End of Trump trial near: Result? Already knew he was “liar”, still can run for Prez. So……NADA.

Politics
Trump is accused of falsifying accounting records to buy the silence of former porn actress Stormy Daniels about a sexual encounter between the two in 2006, which could have damaged his 2016 presidential bid.

The historic trial of Donald Trump in New York enters its final stretch this Tuesday, with closing arguments before the jury, which must decide whether to hand down the first criminal conviction against a former president of the United States.

With less than six months until voters decide whether Trump returns to the White House, it is difficult to imagine what is at stake with the verdict, both for the 77-year-old Republican candidate and for the country as a whole.

Trump is accused of falsifying accounting records to buy the silence of former porn actress Stormy Daniels about a sexual encounter between the two in 2006, which could have damaged his 2016 presidential bid.

If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison on each of the 34 charges, but legal experts say that because he has no criminal record, he is unlikely to be jailed.

And more importantly, a conviction would not prevent Trump from appearing on the November ballot as a Republican presidential candidate against Democrat Joe Biden.

Unanimous verdict

It took nearly five weeks, testimony from more than 20 witnesses and some fireworks to reach closing arguments, the prosecution and defense’s last chance to impress the anonymous 12-member jury with their case.

As expected, Trump chose not to testify in his defense, a move that would have exposed him to unnecessary legal risks and forensic interrogation.

For a man who has always prided himself on being in charge and in control, the role of silent and passive defendant was not easy.

There were intense and humiliating moments, such as when Trump was forced to sit and listen to Daniels recount their alleged encounter in quite graphic detail.

In front of journalists, before and after each day in court, the magnate launched attacks against Judge Juan Merchan – calling him “corrupt” and a “tyrant” – and describing the trial as “electoral interference” by Democrats with the intention to keep him out of the electoral campaign.

The political dimension of the case became clear in recent days, when a group of prominent Republicans – including several vice presidential hopefuls – came to court and stood behind Trump in a gesture of support as he spoke to the press.

In total, Merchan charged him with contempt of court 10 times and fined him $10,000 for violating a gag order prohibiting him from publicly attacking witnesses, jurors, court staff or family members.

The judge said he expects closing arguments to take up all of Tuesday.

He will then give final instructions to the jury, which will likely begin deliberations on Wednesday.

Unanimity is required to issue a verdict of guilty or innocent. A single no vote means a hung jury and a mistrial.

Other cases

In addition to Daniels, the prosecution’s key witness was Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and confidant now turned sworn enemy, who arranged the payment of $130,000 to buy his silence.

Cohen explained to jurors the reasons for the payments, saying they were made “to ensure that the story didn’t get out, that it didn’t affect Trump’s chances of becoming president of the United States.”

The former president’s defense team spent most of its questioning trying to discredit Cohen, recalling that he had admitted lying to Congress and spent time in prison for tax fraud.

The defense only called two of its own witnesses before withdrawing.

In addition to the New York case, Trump has been accused in Washington and Georgia of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

He also faces charges in Florida for allegedly tampering with classified documents after leaving the White House.

None of those trials are expected to take place before the November elections.

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