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USA. The prosecutor accused Donald Trump of “election fraud” on the first day of his trial in New York

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By paying porn actress Stormy Daniels to remain silent just before the 2016 election, Donald Trump committed “election fraud,” the prosecutor said on the first day of the former US president's criminal trial in a Manhattan court. Trump's defense attorney admitted that the payment had been made, but said it did not constitute a crime.

As reported by the Washington Post, in his opening speech, prosecutor Matthew Colangelo stated that the case against Donald Trump was about “criminal conspiracy and its cover-up.” He alleged that he paid pornographic actress Stormy Daniels PLN 130,000 before the 2016 elections. dollars so that she would not tell the press about their intimate meeting, “he did it with the specific goal of influencing the election result.”

– This was electoral fraud in its purest form – said Colangelo, quoted by the daily. As he added, Trump broke the law because he classified the payment of PLN 130,000 as as payment for the legal services of his then-lawyer Michael Cohen (who arranged the deal with Daniels), rather than as a campaign expense.

Donald TrumpYUKI IWAMURA/PAP/EPA

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Trump's defense attorney Todd Blanche admitted that the then-Republican candidate signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Daniels, but said it was “completely legal,” intended to stop “attempts to discredit him,” and that the money paid Cohen was not intended to reimburse the lawyer.

Witness admits to covering up

During the first day of the trial after the jury was formed, the first witness presented by the prosecutor's office, David Pecker, also appeared in the courtroom. He is the former head of the publisher of the tabloid “National Enquirer”.

As CNN reports, on Monday he admitted that he had a “catch and kill” arrangement with Trump, according to which he helped the former president cover up stories unfavorable to him. Pecker, who agreed to testify in the trial in exchange for the promise of immunity, also acted as an intermediary for the payment to Daniels.

In connection with this arrangement, New York prosecutors charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records. The maximum penalty for each charge is 4 years in prison.

The first day of the trial was shortened due to the Passover holiday. Pecker will testify in court again on Tuesday.

Main photo source: YUKI IWAMURA/PAP/EPA



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