Helena Lyng Blak
3 weeks ago

Trump Lawyers Ask to Get ‘Hush Money’ Trial Dismissed

Trump’s defense seeks dismissal of ‘hush money’ trial, citing unreliable witness testimony.
NEW YORK, USA - Sep 21, 2017: Meeting of the President of the United States Donald Trump with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in New York — Photo by palinchak
NEW YORK, USA - Sep 21, 2017: Meeting of the President of the United States Donald Trump with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in New York — Photo by palinchak

On Monday, May 20, 2024, after the prosecution rested its case in the criminal trial against former president Donald Trump, colloquially called the ‘hush money’ trial, Trump’s lawyers asked Judge Juan Merchan to dismiss the case before it reaches the jury. 

The argument was, according to Reuters, that star witness and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony cannot be trusted on the basis of his criminal record and history of lying. 

"You said that his lies are irrefutable, but do you think he's going to fool 12 New Yorkers?" the judge reportedly responded to defense lawyer Todd Blanche’s request to dismiss.

The ‘Hush Money’ Trial

The ‘hush money’ case is the first criminal case against the former president to reach trial. It also marks the very first criminal trial against a former president in the United States history. 

The case concerns an alleged scheme intended to unlawfully sway the result of the 2016 presidential election. According to the prosecution, Trump and his co-conspirators supposedly suppressed negative press about the then-candidate, which included paying off multiple people who wanted to sell potentially damaging stories to the press about Trump, falsifying business records in the process.

Most significantly, adult film actress Stormy Daniels, wanted to go public with claims of an affair with Trump while the latter was married. 

To prevent Daniels from revealing the affair, prosecutors claim that Trump, via Cohen, paid Daniels the infamous ‘hush money’. They also allege that Trump later falsified business records to hide the reimbursement to Cohen.

“It was election fraud, pure and simple,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo stated during his opening remarks in late April.

Conversely, the defense insisted that Trump was not involved with the ‘hush money’ payments, emphasizing the difference between the amount given to Daniels and the much larger sum paid to Cohen.

The prosecution argues that the differing amounts were meant to disguise the fact that these were reimbursements, not payments for legal services as claimed.

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