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Government and PoliticsTechnicalities could tip the scales in Trump's "Buying Silence" case involving Stormy Daniels

Technicalities could tip the scales in Trump’s “Buying Silence” case involving Stormy Daniels

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Experts said that although the prosecution in the “buying silence” case in which former US President Donald Trump is accused presented strong arguments before the judge and jury to convict him, some technical details may serve Trump and his defense team.

The closing arguments in the historic criminal trial in which the former president is subjected on charges of paying money to pornographic film actress, Stormy Daniels, are scheduled to end this week.

Daniels (45 years old) is the focus of the “buying silence” case, in which Trump is accused of falsifying accounting documents to conceal $130,000 that was paid to her during the 2016 election campaign to cover up the alleged relationship.

stormy-daniels-porn-star
Porn Star Stormy Daniels (image: Barrett Blade)

Prosecutors say Trump illegally included payments to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, in 2017 as legal expenses on his real estate company’s books to cover up an illegal scheme by buying the silence of people with information that could be harmful to their campaign.

Trump, who aspires to return to the White House in next November’s elections, has pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal charges related to falsifying business records, and denies any sexual encounter with Daniels.

Cohen is expected to finish his testimony in court on Monday, before the defense team speaks again and then the curtain comes down on the trial.

Cohen spent nearly 13 months in prison, and a year and a half under house arrest, after he was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of lying to Congress and committing financial crimes.

Trump is being prosecuted on charges of falsifying accounting documents to hide the trace of this amount.

Experts disagree on whether the prosecution has proven its legal case yet.

Although the prosecution presented strong evidence, their case “has not yet proven the technical elements of the crime of which Trump is accused,” according to Gregory German, an attorney and professor of law at Syracuse University, who spoke to the American “ABC” network .

German said that the prosecution team is missing elements in the case that they must prove in order to issue a guilty verdict, which is proof that Trump falsified business records to commit another crime.

Chris Timmons, the network’s former general prosecutor, said that the prosecution will have to prove to the jury that Trump knew that he falsified the records, and that this was done for political reasons, that is, to prevent people from knowing that he paid a sum of money to the porn actress.

It’s a bit of a technical issue, Timmons said, “so the jury may have a hard time dealing with it.”

Experts say Trump’s conviction will likely depend largely on the directions the judge gives to the jury.

“If the judge goes beyond the difficult legal issues in the case and oversimplifies the matter, I think the jury might find Trump guilty,” German said.

But “if he just said to the jury, ‘Do you think Trump falsified business records in order to hide information from the public during the election?’ He probably did, but I don’t think that constitutes a crime.”

German says that with attorneys on the jury, it may be difficult for the jury to overlook missing legal elements in the case.

The Washington Post says that the judge’s instructions will be very important in making the jury understand that falsifying business records constitutes criminal interference in the election.

So far, the judge has shown confidence in issuing quick and decisive rulings, even as Trump and his supporters question his impartiality, according to the newspaper.


Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago, said the judge, Juan Merchan, performed strongly during the course of the trial, both by promptly selecting an unchanged jury and handling Trump’s violations of the gag order without jailing him.

The judge rejected a request from the Trump team for a mistrial after Stormy Daniels included unnecessary sexual details during her testimony and suggested that the alleged sexual encounter may not have been consensual.


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Qamar Munawer
Qamar Munawer
Associate Editor at The Eastern Herald. Ar. Qamar Munawer is currently at Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg in Germany.

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