Donald Trump's hush money trial defence rests without ex-President testifying - despite claiming he wanted to take stand

21 May 2024, 16:21

Donald Trump's hush money trial defence rests without ex-President testifying - despite claiming he wanted to take stand
Donald Trump's hush money trial defence rests without ex-President testifying - despite claiming he wanted to take stand. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Donald Trump's defence has rested in the ex-president's 'hush money' trial without him taking the stand.

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The historic first criminal trial of a former US president is now entering its final stage after the jury heard more than four weeks of evidence, including from 20 witnesses.

But while Trump repeatedly vowed he would testify to clear his name and "tell the truth", the presumptive Republican nominee for president did not take the stand.

Trump's defence rested after calling just two witnesses: the first a paralegal working with the defence counsel and Robert Costello, a former legal adviser to Cohen, who is considered a loyal Trump ally.

The jury is now expected to begin its deliberations next week following closing arguments from either side.

Trump is facing 34 charges of falsifying business records as part of the so-called 'hush money' trial.

Former President Donald Trump sits in court at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday
Former President Donald Trump sits in court at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday. Picture: Alamy
Stormy Daniels, 2007
Stormy Daniels, 2007. Picture: Alamy

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It comes after the court heard from witnesses including Stormy Daniels, the pornstar who was allegedly paid 'hush money' by Trump in exchange for her silence following a claimed affair.

Former Trump fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen also gave evidence to the court, who allegedly facilitated a $130,000 payment to Ms Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Throughout the trial prosecutors have been trying to prove Trump sought to bury unflattering stories about himself while falsifying internal business records to cover it.

The alleged payments are claimed to be part of plans to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers say there was nothing criminal about the Stormy Daniels deal or the way Mr Cohen was paid.

"There's no crime," Trump told reporters after arriving at the courthouse on Monday. "We paid a legal expense. You know what it's marked down as? A legal expense."

The trial is the first of his four criminal cases for Trump set to come before a jury.

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