Judge didn’t OK Trump missing trial for rally; it was scheduled for trial break | Fact check

The claim: Post implies judge allowed Trump to miss trial for a rally

A May 7 Threads post (direct link, archive link) suggests former President Donald Trump was absent from his New York hush money trial due to a campaign event.

“The judge is totally fine with Trump missing his trial for his rally,” reads the post.

Some commenters on the post appeared to believe Trump was allowed to skip court specifically for the rally.

“Fine with his followers too,” reads part of one comment in response to the post.

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“We’ll see if the judge is OK with it come Monday,” reads another.

It received nearly 300 likes in less than a week.

Our rating: Missing context

The implied claim here is wrong. Trump’s rallies and other events have been scheduled on weekends and other days when the court is not in session. Trump has been present each day there have been proceedings in the trial.

Trump campaign has intentionally scheduled events during court breaks

In 2018, adult actress Stormy Daniels released a memoir called “Full Disclosure” in which she described her alleged affair with Trump years before he became president. Daniels was paid $130,000 in hush money by Trump’s team before his 2016 run for office to keep quiet about the purported sexual liaison.

Trump now stands trial for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up that payment ahead of the election. He has previously declared the affair never happened.

But Trump has not missed any portion of the trial to attend campaign events ahead of his 2024 presidential run.

Since the hush money trial began in mid-April, Trump’s events have been held either on weekends or during scheduled breaks. The trial has a regular weekly pause on Wednesdays, as reported by outlets including USA TODAY and CNN.

Judge Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing the hush money trial, uses the break to work on other cases, and Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche told Merchan the campaign “has taken pains” to schedule events on Wednesdays, POLITICO reported.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Waukesha Wednesday, May 1, 2024. This was Trump's second event in Wisconsin in 2024.

Trump’s first rallies held amid the trial took place in Wisconsin and Michigan on Wednesday, May 1. He also held a rally in New Jersey on Saturday, May 11, and has a scheduled appearance at a fundraiser in Ohio on Wednesday, May 15.

Trump was in court on May 7, when the claim was posted, as well as every other day court has been in session since jury selection began on April 15.

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There have been requests to change the regularly scheduled trial dates for various reasons.

Merchan said he’d consider adjourning the trial for one day so Trump could attend his son Barron’s high school graduation on May 17 as long as the proceedings were running on schedule. He later said court would not be in session that day or on May 24, ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.

It was only after this ruling that Trump’s scheduled appearance at a Republican Party dinner in Minnesota later in the day on May 17 was announced.

Merchan previously declined Trump’s pre-trial request to delay the proceedings until after the Supreme Court ruled on his presidential immunity claim.

USA TODAY has debunked an array of claims about Trump’s legal cases, including false claims that Daniels’ letter denying an affair with Trump was “just found” during the hush money trial, that an order for Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees shows his indictment was “absurd and fake” and that Trump was criminally indicted for taking out a loan and paying it back.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Cherry Hill Courier-Post, May 12, Donald Trump takes the stage in Wildwood as thousands cheer the former president
  • USA TODAY, May 9, Is Donald Trump in court today? Trial yesterday ended in Stormy Daniels’ cross examination
  • USA TODAY, May 9, Trump trial recap: Trump demands mistrial after damaging Stormy Daniels testimony
  • Palm Beach Post, May 7, Trump schedules doubleheader for court day off – son’s graduation and Minnesota GOP dinner
  • CNN, May 1, Trump returns to campaign trail for first time since hush money trial began
  • The Washington Post, May 1, Trump holds rallies in Wisconsin, Michigan during court break
  • USA TODAY, May 1, Trump will hold a fundraiser with possible VP contender J.D. Vance May 15
  • The New York Times, April 30, Judge Says Trump Can Attend Son’s High School Graduation in Florida
  • POLITICO, April 17, And on the third day, Trump rested. Why the hush money trial goes dark on Wednesdays.

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