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Trump says he will testify in the hush money case

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US ex-president Donald Trump has tried several times to have the so-called hush money case against him postponed. On Friday, he said he will testify in the case, which starts on Monday. Photo: Wilfredo Lee / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 13.04.2024 03:33:28

Policy: Trump said Friday he will testify, an unusual and often risky move for defendants.

– I will testify. I’m telling the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth, and the truth is that there is no case, he told reporters.

The trial starts as planned on Monday with a probably lengthy and heated process of choosing the twelve jurors and their deputies.

More than 100 ordinary citizens summoned by Judge Juan Merchan must answer a questionnaire. Among other things, they are asked whether they have been members of right-wing radical groups such as the Proud Boys, who led a mob of Trump supporters in the storming of Congress in 2021.

Judge Merchan was not convinced. He refers to the argument as untenable. Trump “seems to take the position that his situation and this case are unique, and that media interest in the case will never wane. However, this point of view is not in accordance with reality,” writes the judge in his ruling.

Furthermore, Merchan says that questioning potential jurors will ensure that any concerns about their ability to be impartial and fair are followed up on.

The payments took place in the final weeks of the election campaign before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump was indicted by a grand jury in New York in March 2023. The indictment is on 34 counts. He denies all the charges and claims that the case is politically motivated. It is expected to last up to two months.

If Trump is convicted, he can appeal, and a conviction will not prevent him from running for president anyway.

The judge in the case on Friday rejected another attempt by Trump’s lawyers to have it postponed. Among other things, they argued for the postponement with the fact that the selection from which the jurors can be selected will be filled up by people who have caught the “exceptionally damaging” news coverage of the case. This is reason to postpone the case indefinitely, they argued.

Trump is accused of falsifying financial statements to hide payments he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about a sexual relationship she claims to have had with Trump in 2006.

(© NTB)

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