June 16, 2024

Prosecutor urges jury to convict Trump using ‘common sense’

Prosecutors pleaded with jurors Tuesday to use their “common sense” and find Donald Trump guilty, as the first ever criminal trial of a former president reached its dramatic final phase.

With both sides wrapping up their closing arguments, the stage is now set for the 12-member panel to begin deliberating Wednesday.

Less than six months before an election in which Trump is seeking to return to the White House, the stakes are high both for the 77-year-old personally and for the country.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, afraid that her account of an alleged sexual encounter could doom his 2016 presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass made the last push for a guilty verdict after Trump’s defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, called for his acquittal, insisting the case against the former president was based on lies.

Steinglass said Daniels’s story about her 2006 tryst with the married Trump was the motive for the alleged crime, but the “case at its core is about a conspiracy and a cover up” on the eve of an election.

“The defendant’s intent to defraud could not be any clearer,” he said.

Blanche told the jury that Trump was innocent and the only outcome should be a “very quick and easy not guilty verdict.”

Cohen, the one-time Trump fixer who became the star prosecution witness, was motivated by “outright hatred” for his former boss, Blanche said.

“He told you a number of things on that witness stand that were lies, pure and simple,” he said.

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