Trump ‘hush money’ trial kicks off with opening statements



The hush money trial against Donald Trump is kicking off today in a Manhattan courthouse with the former president’s lawyers and prosecutors slated to deliver opening statements to the jury.

The historic trial — to be decided by 12 jurors selected last week — is the first time a former US president will be tried for crimes.

On Sunday it was reported the first witness will be David Pecker, according to the New York Times, the media mogul and former publisher of the National Enquirer magazine, who bought and buried stories on Trump’s behalf during his 2016 campaign run. Pecker is expected to take the stand today.

The trial is the first of four criminal cases Trump, 77, faces — and could be the only one to go to trial before the 2024 presidential election in November.

The “hush money” trial against Donald Trump is kicking off Monday with opening statements from prosecutors and from the former president. POOL/AFP via Getty Images
District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office is accusing Trump of lying on busines records to cover up a “hush money” payment. WireImage
Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker is expected to testify on Monday. AP

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has repeatedly attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case as “a hoax” and “election interference” and has claimed that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan — who is overseeing the trial — is a “Trump hating judge.”

Prosecutors say Trump lied on business records to cover up that he had his former “fixer” Michael Cohen pay off porn star Stormy Daniels to the tune of $130,000 in the run up to the 2016 election to keep her from going public with claims she had sex with Trump while he was married.

Pecker and the National Enqiurer also bought up the story of a former doorman at Trump Tower, Dino Sajudin, who claimed he had knowledge Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock — a story which turned out to be completely false.

The magazine also bought the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story about how she had an affair with Trump, but never published it.

Trump has called the case “a hoax” and claimed it’s politically motivated to keep him from getting reelected. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, to which he has pleaded not guilty, and could face up to four years behind bars if convicted.

Cohen is expected to be the prosecution’s star witness during the trial — set to last approximately six weeks — and Daniels is also likely to testify against Trump.

The real estate tycoon and his lawyers have repeatedly slammed prosecutors for relying on the word of Cohen — an admitted liar and convicted fraudster.

Cohen previously testified against his one-time boss in a civil fraud case, helping New York Attorney General Letitia James clinch a $450 million judgment against Trump — which the ex-president plans to appeal.



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