Spectators queue for days to secure a spot in Trump’s high-profile criminal trial in New York | Irish Star

As some New Yorkers went to the beach for Memorial Day weekend, others pitched tents outside the courthouse where Donald Trump‘s criminal trial is set to continue next week, eager to secure a spot in the courtroom for the closing arguments.

By Friday, a small group had already formed a queue for Tuesday’s session. Among them were professional line waiters equipped with pup tents, alongside Richard Partington, 43, from East Hampton, New York, who was perched on the unforgiving concrete armed with a sleeping bag, pillow, blanket, and a journal for his thoughts.

He joined the line on Thursday, saying: “I think a lot of people didn’t even realize you could go inside the courtroom. And now that the word has spread there’s just a lot more interest.”

The majority of seats in the courtroom, where Trump faces trial, are allocated to attorneys, Trump‘s team, security, and the press. However, a select few are available to the public.

With no cameras allowed in the trial, only those present in the courtroom or an adjacent room with a video feed have been privy to the proceedings.

Only a few seats in the courtroom are available to the public

In the initial stages of Trump’s hush money trial, snagging one of these coveted public seats meant an early rise and a show of commitment. As the trial of a former US president draws to its historic close, competition for these spots has intensified, attracting more hopeful onlookers.

On the 16th day of the trial, May 13, Joe Adams and Ruth TeBrake, spectators, told AP they secured seats in the overflow room by queuing from 6:30pm the previous evening.

“I’ve never done anything like this since I was young, since the ’60s,” said TeBrake, a resident of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. “There was electricity in the air.”

Adams, from Provincetown, Massachusetts, revealed they used the bathroom at a nearby bar during their overnight stay, tipping the bartenders $20 each for permission.

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Trump, the likely Republican nominee for president, faces a 34-count felony indictment for allegedly scheming to suppress allegations of extramarital affairs that surfaced during his first White House campaign in 2016. He has pleaded not guilty and has dismissed the proceeding as a politically motivated witch hunt.

Partington, a part-time teacher at a private school, shared that he’s been inside the trial courtroom four times and in the overflow room another four times since testimony began on April 22.

Donald Trump’s trial resumes on Tuesday

“It’s such a learning experience,” he said. “Trump was president and he could be president again, so learning more about him is just interesting.”

Partington mentioned that he hasn’t discussed the trial much with his friends or family – only with his fellow trial watchers waiting to enter the courthouse.

“To be honest I mostly talk to people here who have been part of the experience because like they can relate to it, you know, what it’s like being in the courtroom and all these things,” he said.

Trump’s trial is not the first Partington has attended. He also went to a few sessions of the trial for fallen cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, which was held in a federal courthouse around a corner from the state court where Trump is on trial now.

Partington said he found that, too, “very interesting.” He said Judge Juan Merchan “has done a really good job”. He added: “I think he’s kept a really, like, orderly courtroom.”

But he doesn’t blame Trump for appearing to fall asleep at times. He said: “I don’t know how he sustains any kind of energy throughout this whole thing.”

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