressed doubt about Trump’s concern that his wife found out about his affairs.

She testified that Trump never asked her to keep their affair a secret, and she didn’t show much concern about his wife finding out.

David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, testified that before Trump’s presidential campaign, he was concerned about Melania and Ivanka’s reactions to negative stories. But as he began his campaign, his concern shifted to the impact of the election.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former communications director Hope Hicks offered a more nuanced perspective.

She recalled Trump’s concern over Melania reading about his alleged infidelity in the The Wall Street Journal. Hicks testified that Trump asked that the papers not be published at their residence so as not to hurt his family.

A jury eventually found him guilty of each of 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a payment designed to silence Ms. Daniels. In theory, he could be sentenced to four years behind bars for each count, but he is more likely to receive probation.

The 77-year-old Republican, who had been released without bail, is now a felon — a historic and surprising first in a country where presidents are often described as the most powerful men in the world.

But Trump is not barred from continuing his battle to oust President Joe Biden in November — even in the unlikely event he goes to prison.

His attorney, Todd Blanche, said his team is considering an appeal “as soon as possible.”

And Trump himself expressed immediate defiance.

“I’m a very innocent man,” Trump told reporters, promising that the “true verdict” would be delivered by voters on Election Day. He called the trial “rigged” and “disgraceful”.

The Biden campaign issued a statement saying the trial showed that “no one is above the law.” He added that “the threat Trump poses to our democracy has never been greater.”

Judge Juan Merchan scheduled sentencing for July 11 – four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Trump is expected to receive the party’s formal nomination.

The 12-member jury deliberated for more than 11 hours over two days before the foreman read the unanimous verdict in minutes.

Merchan thanked the jurors for completing a “difficult and stressful task.”

Their identities were kept secret throughout the proceedings, a rare practice more common in cases involving mob or other violent defendants.

Trump also faces federal and state charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which Biden won, and of amassing classified documents after leaving the White House.

However, these trials – of much more serious alleged crimes – are unlikely to begin before the presidential election.

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