Trump does not testify as witness in hush money trial

In the hush money trial against Donald Trump, the former US president will not testify as a witness himself. Trump's lawyers ended the questioning of witnesses on Tuesday without calling Trump to the witness stand. Judge Juan Merchan then announced the closing arguments in the trial for Tuesday next week. He expects that the jury will then be able to begin their deliberations “hopefully sometime on Wednesday,” the judge added.

In the first criminal trial in history against a former US president, Trump is accused of using falsified business documents to cover up a hush money payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels and thereby illegally interfering in the presidential election.

The payment was used to force the former porn actress to remain silent about an alleged sex affair that she said she had with the real estate mogul in 2006. Trump denies any sexual contact with the woman.

Trump describes the New York trial and the three other criminal charges brought against him as politically motivated maneuvers to prevent him from returning to the White House. The 77-year-old right-wing populist wants to run against incumbent Joe Biden in the presidential election in November, to whom he lost in the 2020 election.