Hush money trial: Internet swats Trump's claim of Judge Juan Merchan 'making it difficult' for him to testify

Hush money trial: Internet swats Trump's claim of Judge Juan Merchan 'making it difficult' for him to testify
Donald Trump blamed Judge Juan Merchan's unfavorable rulings as the reason behind his decision to avoid testimony in the hush money trial (Mark Peterson-Pool/Getty Images, Juan Merchan/LinkedIn)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Former President Donald Trump revealed why he decided not to take the witness stand in the hush money trial despite his frequent statements about his willingness to testify.

In an interview with WABC Radio in New York on Wednesday, May 22, the 45th president partially blamed the trial Judge Juan Merchan's rulings, which were often against his defense, that forced him to not take the stand, according to The Hill.

"Because he made rulings that makes it very difficult to testify," Trump argued. "Anything I did, anything I did in the past they can bring everything up. And you know what, I've had a great past."

At the beginning of the trial in April, Merchan limited the prosecution's questioning scope if Trump testified. However, he allowed questions about other civil cases against the White House hopeful, particularly the E Jean Carroll defamation case.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 3: Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 3, 2024 in New York City. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records last year, which prosecutors say was an effort to hide a potential sex scandal, both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Trump is the first former U.S. president to face trial on criminal charges. (Photo by Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images)
Donald Trump did not testify at the hush money trial against him (Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images)

Trump cites lack of case as another reason for not testifying

Besides unfavorable rulings from Judge Merchan, Trump claimed the prosecution had no case, which he considered another reason to avoid testimony.

"In other words, why testify when they have no case … There's no crime … so when you say, 'Why not testify,' they have no case, other than it's a corrupt system," the defendant asserted.

Since the beginning of the historical criminal trial, Trump had been critical of the judge.

In early May, he criticized Judge Merchan for "doing everything in his power to make this trial as salacious as possible, even though these things have NOTHING to do with this FAKE case."

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 6: Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 6, 2024 in New York City. Former U.S. President Donald Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. (Photo by Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Donald Trump claimed there was no case and crime in the hush money trial, citing it as a partial reason not to testify (Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)

The accusation possibly stemmed from the judge allowing the prosecution to bring up Playboy model Karen McDougal's story during the trial. She allegedly had an affair with Trump around a decade before he entered the White House in 2016.

Prosecutors, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, presented 20 witnesses over 15 days before resting its case on May 20. Two witnesses took the stand from the ex-president's defense side, which rested the case on May 21 without Trump's testimony.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Actress Karen McDougal arrives at the launch party to celebrate Di
The hush money trial judge allowed to raise Karen McDougal's story during the hush money trial (Getty Images)

Trump, who often bragged about his willingness to testify, soft-pedaled on the option lately. Legal experts and Trump allies warned him against taking the stand because of a possible brutal cross-examination, fearing his loudmouthed nature could be risky.

The soon-to-be formal GOP nominee faces 34 counts for falsifying business records to cover up a $130K payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the final lap of his 2016 campaign in exchange for her silence about their alleged extramarital affair.

Internet criticizes Trump's reasoning for not testifying

Netizens found Trump's excuse for not testifying unacceptable and pointed out that it was how cross-examinations worked.

One user wrote, "Not a valid excuse. You are a defendant in a criminal trial. Everything you did, are doing or intend to do is fair game. As it is for every defendant. Admit it, you were afraid you would have to commit perjury to hide your guilt."

"Did he only just recently learn how cross examination works? Hard to believe, given how many lawsuits he's been involved in during his life," another remarked.



A third user added, "All criminal trials are about things people did in the past. Cross examination is always about questioning the witness' credibility and challenging hi or her with "prior bad acts." Welcome to the criminal justice system."

"In other words, it wasn't rigged in Trump's favor," read a fourth response.

Another person wrote, "Right. It would be terrible if Trump accidentally revealed all his past crimes when testifying, because then the prosecution could cross examine him. Then Trump could be prosecuted for ALL his past crimes and frauds. oops."




Someone else claimed, "Trump didn’t testify because he’s a pathological liar and would have committed perjury in less than 20 minutes!"

"People, that’s not a ruling — that’s how it works in every courtroom. Trump consistently claims a privilege he does not have," an individual pointed out.

Another user added, "Ya. That happens in court sometimes!! Remedy!!! Don’t committee crimes then you don’t have to worry about ducking, hiding and lying! Doesn’t that sound nice … maybe in your next life!"




This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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