Donald Trump’s New York Hush-Money Trial: Important Lessons learned on the 12th Day

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Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, faced more testimony in his criminal trial in New York for allegedly falsifying business records connected to hush-money payments before the 2016 elections. The judge, Juan Merchan, fined Trump $1,000 for the 10th time and held him in contempt of court for violating a gag order. Merchan warned that further violations could result in jail time, though he hoped to avoid that step.

The trial involves payments made by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels to silence her about an alleged affair with Trump. Prosecutors claim Trump directed the payments to influence the 2016 election. Jurors heard about the reimbursements at the heart of the charges against Trump from former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney. Bank records and handwritten notes revealed the reimbursement process, showing that Trump’s personal account funded the payments.

Deborah Tarasoff, an accounts payable supervisor at the Trump Organization, also testified about the cheques used to reimburse Cohen. The prosecution presented evidence suggesting that the payments were mislabelled as legal expenses to conceal the hush-money payments. The defence argued that there was nothing illegal about how Cohen was paid.

Despite previous fines for violating the gag order, Trump continued to criticize the trial during a recent interview. Merchan issued the $1,000 fine for Trump’s latest violation, warning that jail time could be considered if the violations persist. Trump maintained his innocence and accused the judge of infringing on his constitutional rights. The trial’s implications on Trump’s potential 2024 presidential campaign were also discussed.

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