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Trump hush money trial: Closing arguments expected next week

NEW YORK — Weeks after jurors first began hearing testimony in former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York, attorneys are expected to be making their closing statements, according to multiple reports.

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Testimony is expected to wrap up by Friday, with closing arguments scheduled for Tuesday, after the Memorial Day weekend, The Washington Post reported.

Referring to the long holiday weekend, Judge Juan Merchan said, “It was either have a long break now or have a long break then, and unfortunately the calendar is what it is,” according to The New York Times.

Trump’s former fixer and the prosecution’s star witness, Michael Cohen, was on the stand Monday and expected to be the state’s final witness before the defense presents its case, CNN reported. Attorneys for Trump are likely to call on at least one witness, a campaign finance expert, according to the news network.

Jurors first heard opening statements in the Trump trial nearly one month ago, on April 22.

Prosecutors said Trump, Cohen and former American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker conspired to “catch and kill” negative stories about Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election. They said the goal was to influence things in his favor, and that Cohen paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money as part of the scheme.

Authorities said a reimbursement payment made to Cohen was illegal because it was wrongly listed in business records as being for legal fees.

Trump’s attorney argued that he did nothing wrong and that the case against the former president should never have been brought, saying that witnesses had reasons to lie about the payments.

Last year, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records.

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