Donald Trump has the opportunity to testify at the hush money trial if he chooses to do so

For weeks, Donald Trump has remained silent in a New York courtroom as former employees and associates have testified in his criminal hush money trial. On Monday, the former U.S. president might take the opportunity to share his side of the story.

Prosecutors say that Trump reimbursed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for payments to adult film actor Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with the president in 2006. The Manhattan DA’s office accuses Mr. Trump of falsifying business records to cover up an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The prosecution’s star witness, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, took the stand for three days last week. He’s by far the most critical witness in this case because he’s at the center of the prosecutors’ allegations that Trump orchestrated a scheme to silence women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with the then-president, who denies those claims. Cohen’s testimony also helps support prosecutors’ assertion that the hush money payments and reimbursements were illegally logged as legal expenses to conceal their true purpose.

While it remains unclear whether the defense will call any witnesses, the judge, in this case, has ruled that if Mr. Trump decides to take the witness stand, he can do so despite a sweeping gag order that bars him from discussing the case with reporters or talking about jurors and witnesses in this matter. However, the judge has clarified that he does not intend to force Mr. Trump to testify.

Experts say that if the defense does call witnesses, it would be wise for them to include experts on issues such as financial reporting and tax law to raise doubts in the jurors’ minds about the prosecution’s case against Mr. Trump. The prosecution has refused to share with the defense the names of any potential witnesses, arguing that it would be unfair because it is a risk that the witness could tweet about them and potentially influence their jury selection during this process.

If the defense calls any witnesses, it might not go after them too aggressively to sow doubt in the jury’s mind about the prosecution’s case against Mr. Donald Trump. Instead, experts agree that the defense should rely on attacking the credibility of key prosecution witnesses and making them look bad in their own words.

A former prosecutor and a legal scholar specializing in celebrity cases says that while it’s not necessarily in the best interests of Mr. Trump to take the stand in this case, he has an absolute right to do so after consulting with his attorneys. He said that the jury will probably want to hear from both sides, particularly given the damning testimony provided by Mr. Cohen and by Stormy Daniels, whose own testimony has been highly damaging to the president’s case.

Subscribe Today





Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

More article