Trump trial: Witness confirms affair deal

A key witness in the impeachment trial against Donald Trump for allegedly paying off a porn star has confirmed that he helped the former US president dispel unsavory stories ahead of the 2016 US election.

David Becker, a former editor of the pro-Trump tabloid National Enquirer, testified in court today in New York that he attended a meeting with Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, in mid-August 2015. There, Becker promised to immediately report any negative rumors about Trump or “women who want to sell stories” to attorney Cohen. In this way, Cohen was able to “delete” potentially damaging statements.

Charge: Falsifying documents

The indictment alleges that Trump sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election by paying sex actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money. The transaction was not illegal, but when his lawyer returned the money to Cohen, Trump falsified business documents to hide their true purpose, according to the charges. It was the first criminal trial in US history against a former president.

Trump could face years in prison if convicted, but the sentence could also be suspended. Fines may also be imposed. The case could affect the US election campaign. Trump wants to be re-elected president in November. He is innocent.

Intent is important in criminal law evaluations

By questioning Becker, the prosecution wants to bolster its claim that Trump's goal is to protect his campaign from negative reports in order to have a better chance of getting out the vote in November 2016. Purpose is critical to criminal justice assessment. However, the defense argues that Trump's payment to porn star Daniels was meant to prevent damage to his family and was therefore a personal payment that had nothing to do with the US election.

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