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The Student News Site of The Village School

The Villager

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Villager

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June 13, 2024
June 4, 2024

Former President Trump on trial

Why is he on trail? What are the charges? And who has testified?
April 18, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (Jane Rosenberg via Reuters)

Former President Donald J. Trump  is currently on trial in Lower Manhattan, following charges brought against him by Manhattan District attorney Alvin Bragg. The 45th president is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. All of these charges are related to reimbursement payments made to former Trump lawyer and fixer Micheal Cohen, in regards to a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels who claims to have had an extramarital affair with Trump.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In addition to the charges brought up against the former President, the attorney general also released a “statement of facts” document. In this document, Bragg outlines a larger scheme orchestrated by Trump and others to avoid negative press coverage before the 2016 presidential election. The alleged scheme included hush money payments to several individuals including a second woman who claimed to have an affair with Trump and a former Trump doorman who as the New York Times put it, “made an unproven claim Trump had a child out of wedlock.”

Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump (stormydaniels/myspace )

On April 18th, the jury was selected and the next day the alternates were also selected.

On April 22, opening statements began with the prosecution saying, “Trump schemed to correct the 2016 presidential election” and the defense arguing, “ Donald Trump is innocent.”

Stormy Daniels, the adult film star that claims to have had an affair with the businessman, took the stand on May 7th. During her testimony she discussed her 2006 affair with Trump in grave detail. According to CNN, some details of her testimony were so explicit that the Judge cut her off. Daniels claims her efforts to sell the story were unsuccessful until the “Access Hollywood” tape was released in the lead up to the 2016 election. She said that following the release of the tape Micheal Cohen payed her $130,000 to stay quiet about her affair with the then (and current) presidential candidate.

Micheal Cohen on the stand in a court room sketch (Jane Rosenberg | Reuters)

Following Daniels testimony, Micheal Cohen took the stand. Cohen is Trump’s former lawyer and fixer from 2008 to 2018 . During his testimony, Cohen claimed that Trump ordered him to pay Daniels $130,000 in hush money to conceal her affair with Trump. He said how he made the payments to aid Trump’s campaign and that he was reimbursed for the payments by the former President.

As of Friday, May 17th, Those are the two key testimonies that have taken place during this historical trial.

According to the New York Times, key things to know about the trial include the fact that Cohen’s testimony corroborates that of former National Enquirer Publisher David Pecker who spoke about a deal that would quash any unfavorable stories about Trump before the 2016 election. The NYT also says the defense has not ruled out the possibility of the 45th president taking to stand to testify during the trial.

May 22nd UPDATE:

Official court room sketch of the former President (JANE ROSENBERG/POOL PHOTO/AP)

Cohen has finished his testimony where he was questioned about whether or not he had stolen from the Trump organization to which he responded, “Yes,sir.”  As well as Cohen testifying, Robert Costello- the final witness of the trial- also testified. It has also been confirmed that Trump will not take the stand as the jury has been dismissed until closing arguments which are set to begin next Thursday. As of now, the judge and lawyers on both sides are set to meet to decide how jurors will be instructed before deliberations begin.

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About the Contributor
Emma is the designated Village Swiftie.( Lauren seconded that statement!) She enjoys history, especially when she gets to watch Liberty Kids . She is a retired competitive Irish dancer who was once ranked in the top 100 in the region but still does shows and parades, and was even featured dancing in a documentary that aired in Ireland. She loves her dog, Luke, and the musicians One Direction, The Jonas Brothers, Big Time Rush, 5 Seconds of Summer, Hannah Montana and of course, Taylor Swift.

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