Trump trial begins: Key witness muted

Donald Trump's impeachment has begun in earnest.

No photographers or TV cameras were allowed inside Monday's court session. Pictured is a sketch made based on the session. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

A historic trial in the US got off to a good start today as lawyers and the defense presented their opening statements in the embezzlement case against former US President Donald Trump. Accounting Offenses. Among other things, the message covers the subject The New York Times Mixed up CNN.

The accounting offenses related to Trump's $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

Not that the kickbacks were illegal, but the lawsuit is about how Trump transferred the money to Daniels through his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Cohen recorded at least one conversation with Trump in which the men are heard debating whether payments should be made in cash.

Cohen already received a ruling on the matter in 2018. Trump was indicted on a total of 34 counts of falsifying business documents.

Trump denies his relationship with Daniels. Last Monday, the former president described the allegations as an “attack on America.”

Trump has denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels. The former president has called the allegations leveled against him a “witch hunt”. EPA/AOP

The first witness

Monday's hearing included brief questioning from the trial's first witness, when Trump's longtime friend and former US Media CEO David Becker took the stand.

American media-owned tabloid National Enquirer paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for exclusive rights to a story in which McDougal said she had an affair with Trump.

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However, the newspaper never published the story. The attorney who made the opening statement Matthew Colangelo This method of operation is called “catch and kill” in Finnish, meaning “catch and kill”.

David Becker, the former CEO of American Media, was one of the key witnesses in the trial. AOP

In his testimony, which lasted just a few minutes, Becker described how the National Enquirer paid for his stories, a practice he called “checkbook journalism.”

This is a way in which the news media compensates the source financially in exchange for the information provided by the source. The practice is considered unethical in journalistic circles.

Becker has been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony and US media has signed a plea deal with prosecutors.

Becker's testimony was cut short because the trial had to end early due to the appointment of an alternate juror. He will return to the witness stand on Tuesday.

The defense appealed Trump's innocence

Trump's defense attorney Dot Blanche In his opening statement, Trump insisted on his innocence. According to him, Trump has done nothing wrong in this case.

Blanche also attacked Cohen, who was being questioned as another key witness in the case. Cohen's livelihood depends on attacking the former president, Blanch said.

According to him, lawyers are trying to cast a perfectly legal confidentiality agreement in a negative light

– I have a conspiracy revelation. There is nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. It's called democracy, Blanch said at the hearing, the New York Times reported.

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