The prosecution Claims that Trump Attempted to “corrupt” the 2016 Election

At the beginning of Donald Trump’s historic hush money trial, a prosecutor told jurors on Monday that the former president “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt” the 2016 presidential election.

In response, a defence attorney argued that Trump was “innocent” and questioned the credibility of the former Trump confidant who is now the government’s star witness. According to Trump’s lawyer, the lawsuit ought never to have been started.

In their opening remarks, prosecutors accused Trump of a plot to keep negative details about his personal life from being made public. This was the first time prosecutors had brought a criminal case against a former president to a jury.

“The defendant, Donald Trump, orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo said to the jury.

“Then, by repeatedly lying in his New York company records, he covered up that illegal conspiracy.”

Prosecutors’ and Trump’s solicitors’ remarks are anticipated to provide the 12-member jury and the electorate with the most comprehensive understanding of the central claims of the case to date.

They also introduced the colourful cast of characters that make up the tawdry tale: the tabloid publisher who agreed to act as the campaign’s “eyes and ears,” the adult film actress who claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump, and the lawyer who prosecutors claim paid her not to talk about it.

He is accused with 34 felonies of fabricating business records, a crime that carries a maximum four-year jail sentence. It is unclear whether the court will attempt to have him imprisoned.

Although a conviction would not bar Trump from running for office again, as this is a state matter, he would not be able to ask for a pardon if proven guilty. He has consistently refuted any misconduct.

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The lawsuit, which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is bringing, reopens a period in Trump’s past in which his aspirations to become a politician clashed with his celebrity background, and he hurried to suppress rumours that he believed would destroy his candidature.

During his introductory remarks, Mr. Colangelo linked the initiative’s beginnings to the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in 2016, on which Trump was audibly heard bragging about groping women without their consent.

“That tape had an instant and explosive impact on the campaign,” Mr. Colangelo told the jury, describing how well-known Trump supporters pulled their support and denounced his remarks.

The prosecutor stated that there will be proof that the Republican National Committee thought about running a different candidate in place of Trump.

Days after the “Access Hollywood” tape was made public, Mr. Colangelo informed the jury that Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, was pressuring Cohen to come out with her allegations of having a sex encounter with Trump in 2006. This information was obtained by The National Enquirer.

“At Trump’s direction, Cohen negotiated a deal to buy Ms. Daniels’ story to prevent American voters from hearing that story before Election Day,” Mr. Colangelo said before the jury.

The prosecutor also detailed additional payments that were made as part of a tactic known in the tabloid world as a “catch-and-kill” scheme, which involves purchasing the rights to a potentially damaging story in order to secure its suppression or death, with agreements prohibiting the paid individual from sharing the story with anyone else.

Additionally, Mr. Colangelo discussed agreements to pay a former Playboy model $150,000 to stifle her allegations of having an affair with the married Trump that lasted for almost a year.

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Speaking about his concerns for the election, Mr. Colangelo claimed that Trump “desperately did not want this information about Karen McDougal to become public.”

He informed the jury that they will hear a taped recording of Cohen informing Trump on the plan to purchase Ms. McDougal’s narrative, which was made in September 2016.

Public release of the tape occurred in July 2018.

Jurors, according to Mr. Colangelo, heard Trump speak for himself when he said, “What do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?

Just minutes after denouncing the case in bold letters on social media as “election interference” and a “witch hunt,” Trump showed up at the courthouse just before nine in the morning.

He bemoaned to reporters on Monday morning after his arrival that he was “here instead of being able to be in Pennsylvania and Georgia and lots of other places campaigning, and it’s very unfair” due to the fact that the trial would force him to spend his days in a courtroom rather than on the campaign trail.

Not only did Trump endure a jury selection process during which numerous possible jurors voiced unfavourable thoughts about him, but he will also have to stay in court while the jury is presented with scandalous and possibly embarrassing details about his personal life.

Despite this, Trump has made an effort to use his criminal defendant status to his advantage during the campaign, collecting money off of his legal troubles and frequently criticising a court system he has long said is biassed against him.

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Cohen entered a guilty plea to federal charges in 2018 and is anticipated to serve as a prominent witness for the prosecution. According to the prosecution, Trump concealed the true source of the payments in internal records when his company reimbursed Cohen.

Trump has denied ever having a physical relationship with Daniels, and his attorneys contend that the money paid to Cohen was a reasonable fee for legal representation.

Prosecutors must demonstrate that in addition to falsifying or causing company records to be recorded falsely, which would be a misdemeanour, Trump concealed another crime in order to convict him of a felony.

The accusations do not accuse Trump of violating national security procedures, as in the case of the federal lawsuit in Florida accusing him of hoarding sensitive papers, or of an egregious abuse of power, as in the case of the federal lawsuit in Washington accusing him of planning to rig the 2020 presidential election.

However, given that it might be the only one of the four cases against Trump to go to trial before the November election, the prosecution in New York has gained more significance.

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