Donald Trump’s defense team concludes case in hush money trial without former president’s testimony

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In a significant turn of events, the defense team for Donald Trump, the former United States President, concluded their arguments in the high-profile hush money trial without calling him to testify. This decision finalized the proceedings before the jury, which is set to start deliberations early next week. The case, centered around allegations that Trump falsified business records to conceal a payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election, has drawn national attention.

Quick Defense and Upcoming Jury Deliberations

Trump’s legal team opted for a swift conclusion to their defense, calling just two witnesses. The trial, presided over by Justice Juan Merchan, is expected to proceed to closing arguments on May 28, following the Memorial Day weekend. Judge Merchan outlined the schedule for the jury, indicating that they would likely begin deliberations by the middle of next week.

The defense team for Donald Trump has rested its case in the hush money trial without his testimony.

The defense team for Donald Trump has rested its case in the hush money trial without his testimony.

Challenges in the Prosecution’s Case

The crux of the prosecution’s case has rested on testimony from Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who has a contentious history with Trump and has admitted to previous dishonesty, including stealing from the Trump Organization. Recognizing the complexities surrounding Cohen’s credibility, Trump’s defense requested Judge Merchan to dismiss the case. However, Merchan expressed a preference for allowing the jury to evaluate Cohen’s reliability themselves, suggesting the case would proceed to jury assessment.

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Closing Phases of the Trial

As the trial moves towards its closing stages, the focus shifts to the closing arguments and the jury’s impending deliberations. Despite the defense’s efforts to undermine Cohen’s testimony by highlighting his past dishonesty, prosecutors have fortified their case with documentary evidence.

What Lies Ahead?

The upcoming days are crucial as they will determine the first-ever criminal trial outcome of a former U.S. president. With nearly five weeks of proceedings, 19 witnesses, and extensive documentation, the stakes are high. Trump has pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment and has also refuted allegations regarding his involvement with Daniels.

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