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Trump Vows To ‘Absolutely’ Testify In Hush Money Trial If Need Be

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


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

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

“Yeah, I would testify, absolutely,” Trump declared, repeatedly calling the trial a “scam.”

“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.

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.

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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.”

Trump’s trial this week has already been full of twists and turns.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a motion on Tuesday asking the court to find Trump in contempt of court for allegedly breaking the partial gag order in the criminal case in New York.

In the Tuesday filing, prosecutors cited the former president’s recent posts on Truth Social, where he was “attacking two known witnesses — Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels,” according to the filing.

“Prosecutors argue that the social media posts violate the partial gag order Trump is under in the trial, which prohibits him from making public statements on possible witnesses in the case. Prosecutors also asked that Trump be fined $3,000 for violations of the gag order in three separate social media posts,” Axios reported.

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“Defendant is not above the law, and he cannot simply disregard judicial orders that upset him,” Bragg wrote in the motion, which was filed on the second day of jury selection in the trial.

“Defendant’s recent social media posts plainly violate the order because they target known witnesses concerning their participation in this criminal proceeding,” Bragg wrote.

Former President Trump, who denies any wrongdoing in the New York criminal case, has repeatedly criticized it as a politically motivated witch hunt.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over Trump’s New York criminal trial, has scheduled a hearing for April 23 to consider prosecutors’ request to hold the former president in contempt.

This has already been a busy week for Trump in the “hush money” case.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin weighed in on Trump’s criminal trial this week, saying the former president got some “good news” from the judge.

Trump, the 45th president of the United States and the presumed nominee of the Republican Party, began his criminal trial on Monday, with prospective jurors gathering in a New York City courtroom as Trump observed.

Trump is accused of fabricating almost thirty business documents to conceal a payment made to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who claimed to have had a brief sexual encounter with him in 2006.

The 45th president has maintained that he is innocent of the charges.

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