On the first day of his criminal trial, Donald Trump denounces an “attack on America”

The best defense is attack

On the first day of his criminal trial, Donald Trump denounces an “attack on America”

The best defense is attack. The trial of Donald Trump – the first former American president to appear before the criminal justice system – opened on Monday April 15 in New York for hidden payments to Stormy Daniels, a former pornographic film star, just before the 2016 presidential election. .

Before entering the courtroom and sitting down at the defense table, an expression of seriousness on his face, surrounded by his lawyers and dressed in his characteristic blue suit and red tie, the Republican candidate denounced an “attack on America.” “Nothing like this has ever happened before,” he continued, once again denouncing a “political persecution” orchestrated according to him by his successor, Democrat Joe Biden.

A little more than three years after leaving the White House in chaos, he faces, in theory, a prison sentence. A conviction would not prevent Donald Trump from running for president or becoming president. According to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released last week, nearly two in three voters consider the charges in this case to be at least somewhat serious. One in four Republicans and half of independents said they would not vote for Donald Trump if he were convicted of a crime.

Testimonials from Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump

Until the last days, lawyers vainly multiplied the appeals to delay the deadline. Saturday evening, at a meeting in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump assured that he would testify at the trial.

First step Monday, the selection of the twelve jurors who will be responsible for unanimously declaring Donald Trump guilty or not guilty; this process could take several days. At least a hundred Manhattan residents will be gathered in the courtroom, where they will have to answer a long questionnaire on their political affiliations and their dispositions, favorable or unfavorable, towards Donald Trump.

The billionaire is indicted for thirty-four falsifications of accounting documents from his company, the Trump Organization, which allegedly aimed to hide, under the cover of "legal fees", payments made in the very final stretch of the 2016 presidential election to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels.

For $130,000, the latter had agreed to keep quiet about a sexual relationship with the Republican billionaire ten years earlier, when he was already married to Melania Trump. Donald Trump has always denied this relationship and his defense intends to demonstrate that the payments were in the private sphere.

However, the prosecution, led by the prosecutor elected under the Democratic label Alvin Bragg, wants to demonstrate that there were indeed fraudulent maneuvers to hide information from voters a few days before the presidential election, narrowly won by the Republican against Hillary Clinton. One of the challenges of the trial will be to determine what Donald Trump knew about these payments when they took place.

His former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who paid the money to Stormy Daniels – at the request of his boss, he claims – and has already been convicted in federal court for this affair, will be one of the witnesses -keys to the accusation. Stormy Daniels is one of the witnesses expected to take the stand. Donald Trump has said he plans to testify in his own defense, a risky choice that would expose him to heavy-handed cross-examination from prosecutors.