Protesters scuffle outside Trump trial as lawyers argue Trump can't be convicted on testimony of 'liar' Michael Cohen

 May 29, 2024

As the prosecution and defense gave closing arguments in the Manhattan trial of former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters clashed outside the courthouse and had to be separated by police. 

Prosecutors in the case argued that Trump was trying to hide payments to two women who accused him of affairs in order to cover up a “conspiracy to promote Trump’s 2016 candidacy by “unlawful means."

Trump's defense lawyer Todd Blanche argued that the prosecution's main witness Michael Cohen was the "GLOAT," or "greatest liar of all time," and that his testimony could not be trusted to convict Trump.

Cohen is  “literally like an MVP of liars” and the “human embodiment of reasonable doubt," Blanche told the jury.

Counter arguments

The prosecution countered that Trump could be convicted even without Cohen's testimony, but failed to articulate exactly which other crime Trump committed to turn misdemeanor falsified financial statements past the statute of limitations into the felonies he is charged with.

The defense argued that prosecutors were trying to make a crime out of something that wasn't a crime. It's not actually illegal to pay a settlement to someone to avoid negative information being made public, even if the information isn't true.

Outside the courtroom, Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters briefly got into a scuffle when the anti-Trump protesters began to chant anti-Israel slogans. Police quickly broke up the scuffle.

Dueling press conferences

Both the President Joe Biden campaign and Trump campaign held press conferences outside the courtroom.

The Biden press conference featured actor Robert DeNiro, who told the crowd Trump would take away all their freedoms and would end elections if re-elected.

The Trump campaign press conference mocked DeNiro as a washed-up actor, leading him to utter profanities at his mockers.

What either campaign has to do with the trial was unclear. Does Biden want the jury to find Trump guilty so he can't be re-elected?

No verdict so far

The first day of jury deliberations ended without a verdict in the trial.

Newsmax reported that at least one of the 12 jurors seemed to agree with the defense through much of the trial, nodding when defense made arguments and looking skeptical of prosecutors' arguments.

If even one juror doesn't vote to convict Trump, it could hang the jury and cause a mistrial. Prosecutors would then need to decide whether to retry him with new jurors.

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