Trump Speaks Out Before Trial’s Closing Arguments: ‘Dangerous Day for America’

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday spoke out before prosecutors and his attorneys are scheduled to offer their closing arguments in his New York criminal trial.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, the former president said that it will be a “dangerous day” after reading an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal opinion article that criticized the trial and case against him.

“We’ll see how it goes. This is a very dangerous day for America. It’s a very sad day,” President Trump said.

A day before, he took issue with the order in which the arguments will be conducted, writing on Truth Social the “corrupt government” prosecutors are being allowed to “make the final argument” to the jury. “Why can’t the defense go last,” he also questioned, adding that it is a “big advantage” for the prosecutors.

In his comments to reporters, the former president was again critical of the judge in the case, calling him “conflicted” and “corrupt.” He then said he couldn’t speak more due to the judge’s gag order.

He was accompanied by three of his children, Don Jr., Eric, and Tiffany, along with one of his de facto campaign managers Susie Wiles.

On Monday, Judge Juan Merchan told the court that under state law, defense attorneys must present their arguments first before the prosecutors. After that, the lawyers cannot speak to the jury, he said.

As today’s closing arguments are set to begin, defense lawyer Todd Blanche told the court that he expects to speak for about two and a half hours. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass stated he may go as long as four and a half hours.

The arguments will give the attorneys one last chance to address the Manhattan jury hearing the landmark case. After more than four weeks of testimony, the summations tee up a historically unprecedented task for the jury as it decides whether to convict the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in connection with payments during the 2016 election to prevent a woman from going public about an alleged affair with President Trump, which he has denied.

Closing arguments don’t count as evidence in the case and will instead function as recaps of the key points the lawyers want to leave jurors with before the panel disappears behind closed doors for deliberations.

Judge Merchan said that it will be up to the jury if they want to go past 4:30 p.m., which is the normal end of the court day, rather than having it go until Wednesday.

If the jury finds the lawyers’ arguments accurate and “conclusions are reasonable, logical and consistent with the evidence than you may adopt those inferences and conclusions,” the judge told the jury.

He reminded them “nothing the lawyers say at any time is evidence so nothing the lawyers say in summations is evidence,” adding: “It is your own recollection, understanding and evaluation of the evidence that controls … you and you alone are the judges of the facts in this case.”

If the jury finds him guilty, the former president will be sentenced at a later date. Some legal analysts have said that the judge likely will not hand down a prison term, in part due to President Trump’s age, 77, a lack of previous conviction, the charges involving a non-violent crime, and that the charges he faces are all class E felonies.

President Trump, meanwhile, is entitled to lifelong protection from the U.S. Secret Service under federal law, meaning that agents would have to protect him while in prison.

The former president is likely to appeal the verdict, which could take months or even longer. His legal team would then face the Appellate Division in Manhattan and later, the New York Court of Appeals.

There are still three other cases against him in Washington, Georgia, and Florida, with prosecutors alleging that he illegally attempted to overturn the 2020 election and alleging that he illegally retained classified documents after leaving the White House. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, saying they’re part of a longstanding and widespread effort to harm his reelection chances.

All of the cases have essentially remained at a standstill in recent weeks, with no trial dates set for them.

The former president has not been in court for the past week or so and opted to attend multiple campaign-related events in the meantime. He appeared at the Libertarian Party’s nominating convention in Washington as well as at a rally in the South Bronx in New York City.

During the convention, he told Libertarians to vote for him and endorse him for president, noting that the third party often only garners small voting percentages during presidential elections.

“The fact is we should not be fighting each other. If Joe Biden gets back in, there will be no more liberty for anyone in our country. Combine with us in a partnership, we’re asking that of the libertarians. We must work together. Combine with us. You have to combine with us,” President Trump said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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