Trump Trial Nears End

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A New York jury will begin deliberating today on whether former President Donald Trump is guilty of falsifying business records in 2016 to cover up an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with adult film star Stormy Daniels. A guilty verdict would mark the first-ever criminal conviction of a former US president.

Closing arguments extended into the evening yesterday with the prosecution defending the credibility of key witness Michael Cohen, Trump’s one-time personal attorney. Cohen previously testified Trump requested he pay Daniels $130K to not reveal their alleged affair to protect his chances of election, and that Trump reimbursed him the amount as legal fees. The defense argued Cohen was not a trustworthy witness, pointing to his tax fraud conviction and alleged history of lying.

Trump faces up to four years in prison if convicted, though a legal analysis of similar convictions found roughly one in 10 went to jail. New York grants judges broad leeway in sentencing, and trial judge Juan Merchan has repeatedly said he would try to avoid interfering with Trump’s ability to campaign.

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