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Historic Trump Criminal Trial in his Hush-money Case to Hear Opening Statements

Jury of seven men and five women to weigh testimony related to $130,000 payment from ex-fixer Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 22, 2024, 18:20:48

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donald trump, hush money case,

Donald Trump's Manhattan criminal trial in his hush-money case began in earnest on Monday morning with opening statements, marking a significant day in US history.

Trump is the first American president, former or sitting, to face a criminal trial. These proceedings unfold amidst the backdrop of the 2024 presidential race, where Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee facing Joe Biden.

A jury of seven men and five women will deliberate whether Trump's alleged efforts to conceal damaging information about extramarital affairs to aid his 2016 election campaign were unlawful. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, charged in spring 2023 by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The case centers on a $130,000 payment made by Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her story under wraps. Bragg argues that Trump misrepresented the nature of the payment in business records, describing it as legitimate legal expenses.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018, is expected to be a key prosecution witness. Trump denies any sexual encounter with Daniels and claims payments to Cohen were lawful.
The Manhattan case is one of several criminal proceedings Trump faces, including federal charges related to the January 6 insurrection and mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. In Georgia, he faces state-level charges for allegedly trying to subvert the 2020 election results.

Despite these legal challenges, Trump is poised to secure the Republican presidential nomination this summer after easily defeating his party rivals. In head-to-head polls against Biden, Trump often holds a narrow lead and performs strongly in key swing states.

The trial's first week was marked by unusual incidents, including a man setting himself on fire across from the courthouse right after the selection of six alternate jurors.

The man, who later succumbed to his injuries, left behind pamphlets and an online manifesto outlining various conspiracy theories, though these seemed unrelated to Trump specifically, focusing more broadly on anti-government and anti-tech industry sentiments.

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