Donald Trump: Court drama with insults

Donald Trump's hush money trial is coming to an end. In addition to the closing arguments, Robert De Niro is also causing a stir.

In the hush money trial of former US President Donald Trump (77), the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments on May 28. As expected, Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche insisted on his client's innocence, while the opposing side was convinced of his guilt.

Donald Trump: Innocent or guilty?

“I said something at the beginning that I will repeat for you now. It is as true now as it was on April 22nd. And that is that President Trump is innocent,” Blanche said in his nearly three-hour closing argument, according to CNN. “He has committed no crimes and the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof – period.” Both the prosecution and the opposing side made their opening statements on April 22nd.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass insisted on Tuesday that the case was essentially about a conspiracy and a cover-up. The goal was to “corrupt” the 2016 presidential election. Attempts were made to falsify business records to conceal this. In his view, “strong evidence of the defendant's guilt” has been presented in recent weeks.

Trump is accused of having paid porn actress Stormy Daniels (45) 130,000 US dollars before the election via his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen so that she would not spill the beans about an alleged affair. Such a payment is not illegal in itself, but manipulating the documents to conceal it would be.

The former president faces a prison sentence

A jury of twelve people must decide whether Trump is innocent or guilty in the historic case in which he is the first former president in the United States to face criminal charges. If the jury unanimously decides that Trump is guilty, the worst-case scenario is several years in prison. Trump could also be fined or given a suspended prison sentence. The jury would also have to agree completely on his innocence.

If the jury cannot reach an agreement, the trial will collapse and the prosecution will have to decide whether to reopen the case. It is not possible to predict exactly how long the jury will deliberate. Such deliberations usually last from a few hours to several days.

Gentleman versus clown

While Trump's wife Melania (54), his daughter Ivanka (42) and son Barron Trump (18) were not present according to media reports, his children Tiffany (30), Eric (40) and Donald Trump Jr. (46) were present, probably to symbolically signal their support. Hollywood star Robert De Niro (80) meanwhile caused a stir in front of the courthouse. He signaled his support for US President Joe Biden (81), who wants to serve another term as president.

De Niro called Trump a “clown,” among other things, as an excerpt from NBC News shows – and even faced backlash for it on the ground. Trump's supporters sometimes insulted the actor in extremely harsh terms. The 80-year-old, however, did not let this go, as footage published by the US celebrity portal “TMZ” shows: “We, the Democrats, try to be gentlemen in this world. You are gangsters! F*** you!”