Jonathan Turley: Trump Has ‘Very Significant Advantage’ in ‘Hush Money’ Trial

Legal scholar Professor Jonathan Turley has revealed that President Donald Trump could take the upper hand in his “hush money” trial by leveraging a “very significant advantage.”

The first of Trump’s criminal cases goes to trial in New York starting on Monday.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought the case and the trial is being overseen by Judge Juan Merchan, both Democrats.

According to Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, there is a legal maneuver that Trump may wish to consider to gain the upper hand, despite its admitted drawbacks.

Turley explains that Trump may want to give his defense lawyers the greenlight to file a frequently used motion that would significantly reduce the stakes in the so-called “hush money” case.

The case involves alleged payments made to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels, as the network reports.

The trial involves accusations that Trump falsified company records as a means to disguise payments made to his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The lawyer in turn supposedly paid Daniels to quash claims of an alleged extramarital affair, a liaison Trump has long denied.

Turley explained the 45th president’s potential option during a Friday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

The constitutional scholar explained that Trump, though he might find the idea personally problematic, may be well advised to pursue a strategy involving the possibility of a guilty finding on a less serious offense than the top charge leveled against him.

Turley discussed “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.”

In his discussion of the aforementioned strategy involving conviction on a lesser included offense, Turley added, “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.”

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“But many times, this works in favor of the defense,” he added.

Noting that Trump may be reluctant to accept such a scenario, Turley went on:

“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.”

As the trial begins Monday, Trump will be forced off the campaign trail for what could be a period of weeks.

Trump argues that the circumstance is akin to election interference.

In this case, Trump is facing 34 felony counts, which carry the possibility of four years in prison.

However, it is far from certain that he would ever face time behind bars if convicted, due to his lack of prior offenses.

To secure a felony conviction, prosecutors are required to demonstrate not just that Trump falsified business records, but did so with the intent to commit a second crime, which observers assume involved campaign finance and/or tax offenses.

DA Bragg has yet to specify whether that is the case.

Jury selection is slated to commence on Monday.

Given that many legal experts believe this to be the weakest of all the cases brought against Trump over the past year, the proceedings and ultimate outcome will surely be the subject of much analysis and debate going forward.

READ MORE – Trump Produces Signed Statement from Stormy Daniels: ‘I Am Denying This Affair Because It Never Happened’

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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