Trump trial news updates: Closing arguments conclude in Trump hush money case

Trump trial news updates: Closing arguments conclude in Trump hush money case
Donald Trump’s hush money trial is coming to an end. Here’s what to expect

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial is drawing to a close after a marathon day in court in which the defense and prosecution concluded their closing arguments. Judge Juan Merchan will now instruct the jury, who will then begin deliberations.

The defense closed out their summation by listing 10 reasons there are reasonable doubts about the case against the former president.

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche hammered the credibility of former fixer to the defendant Michael Cohen, labeling him the “GLOAT” — Greatest Liar Of All Time.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass methodically laid out the chronology of the case against the former president, tying pieces of evidence together in a thorough timeline over almost five hours.

Mr Trump stands accused of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment made to the adult entertainer Stormy Daniels in October 2016 to ensure her silence about a sexual encounter she alleges she had with him a decade earlier. The former president denies both the affair and the charges.

The prosecution hopes to convince jurors that the misdemeanour offenses should be elevated to felonies because they were carried out to subvert a presidential election.

Alex Woodward is covering the trial for The Independent live from court.


Trump departs with no remarks for media

Per the pool report:

Trump left at 8pm without speaking to media. He raised his left fist and pumped it as he walked out.

Jason Miller told poolers earlier that Trump had “private event” at 8:30pm and was unlikely to speak to cameras.

Oliver O’Connell29 May 2024 01:02


Classified documents case: Judge blocks Jack Smith’s request for gag order against Trump

A judge blocked Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request to bar Donald Trump from making statements that could pose a threat to law enforcement in his classified documents case.

Federal Judge Aileen Cannon wrote that Mr Smith’s motion was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” as it didn’t give Trump’s defense team enough time to respond. Mr Smith made the request on Friday, asking the judge to limit the comments Mr Trump could make about the law enforcement officers who searched his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Katie Hawkinson reports:

Oliver O’Connell29 May 2024 01:00


Court will start at 10 am tomorrow and Judge Merchan will deliver instructions to the jury then.

That will take an hour and then the jury will begin deliberations.

Alex Woodward29 May 2024 00:59


“Trump can’t shoot anyone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.”

Objection. Sustained.

“You have the ability to hold the defendant accountable. Like in any case, it can be judged by a jury of his peers, based on the evidence and nothing else. Remember you are the ones who had the opportunity to see every witness and review every witness.”

“In the interest of justice and in the name of the people of the State of New York, I ask you to find the defendant guilty. Thank you.”

Steinglass steps away.

Alex Woodward29 May 2024 00:57


‘All roads lead inescapably to the man who benefited most’

Why not pay Stormy Daniels directly? Instead, Trump, Weisselberg and Cohen created a scheme involving at least 10 other people, and Trump “used his own business records as the vehicle, because he didn’t want anyone to find out about his conspiracy to corrupt the election.”

“Everything that Trump and his cohorts did in this case were cloaked in lies,” says Steinglass.

“The name of the game was concealment.”

“All roads lead inescapably to the man who benefited most.”

He thanks jurors for sticking through this exhaustive and lengthy summation, noting that “we only get one shot at this.”

Alex Woodward29 May 2024 00:56


Steinglass says that each count requires us to prove that Trump personally or acted in concert with others that he caused a false entry, and that he did so with the intent to defraud or to aid and conceal another crime.

“Nobody is saying he sat at a computer” to write false entries, but his actions “set in motion a series of events” that allowed them.

When it comes to state election conspiracy violations, Steinglass says he’s “beating a dead horse”

“You’ve seen a mountain of evidence,” he says. “That was the whole purpose of the Trump Tower meeting, to get AMI to help Trump win the election.”

Jurors don’t have to agree on all the “unlawful means,” just that they agree that there was an intent.

Payoffs to Sajudin, McDougal and Daniels amounted to federal campaign finance violations, and there is “just no rational argument that Cohen’s payment to Daniels wouldn’t have been made if not for the election.”

Alex Woodward29 May 2024 00:52


“After the summation that never ends,” Steinglass jokes, the judge will explain the law surrounding the charges facing Trump.

“Don’t accept the defendants’ invitation to see each piece of evidence in a vacuum,” he tells jurors. “And when you do, you will find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Alex Woodward29 May 2024 00:40


Steinglass gives three reasons jury shouldn’t believe argument Cohen went rogue

Oliver O’Connell29 May 2024 00:40


Full story: Trump defense trashes trial star witness Michael Cohen in closing arguments

Alex Woodward reports:

Michael Cohen is “the human embodiment of reasonable doubt,” the “MVP of liars” and “the GLOAT: the greatest liar of all time,” according to Donald Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche.

Continue reading…

Oliver O’Connell29 May 2024 00:30


Steinglass continues to walk the jury through the timeline of the Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels NDAs and payments highlighting each time Trump was aware of or continuing to direct what was happening through Michael Cohen.

He is emphasizing that each communication is backed up by hard evidence such as texts, phone records and emails.

Oliver O’Connell29 May 2024 00:27