Jill Biden has attended each day of Hunter Biden's trial so far. Melania Trump missed every day of Donald Trump's.

  • First Lady Jill Biden has so far attended each day of Hunter Biden's trial, which opened Tuesday.

  • Her presence underscores the absence of another first lady, Melania Trump, at Donald Trump's trial.

  • Both the Biden and Trump trials feature unsavory personal allegations.

First Lady Jill Biden has sat in the front row each day of Hunter Biden's federal gun trial in Delaware this week, wearing crisply tailored pants suits, jotting on a white legal pad, and joking during breaks with her son.

Her presence underscores how the first family is rallying behind Biden during his trial. And it sets up a stark contrast to another first lady, Melania Trump, who was a no-show for the entirety of Donald Trump's seven-week hush-money trial in Manhattan.

First Lady Jill Biden walks into federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, wearing a bright purple pants suit on the first day of Hunter Biden's gun trial.
First Lady Jill Biden walks into federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, on the first day of Hunter Biden's gun trial.AP/Matt Slocum

Jill Biden turned 73 on Monday and spent part of the day watching jury selection at the Delaware courthouse.

"Happy Birthday," Hunter Biden was overheard telling the first lady at one point, according to The Washington Post. "I got you a special event."

The first lady returned to court on Tuesday for opening statements. Also attending at the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Courthouse in Wilmington was Biden's wife, Melissa Cohen Biden.

Hunter Biden and wife Melissa Cohen Biden are seen entering federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Hunter Biden and wife Melissa Cohen Biden enter federal court in Wilmington, Delaware for opening statements in his gun trial.AP/Matt Slocum

The trial marks the first time in American history that a sitting president's child has been a defendant in a criminal trial. He is accused of lying about his then-drug use on federal paperwork when he bought a handgun in 2018.

In opening statements, his attorney, Abbe Lowell, argued that Biden kept the gun in a locked box until his sister-in-law-turned girlfriend, Hallie Biden, threw it in a grocery store trash can 11 days after its purchase.

Lowell suggested that Biden, an admitted recovering crack-cocaine addict, misread a federal firearms application and believed he was telling the truth when he affirmed that he was not an "unlawful user" of controlled substances, according to trial coverage by multiple news outlets.

Biden may have believed he was being accurate because he was not using drugs at the time he filled out the paperwork, Lowell's opening statement suggested.

The president's son tried to strike a plea agreement with prosecutors last year, but that deal collapsed under Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Trump appointee.

The visible presence of close family members can have a positive impact on jurors, experts say.

In the weeks before his conviction on Thursday on 34 felony records-falsification counts, Donald Trump attended his hush-money trial without his wife attending at all.

Trump's son, Eric, attended roughly half the trial. Donald Trump, Jr., and daughter Tiffany Trump attended for several days. But a rotating cast of Republican Trump supporters was a constant trial presence.

A spokesperson for Melania Trump did not immediately return a request for comment, and the White House did not immediately return a request for comment on behalf of Jill Biden.

Both the Biden trial and Trump hush-money trial featured testimony that close family members could find difficult to sit through.

In Trump's trial, the jury and audience heard testimony about two of Trump's long-denied, alleged infidelities from nearly 20 years prior — involving porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Bunny Karen McDougal.

In his 2021 memoir "Beautiful Things," Hunter revealed that he was smoking crack cocaine every 15 minutes back in 2018.

President Biden reaffirmed his love for his son on Monday in a rare statement addressing his son's legal troubles.

"I am the President, but I am also a Dad," Biden said in a statement. "Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today."

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