Closing arguments begin in New York v. Trump as former president rips case as "election hunting"

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Quick Hit:

As closing arguments begin in the trial over Donald Trump's alleged "hush-money" payments to Stormy Daniels, the former president has ripped the proceedings as "election hunting". Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records, argues that the verdict could be a "dangerous day for America".

Key Details:

  • The former president's legal team has filed a motion to dismiss, which is yet to be addressed by Judge Juan Merchan.
  • To convict Trump, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he falsified records to conceal the payment to Daniels.
  • Outside of the courthouse Tuesday morning, Trump spoke on the case, saying in part, "This is all election hunting, election interfering, going after Joe Biden’s opponent because he can’t do it himself."

Diving Deeper:

The trial resumed on Tuesday with both the prosecution and defense offering their closing arguments. Trump, who arrived at the Manhattan courthouse accompanied by his children and other supporters, took the opportunity to speak to reporters. He slammed President Biden, accusing him of ruining the country, and claimed that the trial was an attempt at "election hunting" and "election interfering".

Trump read from a sheet of paper containing quotes from media outlets and legal scholars, including a Wall Street Journal editorial and a Jonathan Turley column in The Post. He argued that the case should have been brought seven years ago, not during his campaign, and accused the judge of being corrupt. He also expressed frustration that the prosecution would get the last word in the trial, claiming in a social media post that the set-up was "very unfair".

Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, expects his closing argument to last two and a half hours, while prosecutor Joshua Steinglass estimates that the argument from DA Alvin Bragg's office will take between four and four and a half hours. Blanche began his opening arguments by insisting that Trump is innocent and did not commit any crimes. He also targeted Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer-turned-foe, claiming that the jury cannot convict Trump based on Cohen's words.

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