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Jurors In The Hush-Money Case Got Their First Glimpse Of The Argument As Both Parties Gave Opening Statements

Trump’s Hush-money case is in full swing after Judge Juan Merchan seated 18 jurors last Friday. On Monday, the trial officially began with the opening statements made by both parties and the call of the first witness before the court was adjourned for the day.

Matthew Colangelo, one of the prosecutors, kicked the charge off by explaining the charge against Donald Trump. The allegation is that the former president paid $130,000 to his lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, to buy the silence of adult actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump.

Colangelo further said the result of the 2016 election could have been different if not for the “catch and kill” strategy implied by Trump and his helpers, Cohen and Pecker, CEO of American Media Inc. Prosecutors told the jurors that “Together they conspired to influence the 2016 presidential election.” The plan was hatched at Trump Tower in 2015.

Pecker was accused of burying negative stories about Trump to help him win the election. One instance is shown when $150,000 was paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also had an affair with Trump, to buy the rights to her story. However, the stories have never been published, effectively protecting Trump’s image.

Colangelo called these tactics “election fraud.” “This was a planned, coordinated, long-running conspiracy to influence the 2016 election to help Donald Trump get elected," He added.

Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, opened the defense with the following statement: "Think for a moment about what the People just told you. President Trump did not pay Mr. Cohen back $130,000. President Trump paid Michael Cohen $420,000. Would a frugal businessman, a man who 'pinches pennies,' repay a $130,000 debt to the tune of $420,000?"

He argued that the money Cohen received was actually his salary for his legal assistance. Blanche further noted, “ There's nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. It's called democracy. They've put something sinister on this idea as if it was a crime.” The court gave him 25 minutes to put his case forward.

David Pecker was called to testify once both parties finished their opening statements. However, the court was adjourned only within one and a half hours of Pecker’s testimony. Prosecutors will continue questioning him again on Tuesday.

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