Hush Money Trial Against Donald Trump Begins in Manhattan Courthouse

Hush Money Trial Against Donald Trump Begins in Manhattan Courthouse

The highly anticipated hush money trial against former US President Donald Trump commenced today in a Manhattan courthouse. Opening statements were delivered by both Trump’s legal team and the prosecution to the jury, consisting of 12 members who were selected last week. This historic trial marks the first time a former US president faces criminal charges.

According to reports, the first witness to take the stand will be David Pecker, the media mogul and former publisher of the National Enquirer magazine. Pecker, who allegedly purchased and suppressed stories on Trump’s behalf during his 2016 campaign, is expected to testify today. This trial is the first of four criminal cases that Trump, aged 77, is currently facing and could potentially be the only one to conclude before the 2024 presidential election in November.

Trump has vehemently criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case, labeling it as a “hoax” and “election interference.” Additionally, he has accused Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who presides over the trial, of being a “Trump hating judge.”

Prosecutors allege that Trump falsified business records to conceal the fact that his former “fixer,” Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The payment was intended to prevent Daniels from publicly disclosing her alleged sexual encounter with Trump while he was married. The National Enquirer, under Pecker’s ownership, also acquired and suppressed the false story of a former Trump Tower doorman, Dino Sajudin, who claimed Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock. Additionally, the magazine purchased the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal’s account of her alleged affair with Trump but never published it.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, to which he has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could potentially face up to four years of imprisonment. Cohen, expected to be the prosecution’s key witness during the approximately six-week trial, will testify against Trump. Daniels is also likely to provide testimony.

Trump and his legal team have consistently criticized the prosecution for relying on the testimony of Cohen, who has admitted to lying and has been convicted of fraud. Cohen previously testified against Trump in a civil fraud case, aiding New York Attorney General Letitia James in securing a $450 million judgment against the former president, which he plans to appeal.

Author: CrimeDoor

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