New York jury hears closing arguments as Trump’s secret trial draws to a close | Donald Trump News

Prosecutors and defense attorneys make their closing arguments to the jury before deliberations begin in the ex-president’s historic trial.

Donald Trump did not break the law or “commit a crime”, his lawyers told a New York court, as closing arguments were delivered in the former US president’s historic secret trial.

Trump’s defense team made its latest attempt Tuesday to convince jurors that the ex-president did not hide evidence of a secret cash payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the election Americans of 2016.

Prosecutors argued that Trump illegally falsified business records to conceal the payment to Daniels and would not make public her claim that she had a sexual relationship with the former president. Trump has denied any affair.

“President Trump is innocent. He committed no crime and the prosecutor did not meet the burden of proof. Period,” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche said Tuesday morning.

The closing arguments, expected to last most of the day, come after nearly two dozen witnesses took the stand since late April in the historic case, the first criminal trial against a former president in US history. UNITED STATES.

Prosecutors will present their closing arguments after the defense, as is standard in New York criminal trials.

Trump, who has pleaded not guilty and claimed he was the victim of a politically motivated “witch hunt”, remains the presumptive Republican presidential nominee ahead of November’s US elections.

If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison, although prison time is unlikely for a criminal convicted of such a crime for the first time.

A conviction also won’t stop Trump from trying to retake the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden in the November election, nor will it stop him from taking office if he wins.

But a guilty verdict could hurt Trump’s chances in what is expected to be a tight race against Biden, with recent polls showing some Trump supporters would not vote for him if he were convicted of a crime.

Prosecutors have the burden of proving Trump’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the level of certainty required by U.S. law.

“It’s a dark day in America. “We have a rigged trial that should never have been brought,” Trump told reporters as he entered the courtroom Tuesday. “We’ll see how it goes. This is a very dangerous day for America. “It’s a very sad day.”

The case centers on a $130,000 payment that Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels in the final days of the 2016 election.

Trump has denied Daniels’ claim that she had a sexual relationship with him in 2006, and her lawyer, during hours of questioning at the trial, accused her of making up the story.

When Trump reimbursed Cohen, the payments were recorded as being for legal services, which prosecutors say was intended to conceal the true purpose of the transaction with Daniels and to illegally interfere in the 2016 election, in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s lawyers say these were legitimate payments for genuine legal services, and they say his celebrity, particularly during the campaign, made him a target for extortion.

“This case concerns documents. It’s a case on paper,” Blanche, the former president’s lawyer, said during closing arguments Tuesday morning.

The defense also attempted throughout the trial to discredit prosecution witnesses, notably Cohen, whom it sought to portray as a serial liar who had vested interests with his former boss.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges related to the secret payments as well as lying to the U.S. Congress.

“He’s literally like a Liars MVP. He constantly lies,” Blanche said of Cohen. “He lied to Congress. He lied to prosecutors. He lied to his family and his associates.

After both sides present closing arguments, the judge will explain to the jury, likely on Wednesday, the law governing the case and the factors it can consider during deliberations.

There is no time limit on jury deliberation time, and a verdict may not be returned by the end of the week.

To reach a verdict, all 12 jurors must agree with the decision for the judge to accept it. If the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, the trial would deadlock and the judge would declare a mistrial.

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