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Trump’s Trial: What You Need to Know About the Hush Money Charges

Trump is about to face trial on criminal hush money charges. Here’s what to know

Donald Trump faces an unprecedented trial on felony charges, marking him as the first former president to undergo such legal scrutiny. The case, set to commence in New York Supreme Court, revolves around accusations of Trump’s involvement in falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. This alleged “catch and kill” tactic, orchestrated to hide damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election, forms the crux of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump.

Of the numerous criminal charges Trump faces across four separate cases, this trial might be the sole one to reach a verdict before the upcoming presidential election. If convicted, Trump, now 77 years old, could face imprisonment either at New York’s Rikers Island jail complex or in a state prison. The charges against him specifically involve 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, which under New York law, indicates an intent to commit or conceal another crime.

Central to the prosecution’s case is Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, who previously pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges related to hush money payments made to women prior to the 2016 election.


Trump (Credits: CNN)

Cohen is expected to testify that Trump directed him to make these payments, crucial evidence in Bragg’s pursuit of justice. The intricate financial transactions allegedly orchestrated to pay off Daniels and others paint a picture of deliberate deception and cover-up.

The trial, initially slated for March 25, was postponed to allow Trump’s legal team to review newly acquired documents. With proceedings set to begin soon, the focus will shift to selecting a jury, with Judge Juan Merchan anticipating a trial duration of approximately six weeks. Trump’s presence is mandated by New York law, contrasting his voluntary attendance at previous hearings, which garnered significant media attention.

Despite facing serious charges, Trump retains the right to run for office, even if convicted and imprisoned. The potential witness list includes Cohen, Daniels, and several others involved in the transactions under scrutiny.

Notably, Trump himself might testify in his defense, although this remains uncertain. His legal strategy thus far has involved numerous attempts to delay the trial, coupled with public denunciations of the judicial process and allegations of political persecution.

In the midst of this legal battle, Trump’s antagonism towards the presiding judge and others involved in the case could potentially backfire. Norm Eisen, a legal analyst, suggests a real risk of conviction and incarceration given the gravity of the charges. Despite Trump’s efforts to rally public support against the case, the judicial process continues unabated, marking a significant chapter in the legal saga surrounding the former president’s actions.

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