Trump Claimed He Was Blocked From Using Advice-of-Counsel Defense

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, ahead of his conviction, former President Donald Trump argued that he was being stopped from using an advice-of-counsel defense during his New York City hush money trial. This is a defense that, for several months, his own lawyers said they would not be using. 

The formal advice-of-counsel defense would have given Trump the opportunity to claim that he had been acting reasonably based on the guidance he had received from his lawyers at the time. 

Trump spent about seven weeks attending the hush money trial that relates to a payment that was on his behalf to adult film star Stormy Daniels by his then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. Prosecutors argued that the hush money payment, which aimed to keep Daniels from talking about her affair with Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election, had been disguised as a legal expense. They further argued that the payment had been made in an attempt to influence the election.

Trump repeatedly denied the affair or that he was involved in the payment made to Cohen. On Wednesday, the jury began deliberating the case before finding him guilty on 34 counts the following day.

Following the closing arguments, Trump took to his social media platform Truth Social to argue that this was a “Kangaroo Court!” and that the judge was corrupt. He proceeded to accuse Judge Merchan of blcoking him from using reliance on counsel advice for his defense and claimed that this was the first time something like that had happened. 

Trump’s also complained about not raising this defense in a post on Tuesday night, though his lawyers already said in March that they would not be relying on advice-of-counsel. He also claimed that the trial had been “rigged.” 

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