Defense Rests In Donald Trump's Criminal Hush Money Trial

By iHeartRadio

May 21, 2024

Former President Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial Continues In New York
Photo: Pool / Getty Images News / Getty Images

The defense team for former President Donald Trump concluded its case in the criminal hush money trial in New York on Tuesday (May 21) after calling only two witnesses. The prosecution, which had called 20 witnesses, rested its case on Monday.

The final defense witness, Robert Costello, testified briefly on Monday and Tuesday. Costello, a veteran New York criminal defense attorney, faced a warning of contempt from Judge Juan Merchan due to his visible disagreement with his rulings.

The trial centers around allegations that Trump participated in an illegal conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election. This included a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to conceal an alleged affair. Prosecutors claim that Trump disguised the transaction as a legal expense and falsified business records to promote his candidacy. Trump, who faces 34 counts of falsifying business records, has pleaded not guilty and denied the affair.

Despite Trump's pretrial claim that he would "absolutely" testify, he did not take the stand. The defense's case was brief, with the first witness being a paralegal from defense attorney Todd Blanche's office, followed by Costello.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected to take place next week.

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