‘That’s not a trial. That’s a scam.’ Trump offers to testify in ‘hush money’ case

Former President Donald Trump has voluntarily offered to testify in the hush money case involving porn star Stormy Daniels.

During an “election integrity”-related press conference held Friday at Mar-a-Lago alongside House Speaker Mike Johnson, the president was asked if he’s willing to testify in the case. He answered in the affirmative.

“Yes, I would testify,” he replied. “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.

Listen:

A reporter then asked Trump two more questions — why he believes it’s “important” to testify, and whether he’s been watching and paying attention to the jury-selection process currently unfolding.

“Well, you know, jury selection is largely luck,” Trump responded. “It depends who you get.”

True.

He continued by noting how unfair it is that he’s being prosecuted in such a dark-blue, radically anti-Trump jurisdiction like New York City, and by blasting the judge presiding over the case for being conflicted.

“It’s very unfair that I’m having a trial there,” he said. “It’s very unfair that we have this judge who hates Trump and has tremendous conflict, as you know, tremendous conflict. Nobody can believe that this judge isn’t recusing himself. The conflict is at a level that nobody’s ever seen before. So I have that and I have venue.”

“We have all these things that we’ve asked for. They don’t give us anything. It’s a witch hunt that takes place in New York and that is taking place. And it’s very bad for New York and it’s very bad, and it’s very bad for the judicial system in New York. I am testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there is no case, they have no case. And again, you have to read the scholars,” he added.

Regarding Judge Juan M. Merchan who’s presiding over the hush money case, Trump and his attorneys claimed in a court filing earlier this month that he’s conflicted because his daughter consults for Democrat candidates.

They “also claimed that her company, Authentic Campaigns, has used social media to deride Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and tout its connections to President Biden,” according to The New York Times.

“The trial in this case will benefit Authentic financially by providing its clients more fodder for fund-raising, Authentic will make more money by assisting with those communications and your honor’s daughter will continue to earn money from these developments by virtue of her senior role at Authentic,” the lawyers wrote.

“Your honor has an interest in this case that warrants recusal,” they added.

Dovetailing back to Trump’s gun case, not everybody thinks he should testify. In fact, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig said on Wednesday that he’d “beg” the former president to not testify in the case.

“I would beg him not to take this stand,” he said. “You never quite know what Donald Trump will do. I think it’s unlikely he takes the stand. Even though in movies and TV the defendant seems to always take the stand, it’s quite rare in a criminal case,” Honig said.

“So it’s always the defendant’s prerogative. He always has the right to testify. He has the right not to testify. I do expect him, if any sort of reason and sanity prevails here, not to take the stand,” he added.

Vivek Saxena

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