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Dems Call Trump Chicken For This

Former President Trump seems poised not to testify in his ongoing New York criminal trial, despite having previously floated the possibility.

Key Points: Trump’s legal team hinted at the likelihood of resting their case soon, with Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche noting on Monday that they have one primary witness left and “another short witness” to testify, according to ABC News. This comes after days of anticipation about whether Trump would take the stand in his own defense.

Background: Trump has encouraged a more assertive approach from his attorneys throughout the trial, and initially suggested he would “probably” testify. However, legal experts have cautioned that taking the stand could expose him to a harsh cross-examination that might damage his credibility.

Charges: Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, which was intended to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with him. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Trial Developments: During the trial, Trump has inaccurately claimed that the gag order, which restricts his comments on witnesses and jurors, also bars him from testifying. “Well, I’m not allowed to testify. I’m under a gag order, I guess. I can’t testify,” Trump stated to pool reporters on May 2. However, Judge Juan Merchan clarified that the gag order does not prevent Trump from testifying.

Recent Statements: As of May 16, Blanche mentioned that no decision had been made regarding Trump’s potential testimony, CNN reported.

Witness Testimony: Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, has testified that Trump approved a plan to pay Daniels $130,000 to silence her about their alleged encounter and about the plan to reimburse Cohen for advancing the payment. During cross-examination, Trump’s defense team attempted to discredit Cohen by portraying him as disobedient and overly fixated on Trump.

Courtroom Dynamics: Throughout the five weeks of the trial, Trump has been supported by a varying group of allies. His legal team has launched multiple legal motions—such as two mistrial requests—all of which have been rejected by Judge Merchan. Merchan has even warned of potential jail time for Trump for violating the gag order.

As the trial progresses, Trump’s decision not to testify marks a significant turn in the case, reflecting the complex legal strategy and the risks involved in him taking the stand.

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