Opening statements to start in Trump hush money trial

Prosecutors say Trump falsified records in an effort to prevent damaging stories from emerging during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Opening statements to start in Trump hush money trial

More than one year after prosecutors pressed charges in Manhattan against former President Donald Trump, they will present their evidence to a jury. 

Opening statements will get underway Monday in the first-ever trial of a former president as Trump faces 34 felony counts in a New York court for falsifying business records. The trial opened last week with jury selection as Judge Juan Merchan seated a 12-member, six-alternate jury. 

The jury of seven men and five women emerged after Merchan dismissed dozens of potential jurors who said they could not be fair and impartial. Six alternates were also selected in case any of the 12 jurors are dismissed. 

Prosecutor Alvin Bragg said in a court filing that Trump tried to conceal an "illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election." Bragg has alleged that Trump falsified records in an effort to prevent damaging stories from emerging during the 2016 presidential campaign. Bragg says Trump falsified records to hide payments to attorney Michael Cohen for him to pay Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal and former doorman Dino Sajudin. 

Bragg says business records relating to the payments were falsified in order to disguise the conduct. 

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Prosecutors say the Trump Organization paid Cohen in monthly installments and a year-end bonus check. 

The charges Trump faces in New York are considered a Class E felony, the lowest among felony counts in New York. The charges are arguably the least serious among the four criminal cases Trump faces.

Trump has tried to delay this trial numerous times. 

The former president has made numerous accusations that Merchan is biased against him. He has lashed out on social media over the case, which has prompted a hearing this week on whether Trump violated a gag order limiting what he can say publicly about the case. 

Trump has tried to balance his trial calendar with remaining on the campaign trail as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Over the weekend, the Trump campaign had to cancel his rally in North Carolina due to strong storms.  Opening statements to start in Trump hush money trial

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