Based upon comments made by one of Donald Trump's attorneys, should the former president be indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for paying off adult film star Stormy Daniels about their alleged affair before the 2016 election, a key defense in trial will likely center on Melania Trump.
On Monday, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina at first refused to address whether the now-former president "authorized" the payment of $130,000 to Daniels using former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as a cut-out man while speaking to the host of ABC’s "Good Morning America."
After conceding the possibility, he attempted to make a different case that the hush money had nothing to do with his political ambitions.
According to Tacopina, "It’s not directly related to the campaign. He made this with personal funds to prevent something coming out [that was] false but embarrassing to himself, his family, his young son.”
READ MORE: Trump hits DeSantis on Social Security cuts and calls for national 'school choice' at first 2023 Iowa event
That has legal experts believing Trump will use his wife -- and how she would have reacted -- as a human shield should he go to trial.
As Vice's Greg Walters wrote, "Trump’s argument that the money aimed at defusing an 'embarrassing' situation, rather than circumvent campaign finance rules, could indeed help him out of his legal jam, legal experts say. But it could also raise awkward questions inside the Trump family home, by prompting a debate over why a guy like Trump would have shelled out so much money to cover up a story that was totally bogus."
According to former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, that legal strategy may be the best defense the former president's lawyers could use before a Manhattan jury.
“Trump’s best strategy would be to say that he routinely paid off women and that the purpose of paying them was to avoid the embarrassment it would cause for his wife and the rest of his family,” he explained.
Election attorney Jerry Goldfeder claimed it will be incumbent upon Bragg to draw a straight line from the payment to Trump's desire to win the election, explaining, "The DA is going to have to prove that the payment was in furtherance of the campaign and that Trump did have criminal intent.”
The wild card in the case could be what Cohen told the grand jury about Trump's exact words during his appearance on Monday.
You can read more from the Vice report here.