Body Language Expert Tells Us Donald Trump Jr.'s Confidence On The Stand Shines Over Brother Eric

Donald Trump's civil fraud trial kicked off exactly one month ago, on October 2, 2023. 

According to CNN, Donald Sr. faces fraud charges due to reportedly misrepresenting his finances in order to gain more favorable financial benefits for his business empire. Between the years 2011 and 2021, Donald Sr. reportedly over-reported his income by $3.6 billion. At the time, CNN reported that the trial would potentially see testimony from Trump's business associates and family — including his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who are also co-defendants. Donald Jr. and Eric, who have played important roles within their father's businesses, finally took the stand on November 1 and 2, 2023. According to NBC, Donald Jr. took the stand first, then came Eric.

The brothers asserted that they weren't involved in the financial matters related to their father, Donald Sr., and his business. Donald. Jr., for example, placed the responsibility of the financial accounting on Donald Sr.'s accountant, Donald Bender. Meanwhile, Eric also denied having a hand in the company's finances. "I don't think I ever saw or worked on a statement of financial condition," said Eric in court. "I don't believe I would have known about it — not what I did." Despite Donald Jr. and Eric's similar talking points, Jess Ponce III, body language expert, communication coach, and author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E," is of the opinion that one brother appeared decidedly more confident than the other.

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump display different energies in court

Nicki Swift exclusively reached out to body language expert Jess Ponce III to gain a better understanding of Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump's nonverbal cues during the trial. According to Ponce, Donald Jr. and Eric's decision to portray themselves as a persecuted family is proof of their media literacy. "This self-awareness is evident through their confident and assertive demeanor, marked by their bold responses and self-assured expressions, as they purposefully advocate their innocence," said the body language expert. However, Donald Jr. and Eric are approaching the trial differently.

For instance, "Don Jr. stands tall with his shoulders back, maintaining a forward gaze and employing humor and charm to project an image of being unfazed by the court case," Ponce noted. "In doing so, he inadvertently reinforces a perception of privilege and elitism, which he seems to wear as a badge of honor." Eric, however — who NBC reported looked uncomfortable as Judge Engoron reprimanded their lawyer, Chris Chise, over "misogyny" against his law clerk — opts for a "less charming and more direct approach," which reads as combative. "Contempt is palpable in his eyes and facial expressions, giving rise to an unmistakable sense of superiority in his testimony," Ponce added. Ultimately, Eric doesn't seem to appreciate being "questioned or challenged."

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump had more to say outside of court

Donald Trump Jr. and his brother, Eric Trump, had no problem addressing the media after delivering their testimony. On November 2, Donald Jr. seemed equally confident as he maintained his innocence and again placed any financial misrepresentation on their accounting team. "[I depend] on my accountants to do, wait for it, accounting," said Donald Jr. during a press conference (via Live NOW from Fox). "I mean, think about that. What does that do for literally any other business? You pay experts millions of dollars to be experts. You sign off on what they give you ... and you're liable." Donald Jr. also criticized the New York Attorney General for targeting successful businesses and suggested that this "precedent" could eventually drive entrepreneurs out of the state.

Eric Trump also made comments to reporters following his own testimony. Though Eric's comments weren't nearly as lengthy or detailed as Donald Jr.'s , he seemed considerably more settled than when he was on the witness stand. As Eric exited the courthouse, he smiled and gave the crowd a thumbs up before walking down the sidewalk. When asked "Hey, how's it going?" by a reporter, Eric replied, "It's going well, guys. Thank you" (via Forbes Breaking News).