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Factbox-Key quotes from Trump’s criminal hush money trial

Factbox-Key quotes from Trump’s criminal hush money trial

By Luc Cohen and Jack Queen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Opening statements got underway on Monday in the criminal hush-money trial of Donald Trump and the prosecution’s first witness, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, took the stand. Trump has denied guilty of falsifying company records to cover up a hush money payment made by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Here are some key quotes from the proceedings:

– “This case is about a conspiracy and a cover-up, an illegal conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the presidential election, and then the steps that Donald Trump took to cover up that illegal election fraud,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo told the jury during his speech. pick up line.

– “No politician wants bad press, but the evidence at trial will show that this was not a spin or communications strategy. This was a planned, coordinated, long-running conspiracy to influence the 2016 election, to help Donald Trump get elected through illegal spending to silence people who had something bad to say about his behavior,” Colangelo said . “It was election fraud, pure and simple.”

“The defendant disguised his reimbursements to Michael Cohen through eleven forged invoices, twelve forged ledger entries, and eleven forged checks,” Colangelo said.

Colangelo also described an alleged plan to “capture and kill” Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story of a months-long affair with Trump, which is not a formal part of the indictment.

“The evidence will show that the defendant desperately wanted this information about Karen McDougal to be made public because he was concerned about its impact on the election,” Colangelo said.

Trump has denied the affair.

-Trump lawyer Todd Blanche countered that Trump, whom he called President Trump, is innocent.

“President Trump has committed no crime. The Manhattan district attorney’s office should never have brought this case,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the jury during his opening statement.

-“There is nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. It’s called democracy. They have given something sinister to this idea, as if it were a crime,” Blanche said.

-Blanche said that despite Trump’s celebrity and status as a former president, Trump is also a husband and father.

“He is larger than life in some ways, but he is also here in this courtroom doing what any of us would do: defend himself,” Blanche said.

“President Trump fought back as he always does and as he has a right to protect his family, his reputation and his brand – and that is not a crime,” Blanche told the jury.

-Blanche claimed that Stormy Daniels is lying about the former president for financial gain.

“She saw her opportunity to make a lot of money, and it worked,” Blanche said, referring to the hush money payout.

He also said Cohen was not trustworthy.

– “He has a goal – an obsession – with getting Trump,” Blanche said of Cohen, adding that he had lied under oath during previous testimony in other cases. “I’m telling you he can’t be trusted.”

-David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer and the first prosecution witness to take the stand, said he had the final say on publishing decisions.

“Yes. I had the final say on the celebrity side of the magazine industry, at least on the tabloid side. We used checkbook journalism and paid for stories,” he said.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen and Jack Queen; Writing by Noeleen Walder; Editing by Nick Zieminski)