Closing arguments against Trump trial begin in New York hush money case

Former President Donald Trump looks on before the start of the trial at Manhattan Criminal Court during the trial in New York City on May 20, 2024.

Mark Peterson | Via Reuters

Closing arguments in the criminal hush-money trial of Donald Trump are set to begin in New York on Tuesday, with jurors on track to begin deliberations in the landmark case the next day.

Trump's defense team will be the first to urge the jury to find the former president not guilty of falsifying company records related to refunds paid to his then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payout Cohen received shortly before the election. gave to porn star Stormy Daniels. 2016 elections.

A public prosecutor from The Manhattan District Attorney's Office will then urge the 12-member jury to convict Trump of the 34 felonies he faces in connection with the files, which label the Cohen fees as legal fees for work that prosecutors say never existed.

Trump is the first former US president ever to be tried in a criminal case. If convicted, Trump faces a possible maximum prison sentence of four years for each offense.

He denies Daniels' claim that the two had sex once in 2006, months after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron. Cohen's payment to Daniels kept her from telling that story to the media at a time when she could have hurt his chances of winning the 2016 White House contest.

In his opening statement in Manhattan Supreme Court, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo told jurors that the hush money payment to Daniels and the refunds to Cohen amounted to “election fraud.” Pure and simple'.

Trump spent Memorial Day on social media complaining about the case, which is just one of four criminal cases he faces as he heads toward a November election rematch against President Joe Biden.

Read more CNBC political coverage

“Why can't the defense go last?” Trump asked in a Truth Social post. Unlike many other U.S. criminal courts, attorneys in New York state courts deliver their closing arguments to prosecutors.

Trump also rhetorically asked his Truth Social followers, “Can you imagine if he got closing arguments on a FAKE & MADE UP CASE.”

“THERE IS NO CRIME OR CASE against President Trump, and if there was, it should have been filed seven years ago, not in the middle of his campaign for president,” he wrote.

This is news development. Check back for updates.

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