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“There is nothing wrong with trying to influence the election,” says Trump’s defense

“There is nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. This is called democracy”, said the lawyer of former President Donald Trump, in the United States. The statement was made this Monday (22), during the trial on the bribery case against adult film actress, Stormy Daniels.

New York prosecutors said on the first day of Donald Trump's criminal trial that the former president broke the law and corrupted the 2016 election by trying to cover up sexual encounters with adult film star Stormy Daniels and a Playboy model. .

Trump's defense denied the accusations.

Jurors also heard from the prosecution's first witness: former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, who prosecutors accuse of taking part in a scheme to cover up stories about Trump and help him get elected.

The indictment described the payment as a criminal effort to deceive voters at a time when Trump was facing other accusations of sexual behavior. The former president is accused of buying the actress' silence, with the payment of more than 130 thousand dollars, during the presidential elections in 2016.

“This was a planned, coordinated, long-running conspiracy to influence the 2016 election, to help Donald Trump get elected through illegal spending to silence people who had something bad to say about his behavior,” said prosecutor Matthew Colangelo. “It was electoral fraud, pure and simple.”

Colangelo told jurors they would hear Trump explain details of the scheme in recorded conversations.

Trump's lawyer told the jury that the former president committed no crime and said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg should not have brought the case.

“There is nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. This is called democracy. They put something absurd into this idea, as if it were a crime,” said lawyer Todd Blanche.

Wearing a blue tie and dark blue suit, the Republican presidential candidate attended Pecker's testimony and occasionally spoke with his lawyer.

Both sides gave their opening statements in what could be the only one of Trump's four criminal cases to go to trial before his election rematch against Democratic President Joe Biden later in the year.

The case is seen by many legal experts as the least important of the lawsuits against Trump. A guilty verdict would not prevent him from taking office if he wins the election, but it could harm his candidacy.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that half of independent voters and one in four Republicans say they would not vote for Trump if he is convicted of a crime.

Trump faces three other criminal charges stemming from his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat and his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in those cases, and he portrays them all as a broad effort by Biden's Democratic allies to harm his campaign.

*With information from Reuters

Source: CNN Brasil

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