Home » Donald Trump in the dock, the Stormy Daniels case trial opens

Donald Trump in the dock, the Stormy Daniels case trial opens

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Donald Trump in the dock, the Stormy Daniels case trial opens

Barring last-minute surprises, today for the first time in the history of the United States a former president – and soon to be a presidential candidate – will be sitting in the dock in a criminal trial.

In fact, the first trial against Donald Trump opens in New York: the one instructed by the Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, in which the tycoon is accused of having falsified his financial statements in 2016 to hide 130 thousand dollars paid to a former porn actress , Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about their relationship.
There are 34 charges, attempts to postpone the hearings have failed and this is the only proceeding that could be closed before the vote on November 5th.

It all revolves around the fact, already established, that Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer at the time, paid Daniels and was then reimbursed by Trump who listed that money as legal expenses. Cohen was sentenced to three years in 2018 for the same affair and for lying to Congress: he will now be one of the key witnesses in the trial, with the defense trying in every way to discredit him. Trump himself has already started, in his own way: “Cohen and Daniels are two liars,” he said, “two bags of garbage.”

We therefore begin today with jury selection and the entire proceeding is expected to last six weeks, with hearings every day of the week except Wednesday.
It will attract enormous media attention, considering that the accused by law will always have to be present. Potential witnesses include Daniels herself and perhaps Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who also claims she was paid to keep quiet about her relationship with Trump.

However, it will not be a media show: cameras are not allowed in the courtroom and photographers will only be granted brief access for each individual hearing. Trump confirmed that he will be there: “I will testify, I will tell the truth and the truth is that a case that does not exist.” The Republican candidate – only the official investiture of the party convention is missing – has every interest in making a spectacle of the event, using it in an electoral key to denounce what he defines as a judicial persecution dictated by political motivations. In the meantime he has begun to delegitimize the trial judge himself, Juan Merchan, accusing him of being in favor of his opponent Joe Biden.

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The New York appeals court has yet to rule on three appeals by Trump’s lawyers, including the one against the order that prohibits the defendant from continuing to attack witnesses, prosecutors or their families on social media and the one to recuse the judge – but in the meantime they said that the judge can proceed.

If convicted, Trump would risk up to four years in prison for each charge, but many experts rule out such a dramatic conclusion: he would most likely remain free to continue his election campaign, pending his appeal. Moreover, a conviction would not jeopardize his status as a candidate – and even as president, if he were to win.

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