Trump Trial Live Updates: Defense Continues Witness Testimony in New York Hush Money Case

May 21, 2024 - 14:15
Trump Trial Live Updates: Defense Continues Witness Testimony in New York Hush Money Case


- **Robert Costello**: After a contentious appearance yesterday, Costello is testifying again today. Judge Juan Merchan had reprimanded Costello for his behavior, warning that if it continues, his testimony could be stricken from the record.
- **Possible Last Day of Testimony**: Today could conclude witness testimony. The prosecution rested yesterday, and Trump’s legal team has not indicated if Trump will testify.

**Closing Arguments Expected Next Week**

- Closing arguments are anticipated next Tuesday, post-Memorial Day weekend.

**Charges Against Trump**

- Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels. He has pleaded not guilty.

**Trump's Allies and the Gag Order**

- **Surrogates' Role**: Trump has relied on political allies to make statements that he is barred from due to a gag order.
- **Legal Perspective**: Legal experts note that it’s challenging for prosecutors to argue a gag order violation when Trump himself isn't speaking, and enforcing it could lead to complex consequences, including the potential jailing of Trump.

**Michael Cohen's Lawyer Comments**

- **Dayna Perry**: Cohen’s lawyer, expressed relief after Cohen’s testimony ended. She commented on Costello’s behavior, saying it aligns with Cohen’s mistrust of him.
- **Attorney-Client Privilege**: Perry argued that Cohen’s decision to waive privilege regarding Costello did not negatively impact their case.

**Courtroom Dynamics**

- **Costello’s Behavior**: Judge Merchan’s patience with Costello is being tested. If Costello continues his previous demeanor, his testimony might be removed, which would be a blow to the defense.
- **Defense Strategy**: After Costello, it remains uncertain if Trump’s defense will call more witnesses or rest their case.

**Key Events Yesterday**

- **Prosecution Rested**: Michael Cohen concluded his testimony, admitting to stealing from the Trump Organization during cross-examination.
- **Defense Witnesses**: The defense called two witnesses, including Costello, whose testimony aims to challenge Cohen’s credibility. The judge criticized Costello's behavior as nearly contemptuous.

**Context and Implications**

- The trial’s outcome hinges on the credibility of testimonies, particularly between Cohen and defense witnesses like Costello.
- With the trial nearing its end, the legal and political ramifications are significant, potentially affecting Trump’s public and political standing.

Stay tuned for further updates as the trial progresses towards its conclusion and the forthcoming closing arguments next week.