Donald Trump Has The Chance To Testify At Hush Money Trial If He So Chooses

Exterior the courtroom, Trump blasted the trial as politically motivated (File)

For weeks, Donald Trump has sat silently in a New York courtroom whereas former workers and associates have testified in his legal hush cash trial. On Monday, the previous U.S. president would possibly seize the possibility to inform his aspect of the story.

It’s unclear whether or not Trump will take the witness stand.

Although he mentioned earlier than the trial started that he deliberate to testify, his lawyer Todd Blanche informed the choose final week that he was uncertain whether or not he would accomplish that. Trump himself declined to inform reporters whether or not he’ll testify or not.

The primary former president to face legal trial has pleaded not responsible to 34 counts of falsifying enterprise information to cowl up a fee that purchased the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels shortly earlier than the 2016 election. Daniels had threatened to go public together with her account of an alleged 2006 sexual encounter – a liaison Trump denies.

Exterior the courtroom, Trump, 77, has blasted the trial as a politically motivated effort to hobble his try to take again the White Home from Democratic President Joe Biden within the Nov. 5 election.

Contained in the chamber, Trump has sat on the defendant’s desk listening to Daniels inform her account of their time collectively in lurid element. Different witnesses have mentioned efforts to bury unflattering tales at a time Trump confronted a number of accusations of sexual misbehavior.

Prosecutors mentioned final week they anticipated to wrap up their presentation on Monday after remaining testimony from Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who made the fee to Daniels.

At that time, Trump’s authorized crew will get an opportunity to make a presentation of their very own, although protection attorneys usually skip that step once they consider prosecutors have didn’t make their case.

Trump’s attorneys mentioned they didn’t suppose they would wish a lot time to name witnesses of their very own – except Trump opted to testify.

“That is one other determination that we have to suppose by way of,” Blanche mentioned on Thursday.

If he chooses to testify, Trump may have the chance to persuade jurors that he was not chargeable for the paperwork on the coronary heart of the case and rebut Daniels’ detailed account of their assembly in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

He wouldn’t be restrained by a gag order that bars him in different settings from criticizing witnesses, jurors, and family members of the choose and prosecutors.

Nonetheless, he would face cross-examination by prosecutors, who might attempt to expose inconsistencies in his story. Any lies informed beneath oath might expose him to additional legal perjury costs.

Trump might danger tarnishing his credibility or alienating the jury if he goes off on complicated tangents or loses his mood on the stand, mentioned George Grasso, a retired New York choose.

“If he had been to slide into marketing campaign mode, he might play into the archetype of Donald Trump as an individual who cannot management himself, as an individual who’s unfastened with the reality,” Grasso mentioned. “He might tank his entire case with one outburst.”

Trump final appeared as a witness in a civil enterprise fraud trial final yr, delivering defiant and rambling testimony that aggravated Justice Arthur Engoron, who was overseeing the case. Engoron would go on to order him to pay $355 million in penalties after discovering he fraudulently overstated his internet value to dupe lenders.

Defendants in white-collar legal circumstances sometimes don’t testify in their very own protection, however Trump wouldn’t be the one one to take action. Cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes are amongst current high-profile defendants to take the stand. Each had been convicted of defrauding traders and at the moment are serving time in jail.

The hush cash trial is broadly seen because the least consequential of the 4 legal prosecutions Trump faces, however it’s doubtless the one one to go to trial earlier than the election. Trump faces costs in Washington and Georgia of attempting to overturn his 2020 loss to Biden and costs in Florida of mishandling categorized paperwork after leaving the White Home in 2021. He has pleaded not responsible in all three circumstances.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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