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Trump Says He Will ‘Absolutely’ Testify In His Hush Money Trial

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


Former President Donald Trump has made it clear he has nothing to hide and is more than willing to “tell the truth” if he’s called to testify during his hush money trial, which begins on Monday.

On Friday, 12 jurors were seated along with six alternates, setting the stage for the first-ever criminal trial of a former president, though his supporters and many left-leaning legal analysts and experts see Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against him as purely political.

“Yeah, I would testify, absolutely,” Trump declared last week, 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 required to testify in his criminal trial. But, if he chooses to testify, the prosecution may cross-examine him while he is under oath. This means he could be questioned about any number of topics, including his relationship with Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress to which the money was reportedly paid ahead of the 2016 election.

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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“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.”

There have been other surprises so far in the case, including an admission this week by Daniels’ former lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who is serving a 19-year sentence in a federal facility in California for a number of charges including defrauding her and attempting to extort fashion giant Nike.

He is reportedly in talks with the former president’s legal team in his hush money trial and has even offered to serve as a witness for the defense, a report on Friday noted.

The New York Post reported that Avenatti, who was convicted of defrauding Daniels out of book advance money and attempting to extort fashion giant Nike, said Trump’s legal team “has contacted me,” adding that he has been talking to Trump’s attorneys for months.

“I’d be more than happy to testify. I don’t know that I will be called to testify, but I have been in touch with Trump’s defense for the better part of the year,” he told The Post in a phone call from Terminal Island, a minimum-security federal prison in Los Angeles.

The Post went on to say that Avenatti would not disclose any further details about his alleged conversations.

The former litigator was once a major opponent of Trump during the latter’s presidency, even calling for him to be indicted in 2018. But these days, Avenatti has been singing a different tune, even defending the former president.

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“There’s no question [the trial] is politically motivated because they’re concerned that he may be reelected,” Avenatti told The Post. “If the defendant was anyone other than Donald Trump, this case would not have been brought at this time, and for the government to attempt to bring this case and convict him in an effort to prevent tens of millions of people from voting for him, I think it’s just flat out wrong, and atrocious.”

Avenatti denied he is seeking clemency from Trump in a second term and said his change of heart “was not motivated by the former president’s famous susceptibility to flattery,” The Post reported.

“I’m not saying any of this because I’m seeking a pardon,” Avenatti said, adding he would never have come out against Trump if he had realized that Daniels wasn’t being honest with him.

He also said Daniels could commit perjury if she was put on the stand to testify, calling her story unreliable.

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