Opening statements in Trump’s Manhattan trial and key takeaways


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Opening statements in Trump’s Manhattan trial

Opening statements in Trump’s Manhattan trial

Donald Trump was seen leaving court yesterday in Manhattan. Credit: Pool photo by Victor J. Blue

The first criminal trial of a former U.S. president commenced yesterday, with both sides presenting contrasting perspectives of Donald Trump in their opening statements.

Prosecutors: Prosecutors provided a detailed account of Trump’s controversial past, portraying him as a co-conspirator in a scheme to cover up three sex scandals that posed a threat to his 2016 election victory. They alleged that Trump repeatedly lied to protect his candidacy.

Trump’s Defense: Trump’s legal team dismissed the case as a mere “business records violation” and argued that the 34 felony charges against Trump were insignificant, likening them to “just 34 pieces of paper.” They also attempted to discredit key prosecution witnesses, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer.

The proceedings also included brief testimony from David Pecker, the former head of The National Enquirer. Prosecutors claim that Pecker purchased and suppressed stories that could have harmed Trump’s 2016 campaign. The day ended early due to the Passover holiday and a juror’s emergency dental appointment.

Five key takeaways from the trial:

  • Donald Trump’s appearance at the Manhattan court
  • Divergent opening statements from prosecution and defense
  • Allegations of Trump’s involvement in covering up sex scandals
  • Trump’s legal team’s characterization of the charges
  • Testimony from David Pecker and early end of proceedings

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