COURTS & LEGAL

Prosecution rests its case in Donald Trump’s hush money trial

May 20, 2024, 2:40 PM

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, May 20, 2024 in New Yo...

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, May 20, 2024 in New York. (Michael M. Santiago, Pool Photo via AP)

(Michael M. Santiago, Pool Photo via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s hush money trial entered its final stretch with the prosecution resting its case late Monday afternoon following the conclusion of star witness Michael Cohen ‘s testimony.

Cohen concluded his testimony after nearly four full days on the witness stand. He looked in Trump’s direction as he walked out of the courtroom before a court officer directed him down the aisle.

In his testimony, Cohen placed the former president directly at the center of the alleged scheme to stifle negative stories to fend off damage to his White House bid. Among other things, Cohen told jurors that Trump promised to reimburse him for the money he fronted and was constantly updated about efforts to silence women who alleged sexual encounters with him. Trump denies the women’s claims.

Defense attorneys had resumed cross-examination of Cohen with a series of questions about his business dealings and other activities in the lead-up to the payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels. They further dug into Cohen’s sources of income in the years since Trump originally took office.

Defense turn to call witnesses in hush money trial

The defense is now expected to call its witnesses, including attorney Robert Costello.

It remains unclear whether Trump will testify.

Merchan said earlier in the day that closing arguments could take place the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

The trial is in its 19th day.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The case is the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president and the first of four prosecutions of Trump to reach a jury.

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Prosecution rests its case in Donald Trump’s hush money trial