Trump decides not to testify in hush-money trial

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has chosen not to testify in his criminal hush-money trial in New York, which is now moving towards the deliberation stage. The charges against Trump involve falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

While there was speculation about whether Trump would take the stand to defend himself, criminal defendants typically do not testify at their own trials to avoid potentially incriminating themselves. Trump, who has denied wrongdoing and any sexual encounter with Daniels, faces 34 charges of falsifying business records that, if proven, could lead to felony charges and up to four years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that Trump orchestrated a criminal scheme to cover up election and tax law violations through the altered records, turning misdemeanors into felonies. The trial has seen witnesses, including Cohen, Trump's former fixer, who testified about conversations regarding the payment to Daniels during the 2016 campaign.

Trump's defense team has criticized the case, arguing that it relies heavily on Cohen's testimony, which they claim is unreliable due to his history of lying. However, the judge overseeing the trial has indicated that he is likely to allow the jury to assess Cohen's credibility for themselves.

The trial is set to enter its closing arguments next week, with the jury expected to begin deliberations thereafter. Despite Trump's absence on the stand, the case continues to draw attention as it unfolds, with implications for both his legal future and potential political ambitions.


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