Trump compares himself to Mother Teresa outside hush money trial: She ‘could not beat these charges’

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to corruptly influence the 2016 election

Alex Woodward
in Manhattan criminal court
Wednesday 29 May 2024 21:48
Trump: 'Mother Theresa could not beat these charges'

Moments after jurors began deliberating in Donald Trump’s hush money trial, the former president called “the whole thing rigged” and suggested that even Mother Teresa wouldn’t be able to escape a conviction.

“These charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged,” he told reporters in a hallway outside a 15th floor courtroom in Manhattan on Wednesday.

“And we have a trial like this where the judge is so conflicted he can’t breathe,” he said. ‘He’s got to do his job. It’s a disgrace. Mother Teresa could not beat those charges. But we’ll see. We’ll see how we do. It’s a very disgraceful situation.”

The former president is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up reimbursement payments to his attorney Michael Cohen, who testified that his former boss directed him to make a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels to stop her from speaking publicly about having sex with Mr Trump.

To find him guilty, jurors must determine that Mr Trump not only had a hand in falsifying records but did so in order to commit or conceal another crime – specifically, that he violated state law against conspiracy to influence an election by “unlawful means.”

Those “unlawful means” include campaign finance violations, the falsification of other business records, and violations of state and federal tax laws. Prosecutors argue that the hush money scheme developed out of a plan to corruptly influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Trump ignored reporters on his way into the courtroom in the morning. After jurors left to begin their deliberations, Mr Trump addressed a row of cameras outside the court doors for nearly five minutes, lashing out at prosecutors, Justice Juan Merchan, President Joe Biden, the US- Mexico border and Robert De Niro.

Donald Trump speaks to reporters outside his hush money trial in Manhattan on May 29.
Donald Trump speaks to reporters outside his hush money trial in Manhattan on May 29. (Getty Images)

He falsely asserted that “every single legal scholar and expert said this is no case” and said that it should not have been brought “in the middle of a presidential election.” A grand jury indicted him last March.

Mr Trump also revived his conspiracy theory that the Biden administration directed the prosecution against him in New York, and that he is “not allowed to talk about it because I have a gag order.”

The trial gag order does not block him from speaking about Mr Biden, the judge, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. He is blocked from attacking witnesses, jurors, court staff, other attorneys and their families.

“In the meantime,” he said, “this trial is rigged.”

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