Trump Attorneys Call for Dismissal as Trial Reaches Boiling Point

( – The jury in former president Donald Trump’s “hush money” trial was sent home on Tuesday, May 21st for a week. Trump attorney Todd Blanche told Judge Juan Merchan “the defense rests” following testimony from the final witness for the defense, Robert Costello. Trump’s legal team called Costello as a witness to undermine the credibility of Michael Cohen; Trump’s former attorney and the key witness for the prosecution.

Costello muttered “geez” more than once in response to Judge Merchan’s ruling on objections during his testimony. Costello’s disrespectful attitude and obvious disdain towards the judge caused Merchan to chastise Costello and warn him to correct his behavior. At one point Costello glared at Merchan prompting Merchan to ask “Are you staring me down?” before clearing the courtroom. Trump spoke to reporters after court and criticized how Merchan treated “a highly respected lawyer” in the courtroom.

During Cohen’s cross-examination, the defense presented evidence that Cohen lied about a phone call between himself and Keith Schiller, Trump’s bodyguard, and Trump. Cohen said the call was about finalizing payments to Daniels when the evidence presented shows they actually talked about a teenager making prank phone calls.

Blanche requested the case be dismissed and claimed the prosecution failed to prove their case. Judge Merchan has not yet ruled on this request. Requesting dismissal at this stage is a fairly normal practice in criminal cases but is rarely approved.

Merchan said he did not want crucial closing arguments in the case interrupted by the Memorial Day holiday. The court will reconvene on Tuesday, May 28th. Closing arguments will be heard and jury deliberation could begin as early as Wednesday.

Outside the courtroom, Trump insisted “They have no case. There’s no crime.” He denies that he ever had a sexual encounter with Stormy Daniels despite Daniels’ painfully detailed testimony to the contrary.

Trump did not testify in his own defense. His son Donald Trump Jr. defended this decision and said there was “absolutely no reason, no justification” for his father to take the stand.

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