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As Trump Trial Nears End, Defense Says Cohen Was Lying

Donald Trump's New York City trial is nearing an end as prosecutors and defense lawyers deliver closing arguments to the jury. Defense lawyer Todd Blanche was first telling jurors that the former president is “innocent” and did not break the law, reports the Associated Press. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass may argue for more than four hours. To convict Trump, prosecutors must convince jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that he not only falsified or caused business records to be entered falsely, but that he did so with intent to commit or conceal another crime.

Blanche argued that the key prosecution witness was lying when he said he was working for free as Trump’s personal lawyer once Trump became president. “What the government did for the past five weeks, at the end of the day, is ask you to believe ... Michael Cohen,” Blanche told jurors. “Michael Cohen asked you to ignore the documents, ignore what the email says about sending a retainer agreement ... asked you to believe that he worked for free.” As Trump was getting ready to move to the White House, Cohen testified he was upset that his annual Trump Organization holiday bonus had been slashed from $150,000 to $50,000. Blanche asked, was Cohen really going to work for free? Blanche stressed that Trump was busy during the time when he signed the checks at the heart of the case. He noted Trump assistant Madeleine Westerhout testified Trump would sometimes sign checks while meeting with people or while on the phone, not knowing what they were.


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