Jonathan Turley suggests ‘fairly standard motion’ could help Trump’s legal team gain ‘significant advantage’

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley has offered up a suggestion on a move that former President Donald Trump’s legal team could pull in his hush-money case.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this Friday, Turley suggested the team could, if the president agreed to it, push for the jury to convict him on a lesser charge.

“[This] involves a fairly standard motion that occurs when you believe that the jury may not agree that the big ticket item of a charge, the felonies, is proven, and you want the court to give an instruction saying you can always convict on a lesser included offense – in this case a misdemeanor,” he said.

“Now, sometimes the defense doesn’t want to do that. Sometimes they just want to leave the jury with the cliff option, thinking that they don’t want to go over the cliff so they’ll go ahead and acquit. But many times, this works in favor of the defense. For Trump, there could be personal resistance to even suggesting a possible misdemeanor conviction, but politically and legally, it would be a very significant advantage for him,” he added.

The remarks came days out from the beginning of the historic hush money trial scheduled to start on Monday. The bad news is that the trial likely won’t be televised.

“While many states frequently broadcast trials, New York state civil rights law limits what is allowed,” according to CNN. “The judge, Juan Merchan, could in theory make an exception, but he did not allow cameras to broadcast Trump’s arraignment last year.”

However, not everybody agrees that the former president should push for a misdemeanor conviction instead of a felony one. Some say he should push for total acquittal.

Take Tre Lovell, a Los Angeles-based corporate law attorney who told Newsweek the prosecution has a very weak case against Trump.

“This hush money case against Trump is very weak and full of reasonable doubt,” he said. “It reeks of a desperate attempt to go after Trump by connecting a few dots. Trump has strong defense arguments to rely on, making this an extremely difficult case for the prosecution to win.”

“Trump has a very reasonable alibi motive; hiding the payment was for personal reasons to save his marriage and protect his family, and had nothing to do with the election,” he added.

As previously reported, Trump has in this case been charged with falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment he made to Stormy Daniels, a former porn star with whom he allegedly had an affair, to purportedly boost his chances of winning election.

Lovell also argued that if the “Access Hollywood” tape didn’t take Trump out, this won’t either.

“Hiding the affair followed the leak of the Access Hollywood tape, which was much more damaging in comparison. Any affair Trump might have had would pale in comparison with the political fallout from his demeaning characterization of women on the Access Hollywood tape,” he said.

“This supports the argument that his reasons for the payment were personal and not related to his presidential campaign, because it would have had no effect on the election. At the very least, it amounts to reasonable doubt which equals acquittal,” he added.

All this comes amid Trump saying Friday at Mar-a-Lago that he’s willing to testify in the case.

“Yes, I would testify,” he said when pressed about the matter. “Absolutely. It’s a scam. It’s a scam. That’s not a trial. That’s not a trial. That’s a scam.”

He continued by naming a few legal scholars who’ve criticized the hush money case.

“If you read Jonathan Turley, if you read Andy McCarthy … they said there’s not even a case there,” he said. “That’s election interference by the Biden administration. They actually took their top guy, one of their top guys put them into the DA’s office to run it, and it’s a shame.”

“What they have done is incredible. It’s election interference, and it’s got to stop. It’s a third-world country. This country has never done it. But you read Jonathan Turley, you read Andrew McCarthy, you read the legal scholars, every single one of them said that whole thing is a scam. It’s not even a crime. And what they’re doing is a crime. They are criminals,” he added.

Vivek Saxena


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