Opening Statements Begin In Trump Trial

Former President Donald Trump was in a New York courtroom Monday for the first day of statements following last week’s jury selection. The former president’s courtroom appearance led to criticism of the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) among some conservatives.

Judge Juan Merchan said that jurors cannot ask questions but may take notes during the trial. He also requested that the jurors not discuss the case with anyone else nor visit the locations of the alleged charges against Trump. He also advised them not to research the ongoing case outside of the courtroom.

The court case stems from allegations that the former president directed money to former adult actress Stormy Daniels following a reported brief relationship.

During the trial, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker spoke to the court. Bragg’s legal team argued that Pecker helped to quash information about the former president in his publication, including regarding Daniels.

The New York court also determined that it would release transcripts of the trial each day.

The former president and his backers accused Bragg of potential election interference. He previously called the proceedings a scam intended to keep him off the campaign trail.

The former president also criticized Bragg, asking that if the case was strong “why didn’t the Southern District bring it? Who looked at it and turned it down. Why didn’t numerous other agencies and law enforcement groups look at it? Because it was shown to everybody.”

“And very importantly, why didn’t the Federal Elections do anything about it? Because this is federal, it’s not state,” said Trump.

The former president’s comments came amid him building a lead against President Joe Biden in both a series of statewide and national polls. This includes a number of polls taken in swing states that could decide the Electoral College later this year.

The jury proceedings ended at 12:30 p.m. Monday rather than the planned 2 p.m. due to one of the jurors having a dentist appointment at 1:20 p.m.