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Trump says he wanted to testify in hush money trial; campaign has raised $34.8 million off case – The Mercury News

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Molly Crane-Newman and Josephine Stratman | New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Donald Trump, Republican frontrunner and now convicted felon, said Friday he wanted to testify in his own defense at his hush money trial, but was worried about getting sued over what he might have said on the stand.

“To this day I would’ve liked to have testified, but you get something slightly wrong,” like the weather, “and they’ll sue you for perjury,” he said during a press conference held the morning after being convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to keep his alleged tryst with Stormy Daniels from the American electorate.

During a rambling half-hour speech from Trump Tower, one of the scenes of his crimes, Trump told the packed lobby that he plans on appealing the verdict, called the judge a “devil” and touted leads he’s gained in polls.

He appeared back in his element, speaking in the same lobby where he descended the golden escalator to announce his bid for the presidency in 2015, The scene was a far cry from the dark, echoing hallway at the downtown courthouse he traversed daily these last weeks. Still, Trump looked fatigued and wore a dull expression just before stepping up to the podium.

Trump also took a shot at one of the state’s key witnesses — fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen — in what may have been a violation of the gag order still in place prohibiting comments about trial participants.

“You know, he’s a sleaze bag,” Trump said.

Calling the trial “rigged” and that it was carried out with Biden and the DOJ, Trump said he would “continue the fight” by appealing the verdict and pushing forward to election day this November. He veered into other, national topics, including immigration.

He also indirectly talked about porn star Stormy Daniels, again denying sleeping with her, and he slammed New York state Judge Juan Merchan, saying some witnesses were “literally crucified by this man who looks like an angel, but he’s really a devil.”

The 77-year-old Trump also repeated his criticism of the case against him – though his campaign says it had raised more than $34.8 million off becoming the first American president in the nation’s history be convicted of a crime.

“There was no crime,” Trump said in remarks to reporters in the lobby of his namesake Fifth Avenue skyscraper. “We’re gonna be appealing this scam. We’re going to be appealing it on many different things.”

The former president did not take questions.

When asked about a potential gag order violation, Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, told The News, “I’m not worried.”

Trump learned his fate just after 5 p.m. Thursday, with a jury that had few questions and took less than 12 hours over two days to find him guilty. He was convicted of committing felonies after he ascended to the White House by filing fake paperwork to cover up a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels Cohen shelled out 11 days before the election.

In determining Trump guilty, the jurors found him responsible for fraudulently filing 11 checks to Cohen, 11 corresponding invoices and 12 entries in the Trump Organization’s general ledger, classified as payment for generic legal services and not reimbursement for hush money.

The jury found Trump and his company honchos falsified the records to conceal an underlying criminal conspiracy to promote his candidacy by unlawful means after hearing the prosecution’s monthlong case laying out the plot to pay off the porn star and others with what were effectively illegal campaign contributions to boost his standing with voters.

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©2024 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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