Trump hush money trial sets closing arguments as Cohen finishes testimony

New York, New York - Donald Trump's hush money trial approached its final stages on Monday, with the defense finishing the cross-examination of star witness Michael Cohen, and closing arguments scheduled for next week.

On Monday, Donald Trump's hush money trial began to wind down as the star witness wrapped up his testimony, and the judge scheduled closing arguments.
On Monday, Donald Trump's hush money trial began to wind down as the star witness wrapped up his testimony, and the judge scheduled closing arguments.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, told the court, "We are not going to be able to sum up tomorrow," as he had hoped due to the upcoming holiday weekend and ongoing legal squabbles over jury instructions.

Experts say it is highly unlikely he will take the stand in his criminal trial, the first ever of a former US president, as it would expose him to unnecessary legal jeopardy and forensic cross-examination by prosecutors.

Trump is facing 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records to hide payments made to a porn star in 2016 to cover up an affair he has long denied.

Trump rants about Taylor Swift's Biden support: "Why would she endorse this dope?"
Donald Trump Trump rants about Taylor Swift's Biden support: "Why would she endorse this dope?"

His attorney, Todd Blanche, spent Monday finishing his third day of questioning Cohen, Trump's former attorney, who claims he orchestrated the payments at his boss's request.

Trump complains about trial's impact on his campaign

After the prosecution rests, the defense can – but are not required to – present their own case, but it is currently unclear if they will.

Trump has also expressed an interest in testifying, but experts have warned against doing so, as it could expose him to unnecessary legal jeopardy and forensic cross-examination by prosecutors.

Trump gave a statement to reporters, complaining that he is "not allowed to have anything to do with politics because I'm sitting in a very freezing cold, dark room for the last four weeks."

Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

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