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Trump's Criminal Trial Speeds Along, With Few Key Witnesses Remaining

·2 mins


Criminal Trial of Former President Reaches Third Week #

The criminal trial of the former American president, Donald J. Trump, is in its third week. Key witnesses who are yet to testify include Stormy Daniels, a porn star who received hush money during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep her alleged affair with Mr. Trump secret. Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, is also expected to provide crucial testimony. Several employees of the Trump family business, who helped reimburse Cohen, are also anticipated to take the stand.

The trial, in which Mr. Trump faces 34 felony charges related to the reimbursements, is progressing quickly and could conclude in just over two weeks. It remains unclear in what order the witnesses will appear, but Daniels is scheduled to testify soon, potentially confronting Trump. The former president has pleaded not guilty and denied any involvement with Daniels. If convicted, Trump could face probation or up to four years in prison. It is uncertain whether he will testify in his own defense.

One of the charges against Trump is related to the alleged falsification of records to hide his reimbursement to Cohen. Prosecutors accuse Trump of directing his company to categorize the payments as “legal expenses” from a retainer agreement, which they claim were fictitious.

Former press secretary and White House communications director, Hope Hicks, testified on Friday, discussing the anxiety that gripped Trump’s campaign after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape in 2016. She also expressed concerns about a newspaper article before the election, which centered around Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. The article was purchased by the parent company of The National Enquirer but was never published.

The judge, Juan M. Merchan, is currently considering a gag-order violation by Trump. The trial’s second hearing on this matter took place last Thursday. Previously, Judge Merchan had fined Trump $9,000 for violating the gag order and threatened him with jail if the violation continued. A ruling on the gag-order violation is pending.