Donald Trump hush money trial continues

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As the Arizona fake electors case is moving forward with not-guilty pleas from 11 defendants, former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial moves to its final phase. Trump allegedly falsified internal Trump Organization records to bury damaging stories that he feared could hurt his 2016 campaign. 

We spoke to Paul Charlton, former U.S. Attorney and partner at Dentons, for more insight on these two high-profile cases. 

“The state Attorney General’s office is contending that these individuals and their co-conspirators were attempting to alter the lawful election, that they were putting our republic at risk. It is a very serious allegation,” Charlton said. “And while the charges are felonies, and those are by themselves serious, the underlying accusations are even more serious, and the Attorney General says it poses a risk to our democracy.”

According to Charlton, the Arizona fake electors case has a slim to none chance of the trial happening before the election. 

“I expect with this many defendants in on the kind of complexities that we see reflected in this 58-page indictment, we probably won’t see this done within a year, maybe a year and a half,” Charlton said.

Taking a look into Trump’s trial, Charlton said while Trump did not take the stand in his own defense, he has the same right to remain silent in the face of a government accusation, and the jury cannot take any adverse inference.

“What’s important to remember is that the defendant in every criminal case has the right to say, ‘No, I won’t testify,’ but he also has the right even over his attorney’s advice to say, ‘I insist I want to testify.’ That didn’t happen here. We’ll have to see how that plays out before the jury,” Charlton said. 

Paul Charlton, former U.S. Attorney, partner at Dentons

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