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Trump refuses to declare at his trial that the testimony phase is over

Trump refuses to declare at his trial that the testimony phase is over

Former President Donald Trump decided not to testify in his trial for falsification of accounting records in New York, which concluded its testimony phase this Tuesday and is approaching a verdict.

After about five weeks, 19 testimonies, hundreds of documents and even statements of explicit sexual content, the first criminal trial against a former president of the United States is approaching its end.

I think a big case has been made…it should be thrown out even before a verdict is reached.“Trump said outside the courthouse on Tuesday.

It is very sad. But the good news is that they haven’t proven the case. There is no crime“added the Republican, who aspires to return to the White House in the November elections.

Judge Juan Merchan announced that starting next week the final arguments will begin and the deliberation of the jurors will begin.

On Tuesday (next) they will hear the allegations“of the defense and the prosecution, “and I hope they begin to deliberate” the next day, Merchan told jurors.

The jury must decide whether Trump is guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of 34 accounting falsifications related to the payment of US$130,000 to former porn actress Stormy Daniels, to buy her silence and avoid a possible sex scandal at the end of the campaign. presidential of 2016.

The actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims to have had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006, when he was already married to his current wife Melania. Donald Trump denies it.

Before the trial began, on April 15, Trump, 77, had assured that he would testify to “tell the truth”. But he ultimately did not do it, as many experts predicted, probably to avoid ruthless cross-examination by the prosecution.

Unanimous verdict

Although the trial is not being broadcast live on TV due to New York law, the imminent verdict represents a delicate moment for Trump, who will face Democrat Joe Biden again at the polls in less than six months.

The jury’s decision must be unanimous, both to acquit and convict, otherwise the trial is annulled.

If convicted, Trump could still run for president.

The interrogations ended this Tuesday with the second defense witness, lawyer Robert Costello, a veteran of the courts who the day before questioned the version of the main accuser, Trump’s former personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen.

Costello, who had started testifying on Monday, made Judge Merchan angry, for which he was reprimanded and called to order.

We have a judge who is extremely… let’s say complicated, but also conflictedTrump said on Tuesday.

Key witness and explicit sexual content

Throughout the process, Trump’s lawyers have sought to discredit former lawyer Cohen, portraying him as a jilted former employee seeking revenge.

Cohen directly incriminated his former boss, claiming that he handled the payment to Daniels and Trump approved her reimbursement.

For the prosecution, the central issue is that this transfer was camouflaged as “legal expenses” in the accounts of the Trump Organization.

The former president’s defense, for its part, emphasized the record of Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for lying to Congress and electoral and tax fraud for this case.

The trial interspersed more technical moments and more effervescent moments, especially with the testimony of former porn actress Daniels, who described in great detail the alleged sexual encounter with the president, revealing everything from the clothes she was wearing, the sexual position and what she did not use. preservative.

Another witness whose version coincides with Cohen’s was that of David Pecker, the former tabloid editor who claimed to have worked with Trump and Cohen to suppress negative coverage of the White House hopeful during his first campaign and buy the silence of other whistleblowers. .

Trump maintains that the process is political and has complained on several occasions that the obligation to appear at the New York court hearings is preventing him from campaigning.

I don’tThey don’t allow me to do any politics, because I’ve been sitting in a cold, dark (courtroom) room for the last four weeks. It is very unfair”, he told reporters on Monday.

Source: Gestion

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