USA: Trump on Trial, a First for a Former President

The tycoon is in the dock in New York in the Stormy Daniels case

Donald Trump’s trial in the Stormy Daniels “case” opens today in New York City. For the first time in US history, a former president is in the dock.

Trump is accused of passing off money given to a former porn actress for “legal expenses” to keep her from revealing their relationship. There is talk of a figure of $130,000, and the declaration under review is from 2016. There are 34 indictments in total, and unlike various other cases involving Trump, this proceeding may be the only one that will be closed before the presidential election, set for November 5, 2024.

Michael Cohen, who was Trump’s lawyer at the time, paid Stormy Daniels, and then Trump reimbursed him, listing the money as legal fees. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 in the same case and for providing false testimony to Congress; now he is a key witness.

“Cohen and Daniels are two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our country dearly,” the tycoon declared, “I will testify, I will tell the truth, and the truth is that the case as such does not exist.”

The trial will not be televised, and on the eve of April 14, Trump explained during a rally in Pennsylvania: “I have a crooked judge. This has never happened before, you do know that, right? Fully gagged before a highly conflicted and corrupt judge, who suffers from TDS. Does anyone know what TDS is? Correct. Trump Derangement Syndrome (that’s how Trump defines political animosity defined as ‘pathological’ toward him – ed.).”

If convicted, Trump risks up to four years in prison on each charge, but analysts say it is unlikely that a trial would result in consequences of such magnitude, and the former president would likely be able to continue his campaign while awaiting an appeal.