HomeTop StoriesThe closing arguments begin in Donald Trump's criminal hush-money trial

The closing arguments begin in Donald Trump’s criminal hush-money trial

Donald Trump’s hush money trial entered its final stages on Tuesday as his defense team began their closing arguments, followed by that of the prosecution.

Trump, wearing a crimson tie and crisp white, walked into the courtroom just before 8:30 a.m. with a sheet of paper in hand. He was accompanied by his daughter Tiffany and two of his sons, Eric and Donald Jr.. The defense is expected to last two and a half hours, while the prosecution could last about four and a half hours.

For weeks, testimony has gripped America and the world, amid the prospect that the former US president could be found guilty of a crime. Trump, who is almost certain to win the Republican presidential nomination, is accused of falsifying company records related to paying adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 for her silence about an alleged sexual relationship.

Prosecutors allege the payments amount to election interference as Trump entered the 2016 race for the White House and tried to cover up a potentially damaging scandal.

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But now that the details of the case and Trump’s relationship with Daniels have been brought before a jury in Manhattan, they have seemingly had little impact on the 2024 race — where Trump still often narrowly leads Joe Biden in head-to-head polls and is performing strongly in the 2024 elections. the swings states that are crucial for victory.

Trump denies all allegations.

The trial has played out in notable scenes where Trump has been in court and largely ignored the campaign trial except on weekends and at some events in and around New York City. Despite admonitions from the court, he has continued to rail against his accusers and Judge Juan Merchan on social media, labeling the trial a “witch hunt.”

Central to the case is the testimony of Trump’s former lawyer and once feared fixer Michael Cohen. Cohen provided vital evidence of Trump’s role in the alleged hush money scheme, but was also brutally scrutinized by Trump’s lawyers for his history of lying and his apparent dislike of his former boss and desire to put him behind the bars visible.

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What weight the jury places on the reliability of Cohen’s testimony will likely decide the case anyway. If Trump is found guilty, he could face prison time, although that is usually considered unlikely. Any guilty verdict would almost certainly trigger a long line of appeals.

Trump also faces three other criminal charges: one for trying to influence the 2020 election in Georgia, another for his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and a third related to his handling of sensitive documents after he had left the White House. However, all three have suffered serious delays and are unlikely to be completed – or even started – before the November presidential election.

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