Trump Says He Plans To Testify In New York Trial, Calls Jury Selection “Largely Luck”

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Former President Donald Trump mentioned Friday that he was “absolutely” planning on taking the stand in his upcoming trial in New York, the place he presently faces 34 felony counts of falsifying enterprise information associated to his $130,000 “hush money” cost to former grownup movie star Stormy Daniels earlier than his 2016 election.

“I’m testifying. I tell the truth,” Trump mentioned in response to a query from a reporter throughout a press convention at his Mar-a-Lago property. “I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there’s no case. They have no case.”

Reprising strains he has used about his sprawling felony instances all through the marketing campaign season, Trump known as the prosecution towards him a “scam” and a “witch hunt” and claimed it was proof that the U.S. has change into a “third-world country.”

The trial is about to final six weeks, and Trump can be required to be in court docket on daily basis it’s in session, which is able to typically be each weekday save Wednesdays.

Of course, like every promise Trump makes, his vow to testify should be taken with a grain of salt, as he has a historical past of constructing after which reneging on related guarantees. In his civil trial in New York on enterprise fraud fees, Trump abruptly determined to not take the witness simply sooner or later earlier than he was speculated to. The former president was finally hit with a $354 million penalty in that case.

Sources aware of Trump’s considering instructed The New York Times that the previous president will probably wait to resolve whether or not to testify till he sees if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg presents a compelling case. Another vital issue can be whether or not prosecutors’ cross-examination efforts are restricted by the decide overseeing the case.

Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who coordinated cost to Daniels and can probably be a central witness within the trial, instructed NBC on Saturday that he felt the chances of Trump really testifying had been low. “The likelihood of Donald Trump being on the stand is equal to the likelihood of me waking up tomorrow and being 7-foot-6 and playing center for the New York Knicks,” Cohen mentioned. “It’s not going to happen.”

Trump’s Friday feedback got here as Juan Merchan, the New York County Supreme Court Judge presiding over the case, slapped down one more request from the previous president to delay the trial begin date. The ruling was no less than the fourth case final week by which an effort by Trump’s authorized staff to postpone the trial fell flat.

The case is shifting ahead as scheduled, with jury choice slated to start on Monday. In his Friday remarks, Trump mentioned that jury choice within the case is “largely luck,” including: “It depends on who you get.”

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