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Prosecution and Defense Offer Opening Arguments in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

HeadlineApr 23, 2024

In a Manhattan courtroom, both the prosecution and defense delivered opening statements Monday in Donald Trump’s criminal hush money case — the first of four criminal cases Trump is facing. Prosecutors said Trump’s $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016 — and his efforts to cover it up by falsifying business records — constituted “election fraud, pure and simple.” Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche argued the former president did not do anything illegal, saying, “There’s nothing wrong with trying to influence an election.” The court heard briefly from the prosecution’s first witness, David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid. He is taking the stand again today. The court will also consider arguments from prosecutors that Trump has repeatedly violated his gag order.

Meanwhile, Trump’s valet Walt Nauta, a co-defendant in Trump’s classified documents case, was reportedly told he would be pardoned if he lied to the FBI and Trump was reelected as president.

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