The first day of testimony wrapped up Donald Trump’s history in New York’s hush money criminal trial. This is the first time a former President has been tried in criminal court, so here’s what you need to know.


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Open statements were laid out. Prosecutors said this case is about a “criminal conspiracy and a cover-up.” The defense, unsurprisingly, tried to discredit their points. That’s their job, but let’s see if the jury buys it after the first day.

Then, the first witness testified. Now get this, his name is David Pecker. Insert chuckle. He’s the ex-publisher of the National Enquirer, arguably the most prominent tabloid magazine in the country. Pecker will resume testimony Tuesday. He only briefly took the stand on Monday. CNN reports that prosecutors believe Pecker was “a central player in the alleged hush money scheme in an effort to suppress” or kill negative details about Trump before the 2016 election.

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The judge ruled that, on Monday, he would allow Trump to be asked about the civil fraud and the E. Jean Carroll verdicts, among other previous cases, if he decided to testify. ICYMI, Trump was ordered to pay over $400 million in penalties after a New York civil court found he defrauded the state of NY through years of fraudulent business dealings. As for Carroll, a civil jury found that Trump defamed her when he said he did not rape her in the mid-nineties. A jury believed some of her accounts and found he sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll and defamed her. When Trump defamed her again, he was ordered to pay over $80 million in damages. The former President is appealing both verdicts. 

Now, get this. Trump is under a strict gag order. The judge said there will be a gag order hearing to determine if Trump violated the order. That is set for 9:30 a.m. ET tomorrow, and the jury has been excused until 11 a.m. ET while the prosecution and defense argue over Trump and his gag order, which he seemingly is violating. 

The Trump legal saga continues.

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