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Trump Trial Latest: Closing Arguments in Hush Money Trial

In Donald Trump Trial, his sitting in a courtroom during his hush money trial, with lawyers and jurors present.

Trump Trial Latest: Donald Trump listens to closing arguments in his hush money trial, as lawyers debate key witness credibility and potential election impacts.

As the Trump trial reaches its climax, both the defense and the prosecution have presented their closing arguments in a historic case against former President Donald Trump. Accused of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, Trump’s New York trial is centered on the hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. This article delves into the final words from both sides, shedding light on the crucial points made during the closing arguments in the Trump hush money trial.

The Defense: Casting Doubt on Credibility

Trump’s defense team, led by attorney Todd Blanche, opened the closing arguments by questioning the credibility of key witnesses and the prosecution’s evidence. Blanche’s summation spanned nearly three hours and touched upon several critical aspects of the case.

Questionable Witnesses in Trump Trial

One of the defense’s primary strategies was to highlight the absence of testimony from certain individuals who could have provided essential context. Specifically, the defense pointed out that Trump Organization executives like Allen Weisselberg, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump did not testify, nor did Dylan Howard, former editor of the National Enquirer, or Gina Rodriguez, Stormy Daniels’ manager.

Business Records and Payments

Blanche argued that the checks signed by Trump’s sons, which are part of the felony counts, were legitimate business transactions. He emphasized that the payments labeled as “legal retainers” were, in fact, for legal services provided by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer. Blanche asserted, “You shouldn’t think the word ‘retainer’ differentiates from the reason for the payment — it’s just a single word.”

Cohen’s Credibility

A significant portion of the defense’s argument focused on discrediting Michael Cohen, the prosecution’s star witness. Blanche repeatedly claimed, “Cohen lied to you,” suggesting that Cohen’s testimony was inconsistent and unreliable. The defense also cast doubt on the secret recording Cohen made of a conversation with Trump regarding the payment to Daniels, questioning its authenticity and context.

Election Influence

Blanche argued that any actions taken by Trump or his associates were part of a typical campaign strategy, not a criminal conspiracy. He stated, “Every campaign is a conspiracy to promote a candidacy,” downplaying the notion that Trump’s efforts to influence media coverage were illegal. Blanche concluded by asserting that the idea of Trump and his team genuinely believing they could swing the election through tabloid stories was “preposterous.”

The Prosecution: Asserting a Scheme

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass took the stand for the prosecution, delivering an extensive closing argument that meticulously detailed the evidence and testimony presented throughout the trial. Steinglass aimed to prove that Trump’s actions were part of a broader scheme to manipulate the 2016 election.

Detailed Evidence Review

Steinglass walked the jury through the timeline of events, including the 2006 sexual encounter described by Stormy Daniels and the subsequent payment negotiations. He highlighted the 1 minute and 36-second phone call between Cohen and Trump, reenacting it to demonstrate that such a conversation could indeed have taken place within the given time frame.

Witness Testimonies In Trump Trial

The prosecution emphasized the testimonies of multiple witnesses, including former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney. Steinglass argued that the defense’s attempt to discredit Cohen was insufficient to undermine the collective evidence provided by various witnesses, all of whom supported the prosecution’s narrative.

Business Practices and Payments

Steinglass revisited the checks and invoices related to the alleged hush money payments, pointing out handwritten notes from Trump’s CFO and comptroller that detailed the reimbursement scheme. He argued that these documents were “smoking guns” that clearly outlined the fraudulent nature of the transactions. Steinglass dismissed the defense’s claim that the payments were for legal services, stating, “They completely blow out of the water the defense claim that these were for legal work.”

Election Concerns

The prosecution maintained that Trump’s primary motive was to influence the election, not to protect his family from embarrassment. Steinglass pointed to the timing of the payments, which coincided with the release of the Access Hollywood tape, arguing that Trump’s actions were strategically aimed at silencing Daniels to prevent damage to his campaign.

Outside the Courthouse

Adding to the trial’s spectacle, actor Robert DeNiro and two former U.S. Capitol police officers, Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone, appeared outside the courthouse as part of a Biden-Harris campaign event. DeNiro’s presence underscored the political implications of the trial, with the actor warning that a re-elected Trump would jeopardize American freedoms.

What if Trump is Found Guilty?

As the Trump trial concludes, the 12-member jury is set to begin deliberations. Judge Juan Merchan will provide instructions on the specific legal questions they need to consider. A unanimous verdict is required to convict or acquit Trump. If convicted, Trump could face significant legal consequences, although experts suggest that imprisonment is unlikely. Instead, penalties might include fines, probation, or community service.

Perspective

The Trump trial closing arguments have laid bare the stark contrasts between the defense and prosecution’s narratives. While the defense sought to cast doubt on witness credibility and downplay the significance of the payments, the prosecution meticulously pieced together a case of election manipulation. As the jury begins its deliberations, the nation watches closely, awaiting a verdict that could have profound implications for Trump’s political future and the broader landscape of American politics.

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