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Trump’s hush-money trial: here’s what’s happened in the case so far Closing arguments to begin in Trump’s hush-money trial: here’s what’s happened so far
(7 days later)
Catch up on the latest news from Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial Former president’s New York criminal trial draws to a close as the country awaits a verdict
Donald Trump is the first US president to be tried on criminal charges – and could face prison if convicted. Trump allegedly falsified the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He denies 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in spring 2023.Donald Trump is the first US president to be tried on criminal charges – and could face prison if convicted. Trump allegedly falsified the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He denies 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in spring 2023.
Here’s what you need to know about the case:Here’s what you need to know about the case:
21 May: what is happening today 28 May: what is happening today
Donald Trump’s lawyers rested their defense on Tuesday morning, without the former president himself testifying. The jury was sent home and instructed to return next Tuesday. After a lunch break on Tuesday, the judge, prosecutors and the defense discussed the instructions that will be given to jurors before they start deliberating. Donald Trump’s hush-money trial enters its final stages on Tuesday as closing arguments begin in court.
Trump declined to testify at his own criminal trial. Trump had previously railed about being silenced and falsely claimed he was not allowed to testify, but ultimately elected of his own volition not to take the stand in his own defense. Prosecutors argue that the payments to the adult film star Stormy Daniels amount to election interference as Trump was running in the 2016 race for the White House at the time and seeking to cover up a potentially damaging scandal. Trump denies all the charges.
Trump was joined by a huge entourage of supporters, including his sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, the former acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, the former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, the actor Joe Piscopo and Republican members of Congress. Central to the case is the testimony of Trump’s former lawyer and once-feared fixer Michael Cohen. Cohen gave vital evidence for the role that Trump played in the alleged hush-money scheme, but was also brutally grilled by Trump’s lawyers for his previous history of lying and his evident dislike of his former boss and desire to see him behind bars.
The trial resumed earlier on Monday with continued cross-examination of Robert Costello, whom the defense has used to try to discredit the former president’s one-time fixer, Michael Cohen. Costello was a defense lawyer with whom Cohen met after federal authorities raided his hotel room and apartment. Cohen told jurors that he was leery of Costello, who had described a close relationship with Trump ally Rudy Giuliani. Cohen said he didn’t trust Costello, concerned that anything he said would get to Giuliani and thus, Trump. Donald Trump’s hush-money trial enters its final stages on Tuesday as closing arguments begin in court.
Here are the key takeaways from the trial on Monday. Cohen, the prosecution’s most important witness, saw his testimony end on Monday and Costello’s behavior on the stand almost spun the courtroom into chaos, and prompted a rebuke from the judge. Prosecutors argue that the payments to the adult film star Stormy Daniels amount to election interference as Trump was running in the 2016 race for the White House at the time and seeking to cover up a potentially damaging scandal. Trump denies all the charges.
The prosecutor Susan Hoffinger showed emails Costello sent to Cohen in which he repeatedly dangled his close ties to Giuliani in the aftermath of the FBI raid. In one email, Costello told Cohen: “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places,” and relayed that there were “some very positive comments about you from the White House”. Central to the case is the testimony of Trump’s former lawyer and once-feared fixer Michael Cohen. Cohen gave vital evidence for the role that Trump played in the alleged hush-money scheme, but was also brutally grilled by Trump’s lawyers for his previous history of lying and his evident dislike of his former boss and desire to see him behind bars.
Judge Merchan told jurors to return on Tuesday 28 May for closing arguments. Merchan said he would also announce his instructions to jurors the next day and expected that they would then start deliberating.
Donald Trump Jr defended his father’s decision not to testify. “There’d be absolutely no reason, no justification to do that whatsoever. Everyone sees it for the sham that it is,” he said at a news conference alongside other Trump allies near the courthouse.
Donald Trump’s lawyers rested their defense on Tuesday morning, without the former president himself testifying. The jury was sent home and instructed to return next Tuesday. After a lunch break on Tuesday, the judge, prosecutors and the defense discussed the instructions that will be given to jurors before they start deliberating.
Trump declined to testify at his own criminal trial. Trump had previously railed about being silenced and falsely claimed he was not allowed to testify, but ultimately elected of his own volition not to take the stand in his own defense.
Trump was joined by a huge entourage of supporters, including his sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, the former acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, the former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, the actor Joe Piscopo and Republican members of Congress.
The trial resumed earlier on Monday with continued cross-examination of Robert Costello, whom the defense has used to try to discredit the former president’s one-time fixer, Michael Cohen. Costello was a defense lawyer with whom Cohen met after federal authorities raided his hotel room and apartment. Cohen told jurors that he was leery of Costello, who had described a close relationship with Trump ally Rudy Giuliani. Cohen said he didn’t trust Costello, concerned that anything he said would get to Giuliani and thus, Trump.
Here are the key takeaways from the trial on Monday. Cohen, the prosecution’s most important witness, saw his testimony end on Monday and Costello’s behavior on the stand almost spun the courtroom into chaos, and prompted a rebuke from the judge.
The prosecutor Susan Hoffinger showed emails Costello sent to Cohen in which he repeatedly dangled his close ties to Giuliani in the aftermath of the FBI raid. In one email, Costello told Cohen: “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places,” and relayed that there were “some very positive comments about you from the White House”.
Judge Merchan told jurors to return on Tuesday 28 May for closing arguments. Merchan said he would also announce his instructions to jurors the next day and expected that they would then start deliberating.
Donald Trump Jr defended his father’s decision not to testify. “There’d be absolutely no reason, no justification to do that whatsoever. Everyone sees it for the sham that it is,” he said at a news conference alongside other Trump allies near the courthouse.
Key characters and factsKey characters and facts
Trump hush-money trial status: Trump pleaded not guilty; the trial began on 15 April 2024.Trump hush-money trial status: Trump pleaded not guilty; the trial began on 15 April 2024.
Charges: 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.Charges: 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.
Hush-money case summary: The case involves a hush-money scheme during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to the adult film star Stormy Daniels to quash her story about an alleged extramarital affair with the former president. Trump has denied the affair took place. Prosecutors accuse the former president of illegally reimbursing Cohen for the hush-money payment by falsely classifying the transaction, executed by the Trump Organization, as legal expenses.Hush-money case summary: The case involves a hush-money scheme during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to the adult film star Stormy Daniels to quash her story about an alleged extramarital affair with the former president. Trump has denied the affair took place. Prosecutors accuse the former president of illegally reimbursing Cohen for the hush-money payment by falsely classifying the transaction, executed by the Trump Organization, as legal expenses.
Verdict before election? Likely.Verdict before election? Likely.
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Stay up to date on all of Donald Trump’s trials. Guardian staff will send weekly updates each Wednesday – as well as bonus editions on major trial days.Stay up to date on all of Donald Trump’s trials. Guardian staff will send weekly updates each Wednesday – as well as bonus editions on major trial days.
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Key moments in the trial so farKey moments in the trial so far
21 May: Trump’s lawyers rested their defense, without the former president himself testifying.
14 May: Michael Cohen, the star witness in the hush-money trial, walked through key elements of the case as defense lawyers sought to undermine his credibility.14 May: Michael Cohen, the star witness in the hush-money trial, walked through key elements of the case as defense lawyers sought to undermine his credibility.
13 May: Michael Cohen testified that Trump had been intimately involved in the hush-money deal and received real-time updates on Stormy Daniels.13 May: Michael Cohen testified that Trump had been intimately involved in the hush-money deal and received real-time updates on Stormy Daniels.
10 May: Trump appeared frustrated in court while possible Cohen testimony loomed.10 May: Trump appeared frustrated in court while possible Cohen testimony loomed.
9 May: Trump attorneys sought to cast doubt on the account of the alleged tryst – but Stormy Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies.9 May: Trump attorneys sought to cast doubt on the account of the alleged tryst – but Stormy Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies.
7 May: Stormy Daniels undercut some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggested Danield has a propensity to embellish.7 May: Stormy Daniels undercut some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggested Danield has a propensity to embellish.
6 May: Prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, after previously calling witnesses who described a conspiracy to kill the story.6 May: Prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, after previously calling witnesses who described a conspiracy to kill the story.
3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand, describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand, describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.
2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified.2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified.
30 April: Trump is fined $9,000 over gag order violations as the judge warned of jail time.30 April: Trump is fined $9,000 over gag order violations as the judge warned of jail time.
26 April: Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme that prosecutors allege was meant to sway the 2016 election in the real estate mogul’s favor.26 April: Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme that prosecutors allege was meant to sway the 2016 election in the real estate mogul’s favor.
25 April: Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.25 April: Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.
23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, said he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, said he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.
22 April: In its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.22 April: In its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors.19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors.
18 April: Twelve jurors were selected after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors were selected after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.
15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.
21 May: Trump’s lawyers rested their defense, without the former president himself testifying.
14 May: Michael Cohen, the star witness in the hush-money trial, walked through key elements of the case as defense lawyers sought to undermine his credibility.14 May: Michael Cohen, the star witness in the hush-money trial, walked through key elements of the case as defense lawyers sought to undermine his credibility.
13 May: Michael Cohen testified that Trump had been intimately involved in the hush-money deal and received real-time updates on Stormy Daniels.13 May: Michael Cohen testified that Trump had been intimately involved in the hush-money deal and received real-time updates on Stormy Daniels.
10 May: Trump appeared frustrated in court while possible Cohen testimony loomed.10 May: Trump appeared frustrated in court while possible Cohen testimony loomed.
9 May: Trump attorneys sought to cast doubt on the account of the alleged tryst – but Stormy Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies.9 May: Trump attorneys sought to cast doubt on the account of the alleged tryst – but Stormy Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies.
7 May: Stormy Daniels undercut some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggested Danield has a propensity to embellish.7 May: Stormy Daniels undercut some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggested Danield has a propensity to embellish.
6 May: Prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, after previously calling witnesses who described a conspiracy to kill the story.6 May: Prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, after previously calling witnesses who described a conspiracy to kill the story.
3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand, describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand, describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.
2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified.2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified.
30 April: Trump is fined $9,000 over gag order violations as the judge warned of jail time.30 April: Trump is fined $9,000 over gag order violations as the judge warned of jail time.
26 April: Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme that prosecutors allege was meant to sway the 2016 election in the real estate mogul’s favor.26 April: Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme that prosecutors allege was meant to sway the 2016 election in the real estate mogul’s favor.
25 April: Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.25 April: Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.
23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, said he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, said he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.
22 April: In its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.22 April: In its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors.19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors.
18 April: Twelve jurors were selected after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors were selected after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.
15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.