Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 21, 2024

NY v Trump: Deliberation on Motion to Dismiss as Prosecution Concludes

Judge Juan Merchan of Manhattan is currently considering a motion to potentially dismiss the charges against former President Donald Trump, Fox News reported.

The decision follows the closure of the prosecution's arguments, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The core of the case involves accusations against Trump for allegedly falsifying business records to obscure a payment to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

The allegations brought against Trump comprise 34 counts of falsifying business records, aiming to conceal a $130,000 payment made to Daniels, which prosecutors claim was to influence the election outcome. Trump has entered a plea of not guilty and asserts his innocence.

Trump’s former attorney and the prosecution's key witness, Michael Cohen, testified over four days. He detailed his role in arranging the payment through a home equity line of credit and claimed to have been reimbursed $420,000 by Trump, including the original amount paid to Daniels.

Defense Challenges Evidence Credibility

Trump's legal team, led by defense attorney Todd Blanche, has vigorously contested the prosecution's evidence. Blanche argues that there is no legitimate proof of any criminal intent or actual falsification of business records by Trump. He further highlighted that the records in question were described as retainer payments, which Cohen himself labeled inaccurately.

Following the prosecution's presentation, the defense called two witnesses to support its case. These testimonies aimed to discredit Cohen’s allegations and strengthen the argument against the credibility of the charges.

During the proceedings, Blanche requested Judge Merchan dismiss the case outright, citing insufficient evidence to proceed to jury deliberation. He pointed out the absence of any other criminal activities linked to the falsification of the records or the payment arrangement.

Judge Merchan's Deliberation Crucial

Judge Merchan has postponed his ruling on the motion to dismiss, indicating that further deliberation is needed before the jury can consider the case. This decision highlights the complexities involved in assessing the legal boundaries of the charges against Trump.

Paralegal Daniel Sitko testified regarding communications between Cohen and his former legal adviser, Robert Costello, which further complicated the narrative. Costello testified that Cohen had assured him that he was unaware of the payments, contradicting Cohen’s claims of Trump’s direct involvement.

The legal skirmishes have also seen personal confrontations, with Costello clashing with Judge Merchan during his testimony, leading to discussions on courtroom decorum.

Implications of Cohen's Testimony and Defense Strategy

The defense has been meticulous in highlighting inconsistencies and potential biases in Cohen’s testimony, noting his previous conviction for stealing $30,000 from the Trump Organization. These points are crucial for the defense's strategy to question the reliability of the prosecution’s main witness.

After the testimonies and evidence presentations are concluded, closing arguments are scheduled for next Tuesday. The defense has indicated that Trump will not take the stand.

As the legal proceedings inch closer to a resolution, both sides remain entrenched in their positions. The prosecution maintains that Trump initiated the sequence of events leading to the falsification, while the defense counters vehemently, questioning the foundation of the charges and the integrity of key testimonies.

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About Ashton Snyder

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