Trump's Past May Influence Jury Decision

Trump's hush money trial nears conclusion with jury deliberations

by Zain ul Abedin
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Trump's Past May Influence Jury Decision
© Pool/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly suggested he might testify about the hush money allegations, confidently stating, "I’m testifying. All I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there’s no case, they have no case”.

However, as the defense rests and jury instructions approach, Trump has stayed at the defense table, avoiding the witness stand. Legal analysts agree that this was a smart move, as facing cross-examination would have been risky given his history of behavior similar to the accusations he faces.

Three central questions drive the case: Did Trump have an affair? Did he falsify business records to hide a hush money payment? And did he do it to protect his 2016 campaign, violating campaign laws? Trump denies the affair but has an image of infidelity, with all three of his marriages troubled by such reports.

On the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, Trump boasted about his aggressive behavior towards women, which was presented to the jurors. Central to the E. Jean Carroll case is her claim that Trump s-xually assaulted her in a department store, which Trump denies.

A court ruled that Trump defamed Carroll by calling her a liar and ordered him to pay over $80 million. Prosecutors also reminded jurors of former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal's allegations of a long affair with Trump starting in 2006, ending with a hush money payment.

Trump denies these allegations, too.

Trump's Troubling History

These incidents don't conclusively prove Trump had an affair with an adult film star he met at a golf course but could lead jurors to find the accusation believable.

Trump is also familiar with falsifying records for personal gain. In February, a New York judge ruled that Trump must pay $355 million for submitting fraudulent documents to secure favorable tax and loan terms, a decision Trump is appealing.

Additionally, Trump faces charges for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results, including pressuring officials to discard legitimate votes, orchestrating fake electors, and inciting followers before the Capitol riot.

He has consistently defended his actions following the election. Judge Juan Merchan has directed the jury to avoid external information about the case. However, Trump's long public history might influence the jury's perception.

His actions, frequently in the headlines, shape the public’s view of him. The jury pool from New York City could be well aware of Trump's legal issues and public image, potentially impacting deliberations even if Trump did not testify.

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