New York judge considers motion to dismiss by Trump defense team

 May 21, 2024

The defense team of former President Donald Trump rested its case in his hush-money trial on Tuesday without calling him to testify.

While the jury is scheduled to return in a week for closing arguments, Trump's lawyers want the case dismissed before then. 

Defense attorney says there is "no evidence" to support charges

According to Fox News, lead Trump defense attorney Todd Blanche put forward a motion to dismiss following days of testimony by disgraced former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg maintained in an indictment last year that Trump falsified business records as part of a plan to disguise payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

However, Blanche argued in the motion that there is "no evidence" to support this claim as there were "absolutely no false business filings."

Judge skeptical about taking Trump's case "out of the jury's hands"

He pointed to the lack of records indicating any fraudulent intent. What's more, Blanche addressed the alleged "catch and kill" strategy used to prevent "demonstrably false" stories from being published, asking, "How on Earth is keeping a false story from voters criminal?"

"There is no way the court should let this case go to the jury with Mr. Cohen's testimony," Blanche went on to assert and highlighted Cohen's prior conviction for perjury along with alleged acts of deception during Trump's trial.

Fox News noted that Judge Juan Merchan at point asked Blanche if he wished to see Cohen declared not credible "not credible by a matter of law."

When Blanche indicated that he did, Merchan responded by stating, "So, you want me to take it out of the jury's hands?"

The judge then went on to assert that if Cohen's "lies" were as "irrefutable" as Blanche claimed then he should have no trouble convincing jurors of this.

Law professor calls former Cohen advisor a "kill shot" defense witness

Blanche's motion for dismissal also came in the wake of damning testimony from former Cohen adviser and attorney Robert Costello.

During an appearance on Fox News, George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley described Costello as a "kill shot witness."

Costello spoke of how Cohen told him "numerous times" he had no incriminating information regarding Trump, saying, "I swear to God Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump."

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