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  • Writer's pictureJanuary 6th News

Trump's Defense Rests in "Hush Money" Trial

The "hush money" trial of former President Donald Trump witnessed a critical development, with the defense resting its case on Tuesday. Trump opted not to testify, contradicting earlier hints that he might. The defense summoned only two witnesses: a legal expert and attorney Robert Costello, who faced a stern rebuke from the judge on Monday.

Donald Trump's defense team rested their case Tuesday.

Costello's role was to discredit the prosecution's primary witness, Michael Cohen, who concluded his testimony the previous day. Costello stated that he had many interactions with Cohen beginning in April 2018, post Cohen's house and office search by the FBI. He informed the jury that Cohen had confessed that Trump was "unaware" of the $130,000 "hush money" payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016. Costello also asserted that Cohen self-funded the payment and claimed that Trump knew of a plan to conceal reimbursement payments. Trump maintains his innocence against 34 charges of business record falsification. The trial will resume next Tuesday for closing arguments.

Donald Trump Jr., speaking outside the courthouse during a break, responded to a question about his father's decision not to testify. He criticised the trial as a "kangaroo court" and called the situation "insane". "There would be absolutely no reason, no justification for subjecting oneself to this sham," he added.

Following Costello's dismissal, a roadmap for the remaining trial was laid out. The court will reconvene for deliberation over the judge's instructions to the jury. The judge will elucidate complex legal concepts in a comprehensible manner for the jury. Both defense and prosecution attorneys scrutinize these instructions closely. The court will adjourn after this conference until the following Tuesday; the jury will then hear closing arguments.

Costello's testimony was integral to Trump's defense, focusing on disputing the motivations and credibility of Daniels and Cohen. Despite previous hints at testifying, Trump chose not to and remained seated throughout the trial.

During his testimony, Costello was asked about his 2018 email interactions with Cohen, referencing conversations with Giuliani, Trump's new personal attorney. Costello even offered to be a "back channel" to Giuliani in one email. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger pointed out an email where Costello discussed aligning Cohen's stance without making it seem like they were following instructions from Giuliani or Trump.

Details from Costello's cross-examination and his previous court conduct have drawn attention. On Monday, Costello's behavior led to the clearing of the courtroom and a threat to strike his testimony from the record. He was called back to the stand on Tuesday to counter specific gaps identified in Cohen's testimony.

Donald Trump Jr. joined Eric Trump, who has been a regular attendee, at the trial. They were accompanied by a revolving assortment of Trump's allies, including former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Senator Eric Schmitt, and Representatives Daniel Webster, Dan Meuser, Ronny Jackson, Troy Nehls, Dale Strong, and Maria Salazar.


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