United States: at his trial, Donald Trump accused of “conspiracy” to “rig” the 2016 election

Anne Toulouse (correspondent in the United States) with AFP / Photo credit: POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Donald Trump hatched a “plot” to “rig” the 2016 presidential election by buying the silence of a former porn star about a sexual relationship, prosecutors accused Monday in the historic trial of the former president of the United States. United. By presenting the charges before the jury at the opening of the proceedings, the prosecution immediately wanted to raise the issues of the case.

“Electoral fraud”

Donald Trump “orchestrated a criminal conspiracy to rig the 2016 presidential election” then “lied in accounting documents, again and again”, to “cover it up”, accused one of the Manhattan prosecutors, Matthew Colangelo, under the eyes of the Republican billionaire and the 12 jurors who will decide his legal fate. Donald Trump appears on trial for 34 falsifications of accounting documents from his company, the Trump Organization. “It’s electoral fraud, pure and simple,” asserted the prosecutor, while Donald Trump looked straight ahead.

According to the prosecution, these falsifications made it possible to conceal a posteriori, under cover of “legal fees”, the payment by Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, of $130,000 to former actress Stormy Daniels, just before the the 2016 election which sent the Republican billionaire to the White House. The money was used to buy the actress’s silence about a sexual relationship ten years earlier with the Republican billionaire, while he was married to his wife Melania. Donald Trump has always refuted any affair with Stormy Daniels.

“Sad day”

“Where is the crime in everything that has been described to you?”, swept Donald Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, in response to the accusation. Calling the charges “pieces of paper, nothing else,” he assured that “President Trump had nothing to do with these 34 pieces of paper, other than the fact that he signed them while he was was in the White House, while he was running the country. It’s not a crime.” “I’m going to teach you something,” Todd Blanche continued. “There is nothing illegal about wanting to influence an election. It’s called democracy.” According to him, Donald Trump is “totally innocent”.

The Republican presidential candidate in November arrived in court denouncing as usual “a witch hunt” and a political operation carried out from the White House. “This is a very, very, sad day for America,” he said before entering the courtroom. The case threatens Donald Trump with conviction and a possible prison sentence a few months before the presidential election on November 5, where he dreams of a revenge against Joe Biden.

During the trial, the prosecution intends to prove that Donald Trump used fraudulent maneuvers to hide information from voters a few days before the vote and his narrow victory against Hillary Clinton. Several witnesses are expected to reveal the underside of the campaign and say that other embarrassing accusations had been suppressed thanks to the complicity of an American tabloid which bought the information so as not to publish it.


The jurors will be confronted, among others, with the testimonies of Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who has become one of his worst enemies. It was he who paid the actress, at the request of his boss, he assures, with his own funds, and he has already been convicted by the courts in this case. The defense intends to attack the credibility of this witness, also convicted of lying before Congress. Donald Trump castigates an empty file and denounces political persecution by increasing the invectives against judge Juan Merchan and prosecutor Alvin Bragg. Prosecutors also asked the judge to sanction him for violating the ban on attacking witnesses and jurors, an issue that will be debated Tuesday.

Donald Trump’s mandatory presence at his hearings prevents him from campaigning normally, while his rival Joe Biden tries to score points by plowing the field. The stakes are all the higher as this trial could be the only one, among the four criminal cases targeting Donald Trump, to conclude before the presidential election.

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