May 30, 2024

Donald Trump trial latest: Nothing wrong with trying to influence election, lawyer says in defence | US News

Defence lawyer Todd Blanche says when Trump became president he put his company in a trust but some of his employees helped record personal expenses.

“When he took the office of the presidency in 2017 in January, Michael Cohen assumed the role of president Trump’s personal attorney. 

“He would send an invoice for $35,000 and Michael Cohen describes this is for legal services rendered, a check is generated, signed and a record is in the ledger.”

Mr Blanches says: “The invoice is processed, somebody at Trump Tower generated a check, the check was ultimately signed, and there was a record in the ledger… and it makes its way down to the White House and president Trump signs it.”

“He’s the only signatory on his personal checking account, which is why he signed the check.”

Our NBC colleague Lisa Rubin says the defence are apparently going to argue that Cohen actually did provide legal services, an argument squarely at odds with a 3 May 2018 tweet they fought to exclude.

As Mr Blanche speaks, Trump is listening to his opening statement and takes a quick glance towards the gallery.

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