May 18, 2024

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Trump's criminal investigation: A new stance on his freedom of expression

Trump's criminal investigation: A new stance on his freedom of expression

After two campaign rallies, Donald Trump returned Thursday to his trial in New York for his 2016 covert payments to a former porn actress, resuming his stance on attacks on witnesses and judges.

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Before resuming the trial, Judge Juan Mercant examined a new round of unhinged statements from the volatile Republican billionaire outside the courtroom, against one of the key witnesses, his former lawyer turned sworn enemy, Michael Cohen, or against jurors. He protested their supposed nonpartisanship of “95% Democrats.”

Prosecutors denounced the new violations of the ban on any charges against jurors or witnesses, ordered by the magistrate to protect them from possible pressure or intimidation.

Donald Trump's attorney, Todd Blanch, has once again backed the Republican presidential nominee's need to protect free speech. “He answered the question about the investigation,” he argued, adding, “We believe this is political harassment, and this jurisdiction is 90% Democratic.”

“The implication of these comments is that the jury was not fair,” the judge said.

The question flares as a magistrate on Tuesday already ruled the maximum fine for defamation of Donald Trump, $9,000 for nine posts on his truth social network or his campaign site. After all, he warned the former president of the United States so that he would stop his attacks, which the law provides for up to 30 days in prison.

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He did not form a government immediately.

Arriving at the hearing, Donald Trump, in a gold tie and navy blue suit, congratulated himself for being able to campaign the day before “without this ridiculous show being under investigation,” saying he was “calling for the Biden investigation.” His rival in his legal troubles.

“Withdrawal”

Donald Trump faces the first criminal conviction of a former U.S. president in the case and could in theory face prison time, which would make the presidential campaign unintelligible.

The former president of the United States has been indicted on 34 counts of falsifying accounting documents that allegedly covered up payments to cover up a domestic sex scandal during the 2016 presidential campaign, which narrowly won against Hillary Clinton.

Former porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was awarded $130,000 for keeping quiet about an alleged sexual relationship with him in 2006 when he was already married. A relationship that Donald Trump denies.

The actress' former attorney, Keith Davidson, continued to testify Thursday behind the scenes of the transaction, conducted directly with Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen.

On October 28, 2016, she signed a non-disclosure agreement under the pseudonyms “Peggy Peterson” for Stormy Daniels and “David Dennison” for Donald Trump.

The money, initially taken from Michael Cohen's personal funds, was paid through a shell company. According to the prosecution, Mr. Cohen was reimbursed in 2017 by Donald Trump's business group, the Trump Organization, for expenses recorded as “legal expenses” and therefore sued for falsifying accounting documents.

Keith Davidson was later roped in by Donald Trump's lawyer Emil Bowe, who compared his actions to “money laundering”. The lawyer had to admit that he was under a federal investigation after he negotiated the sale of a “sex tape” to former wrestling star Hulk Hogan.

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Michael Cohen, a lead prosecutor, has yet to testify before jurors.

Three years after leaving the White House in disarray and recovering from two impeachment proceedings, Donald Trump enters the campaign indicted in four separate cases, including his illegal attempts to overturn presidential election results in federal courts in Washington. Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

But because of appeals and procedural questions, the current case in New York can only be tried, on a smaller scale, before the Nov. 5 election.