Trump Defense Attorneys Still Working on Strategy to Wrap Up Hush-money Trial

 May 20, 2024

Prior to the start of the hush-money trial, Donald Trump promised that he would testify.

Now that the prosecution has wrapped up its case after calling 20 witnesses, Trump’s attorneys have yet to finalize their strategy for the case, including whether Trump will testify.

Talking Points…
- The prosecution’s case
- Trump’s defense strategy
- Analysis

Prosecution Wraps Up Its Case

In my opinion, this was about as weak a case as could be presented for the charges levied against Trump. The prosecution started with David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media and publisher of the National Enquirer. Pecker left that position in 2020. Prosecutors thought they had a few “gotcha” moments, but they were quickly dispelled when Pecker noted how he did “catch and kill” stories all the time to hold leverage over people.

When Hope Hicks, a former White House aide, testified, it seemed like she helped Trump more than hurt him. Stormy Daniels was not much better, coming off as angry and out for revenge against Trump. Most legal experts believed that she hurt Bragg’s case significantly, as she offered up her own motive for wanting to see Trump taken down.

Michael Cohen was a complete disaster and most legal experts are positive he committed perjury on the stand at least once during this trial. When Trump’s defense attorney, Todd Blanche, conducted his cross-examination, it was masterful, lulling Cohen into a sense of comfort only to utterly destroy the man in the final 20 minutes or so.

Trump Defense Strategy

Going into the weekend, Blanche openly stated that some big decisions had to be made in terms of their strategy, as the front end of this trial surely went much better than they ever thought it would. Even if the idea of Trump testifying is now being debated, with Blanche stating:

“That’s another decision that we need to think through.”

They will surely want to call at least one witness to discredit the testimony given by Cohen. The best bet on that probably is attorney Robert Costello, who just appeared before Congress, offering more insight into Cohen’s character. Costello even told Fox News that he would love to testify in the case to show just how much Cohen lied. To that point, Costello testified before Congress:

“I read Michael Cohen’s testimony from yesterday’s trial in New York.

“Virtually every statement he made about me was another lie.”

Democrats were worried about Costello, with Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) attacking Costello for his testimony, alleging that this was “jury tampering,” which is complete and utter nonsense. Juries are to avoid contact with news during a trial such as this, so if they follow their instructions, they would have no idea who Costello is.


For me, Costello is a must to destroy Cohen, and if I were on Trump’s defense team, he would be the first witness to call just so he could counter Cohen’s claims while Cohen’s testimony is still fresh in their mind.

Second, Trump cannot testify. The man is an awful witness intent on going on political rants when answering questions, and that won’t play with a jury. This is not a civil trial, so any mishap by Trump could have dire consequences, so his team needs to keep him off the stand. Even if Trump gets convicted here, many legal experts believe the verdict would never hold up under appeal. There is an extremely high risk with a minimal reward for Trump testifying.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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