Trump 'Lied Over and Over and Over'

Prosecution says he 'orchestrated a criminal scheme,' as defense insists he did nothing illegal
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2024 11:25 AM CDT
Trump 'Orchestrated a Criminal Scheme'
Donald Trump sits in the courtroom at his trial at Manhattan criminal court Monday, April 22, 2024.   (Victor J. Blue/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Opening arguments in Donald Trump's hush-money trial in New York are in the books. Some highlights, via the New York Times, Washington Post, and the AP:

  • Prosecution: Prosecutor Michael Colangelo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office told jurors that Trump "orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election," per the Washington Post. "Then he covered up that criminal conspiracy and lied in his New York business records over and over and over again."
  • Defense: "President Trump is innocent," declared lead defense attorney Todd Blanche. "President Trump did not commit any crimes."

  • Prosecution: Colangelo said Trump formed a conspiracy with former "fixer" Michael Cohen and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker to help get Trump elected in 2016. The prosecutor also laid out the "catch and kill" practice of the Enquirer buying negative stories in order to bury them.
  • Defense: Blanche, however, said there was nothing illegal about Trump's $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, at the heart of the case. "You'll hear this agreement was negotiated by lawyers," he said, adding that Daniels tried to "extort" the former president.
  • Prosecution: Trump "falsified those business records because he wanted to conceal his and others' criminal conduct," Colangelo said. It "shows just how important it was to him to hide the true nature of Cohen's illegal payment to Ms. Daniels and the overall election conspiracy that they had launched."
  • Defense: Blanche portrayed Cohen, the prosecution's star witness, as unreliable and bent on exacting revenge on his former boss. "Unbeknownst to President Trump, in all the years that Mr. Cohen worked for him, Mr. Cohen was also a criminal," Blanche said. "He cheated on his taxes, he lied to banks, he lied about side businesses."
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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