Trump names main excuse for not taking the stand at hush money trial

Palm Beach, Florida - Donald Trump has opened up on the reason why he decided at the last minute not to testify in his hush money trial, after vowing for weeks to do so.

In a recent interview, Donald Trump revealed why he decided not to take the stand in his hush money trial after repeatedly promising to do so.
In a recent interview, Donald Trump revealed why he decided not to take the stand in his hush money trial after repeatedly promising to do so.  © NIC ANTAYA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

In an interview with WABC Radio Wednesday, Trump blamed presiding Judge Juan Merchan for his decision not to testify.

"He made rulings that make it very difficult to testify," the 77-year-old said of Merchan. "Anything I did, anything I did in the past, they can bring everything up, and you know what, I've had a great past – but anything."

"The other reason," he continued, "is because they have no case. In other words... why testify when they have no case?"

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Trump is facing 34 felony charges in the trial for allegedly falsifying business records to hide payments made to a porn star in an effort to cover up an affair he has long denied.

His remarks come after both sides rested their cases on Tuesday.

Donald Trump has complained about the judge throughout the trial

Donald Trump speaking to the media during his hush money trial payments at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 21, 2024.
Donald Trump speaking to the media during his hush money trial payments at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 21, 2024.  © POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Throughout the trial, Trump has repeatedly argued he is being treated unfairly.

In March, Judge Merchan issued a partial gag order, which aimed to prevent Trump from publicly attacking people involved in the case.

The order was expanded after Trump began attacking Merchan's daughter on social media.

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Since then, Merchan has ruled twice to hold Trump in contempt for violating the order 11 times, fined the former president a total of $10,000, and threatened him with jail time if his behavior persists.

But the judge has also made several concessions to the former president that most criminal defendants would never get.

After the Republican complained to reporters the trial was keeping him from attending his son Barron's high school graduation, Merchan granted him the day off so that he could attend the event.

Even with the gag orders in place, Trump has continued to push the limits, while allies and surrogates also showed up in court in order to bolster the attacks.

Merchan scheduled closing arguments to begin next Tuesday, which he said should take "at least a day."

Cover photo: NIC ANTAYA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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