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Trump Doesn't Testify At His Trial; Jury Deliberations Next Week

Lawyers defending Donald Trump in New York City rested their case on Tuesday after calling just two witnesses — not including the former president — setting the stage for closing arguments next week. Judge Juan Merchan said he hoped that the jury of 12 New Yorkers could begin deciding Trump’s guilt or innocence next Wednesday. Prosecutors presented 20 witnesses including Michael Cohen, Trump’s onetime fixer, who made a $130,000 hush-money payment to a porn star on the eve of the 2016 election. Trump’s reimbursement of Cohen is at the center of the 34 felony counts against the former president. The final witness was Robert Costello, once an informal legal adviser to Cohen, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors sought to portray him as having acted as an agent of Trump, trying to keep Cohen from cooperating with investigators after a 2018 raid by federal agents.

Before the trial started, Trump suggested he was eager to take the stand. “I’m testifying. I tell the truth,” he said. His lawyers advised against it, however. Conservative attorney George Conway called Trump's description of the security outside the Manhattan courthouse an “amazing lie,” The Hill reports. On Monday, Trump said, “Outside looks like it’s supposed to be Fort Knox. There are more police than I’ve ever seen anywhere because they don’t want to have anybody come down. There’s not a civilian within three blocks of the courthouse.” Fort Knox is a military installation in Kentucky, known for its extensive security because it is home to the U.S. Bullion Depository, holding a significant amount of the U.S. Treasury’s gold. Conway, on the social platform X, said, "There is virtually complete freedom of movement around that courthouse." CNN reported that after the New York Times published a story saying Trump was unhappy with the low turnout outside the courtroom at the start of the trial, Trump made false claims that “thousands of people were turned away” and said, “This courthouse is locked down; there’s not a person within five blocks.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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