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Trump Says He Would Testify In Hush Money Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump said ahead of his hush money trial in Manhattan that he “absolutely” would testify if need be, a pledge that set off a firestorm of speculation and some criticism over the weekend.

Trump’s trial began on Monday with jury selection, which some have speculated could take 6–8 weeks.

“Yeah, I would testify, absolutely,” Trump told an NBC News reporter, repeatedly calling the trial a “scam” during a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

“I’m testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there is no case,” Trump added.

Trump is not obligated to testify in his criminal trial. However, if he decides to testify, he would be subject to cross-examination by the prosecution, during which he could be asked about various topics under oath – such as his relationship with Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress.

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In a civil suit brought by E. Jean Carroll, Trump chose to testify, but the judge in that case placed significant limitations on what he was allowed to say, NBC noted.

Before his press conference, the judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan, denied the former president’s request to delay the trial on the grounds of too much pretrial publicity.

“Trump is the first former president to stand trial in a criminal case. He is required to be in court every day the court is in session to participate in his defense, which will significantly restrict the amount of time he can spend campaigning for president,” NBC reported.

Trump has called the several cases filed against him blatant “election interference.”

Meanwhile, a legal expert for CNN has given special counsel Jack Smith some bad news regarding his classified documents case against Trump.

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Following a three-page order earlier this month from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, analyst Elie Honig made his remarks. Cannon, who has faced mounting criticism from the left regarding her management of the case, reprimanded Smith in response to his recent filing.

In the same order, Cannon denied Trump’s request to have the case dismissed on grounds that he should be protected by the Presidential Records Act, but she also ripped Smith, per the Washington Post:

Even as she ruled against Trump’s motion, Cannon’s three-page order also revealed her displeasure over Smith’s characterization of her order, suggesting this may not be the last such battle in the historic prosecution of a former president and the presumptive GOP presidential candidate.

“Where does this leave the timeline of this case, Elie?” asked CNN host Brianna Keilar.

“Well, a mess, in short,” he responded. “No way that this case was gonna get tried before the election. And now, I think we have other pending issues.”

Honig noted that other legal experts have speculated that Smith might appeal to the 11th Circuit to seek Cannon’s removal from the case. The 11th Circuit has previously vacated two Trump-friendly rulings made by Cannon in this case. However, Honig believes that Cannon’s ruling has all but thwarted that possibility.

“I actually think what the judge did today forecloses that, makes it impossible to do that because the judge said, ‘Well, we’re gonna decide when the trial happens, and maybe it’s something that will go to the jury,’” Honig continued.

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