Trump’s defense attorney makes opening statement in ‘hush money’ trial | Donald Trump News

The prosecution and defense are expected to present broad arguments in the unprecedented trial against the former president.

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers and prosecutors have begun their opening statements in the businessman-turned-politician’s trial over allegations of hush-money payments to adult film stars.

The case marks the first time that prosecutors have referred a criminal case against a former president to a jury, and the trial comes months before the U.S. presidential election in November, when Trump is expected to face off against incumbent Joe Biden. be exposed.

Monday’s hearing will see both sides lay out their arguments in broad strokes and hint at the legal strategies they plan to deploy in the trial, which is expected to last six weeks.

Prosecutors allege Trump tried to divert campaign funds to pay “hush money” to Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Trump, and was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records. has been charged with a felony.

Prosecutors allege these crimes were committed in tandem with a second crime of illegally influencing the 2016 presidential election, which would elevate the misdemeanor to a more serious crime. . The Manhattan District Attorney’s office alleges that Trump paid Daniels to keep her quiet in the final weeks of a close race between Republican Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. ing.

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo said in his first address Monday that President Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election.”

Trump then “lied repeatedly” and “hidden” the plan in his business records, Colangelo said.

Defense attorneys are likely to argue that the charges are politically motivated and that the payments were the result of Mr. Trump’s attempt to stop a potentially embarrassing smear campaign. President Trump has denied having an affair.

Opening arguments were held after a week of jury selection, with 12 jurors and six alternates seated. Those proceedings ended Friday in a gruesome scene outside the courthouse where a man attempted to self-immolate in a park across the street. He later died from his burns.

Speaking outside the courthouse on Monday morning, NDMT’s Kristen Saloumi said one of the key witnesses in the case would be David Pecker, former publisher of the US tabloid National Enquirer. Daniels and President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen are also scheduled to testify.

“The key question, of course, is whether Donald Trump himself will take the stand in his own defense. He said he would, but that remains to be seen,” Salumi said.

“Most lawyers and legal scholars say it’s a bad idea because he would have to answer a lot of questions and could get into trouble.”

President Trump used his Truth Social platform Monday morning to call on his supporters to go out and “protest peacefully.”

“Protesters who love America should be allowed to protest at the front door of the courthouse,” he said.

This is a developing story.

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