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 May 21, 2024

Trump Legal Team Requests Halt To Hush Money Trial Alleging Witness Unreliability

In a significant legal maneuver, Donald Trump's attorneys have called on a judge to dismiss the criminal hush money trial centered around the former president.

Reuters reported that the call for dismissal directly challenges the credibility of the prosecution's key witness, Michael Cohen, who is also Trump's former lawyer.

The dispute revolves around Trump’s alleged role in concealing payments during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence Stormy Daniels about an alleged sexual encounter.

Trump's legal team based their request on assertions that Cohen, who has a history of legal issues and dishonesty, lacks the reliability needed to serve as a key witness.

Cohen's past includes admitting to embezzling funds from Trump and lying about other matters, casting doubt on his testimony according to Trump's lawyers.

Judge Deliberates On Dismissal Request

Presiding over the trial, Justice Juan Merchan has not immediately responded to the dismissal request.

This is noteworthy as calls for dismissals in criminal trials are common but seldom granted. The legal standards for dismissing a case based on witness credibility are rigorous and complex.

In courtroom exchanges, Justice Merchan scrutinized the arguments presented by Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche. The judge queried whether Cohen's known history could truly mislead a New York jury, suggesting that the truthfulness and relevance of testimony will ultimately be for the jury to decide.

Trump's defense underscores their stance that without Cohen’s testimony, the foundation of the prosecution's case is significantly weakened.

“There is no way that the court should let this case go to the jury relying on Cohen’s testimony. Without Cohen’s testimony, there is no case,” argued Blanche in court.

The trial progresses as both sides prepare for the final stages. With closing arguments slated for next week, the jury will soon deliberate on the charges against Trump. He faces 34 counts of falsifying business records linked to the $130,000 payment meant to silence Daniels.

Trump has consistently denounced the trial as a political maneuver aimed to impact his current presidential campaign against Joe Biden. The timing of the trial coincides with the lead-up to the election on November 5, intensifying the political implications of the trial's outcome.

Throughout the trial, Cohen testified against Trump, detailing their conversations about the hush money arrangement during the intense latter stages of the 2016 campaign. Despite his admissions of past misconduct—including embezzling funds and making unauthorized payments—Cohen's testimony remains a cornerstone of the prosecution's case.

Corroboration and Defense Witness Testimonies

The prosecution argues that despite Cohen's tarnished reputation, other evidence and documents corroborate his account, fortifying the charges against Trump. Prosecutor Christopher Conroy insisted that "the trial evidence overwhelmingly supports each element of the offense."

Alternatively, Trump's defense summoned witnesses such as Robert Costello, who testified that Cohen had once told him he had no incriminating information against Trump. This testimony aims to further question Cohen's credibility and motives.

Amidst legal debates and examination of evidence, it remains uncertain if Trump himself will testify, adding another layer of suspense to the proceedings. The anticipation builds as the defense continues to frame the trial as an unreliable narrative propelled by a compromised witness.

The courtroom has not only been a venue for legal arguments but also for dramatic exchanges. Direct confrontations between the judge and witnesses reflect the high stakes and tense atmosphere of the trial. "If you don't like my ruling, you don't give me side eye and you don't roll your eyes," Merchan admonished Costello during his testimony.

Trump’s legal and political battles continue to intertwine as the former president fights charges in court while campaigning for reelection. His legal team’s challenge to Cohen's credibility defines much of their defense strategy, directly impacting the narrative presented to the jury and the public.

As the trial nears its conclusion, all parties await Justice Merchan’s decision on the dismissal, a decision that will shape the final phases of this high-profile case. The upcoming closing arguments will likely summarize and intensify the points made throughout the trial, after which the jury's deliberation will commence.


In conclusion, Donald Trump's ongoing hush money trial involves his legal team requesting a dismissal based on the credibility issues of key witness Michael Cohen. As discussions and testimonies unfold, the case approaches critical closing arguments and jury deliberation, with potentially profound implications for Trump’s political future.

Written By:
Christina Davie

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