Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Trump team plans to claim that the participation of lawyers in the supposed hush money plan indicates that Trump didn’t mean to do anything illegal

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Donald Trump’s defense team plans to highlight his previous lawyers’ roles in the payments linked to an alleged hush money scheme during his upcoming New York criminal trial. In a recent court filing, Trump’s legal team announced that they won’t rely on a formal “advice of counsel” defense. Instead, they will argue that Trump involving lawyers in the transactions demonstrates his lack of intent to commit any crimes.

Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments, will face trial soon. The filing mentions that Trump’s lawyers will challenge the prosecution’s ability to prove Trump personally had an “unlawful intent.” They plan to question witnesses like Michael Cohen and former executives at American Media Inc., who are expected to testify about Trump’s awareness of his lawyers’ involvement.

By avoiding the “advice of counsel” defense, Trump’s legal team claims they won’t need to prove he sought legal advice or confided in his attorneys in good faith. They argue that this approach allows them to withhold additional communication records between Trump and his lawyers, as well as details of his defense strategy, without compromising their case.

The filing acknowledges that the judge, Juan Merchan, may decide differently on pretrial motions, potentially altering Trump’s defense strategy. Merchan is expected to rule on these motions later this week.

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