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Trump says he will take the stand in his own defense

 September 7, 2023

On Wednesday, Former President Donald Trump firmly stated his intention to testify in his upcoming criminal trials, as Fox News reported.

In an interview with radio show host Hugh Hewitt, the 2024 Republican Party frontrunner unambiguously said, "Yes, absolutely," when questioned if he would testify in his own defense.

In response to a question about whether he would take the stand, Trump stated, "That, I would do — that, I look forward to... At trial, I'll testify."

Trump is the first former U.S. president to be confronted with criminal allegations. He has pleaded not guilty across all charges in all jurisdictions.

Looking Back at the Russia Probe

During the conversation, Trump drew parallels between the current allegations against him and the infamous 2016 FBI investigation into supposed collusion with Russia. Trump stated about the current cases, "That's just like Russia, Russia, Russia."

The investigation into the alleged collaboration between Russia and the Trump campaign eventually evolved into a special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller. After a two-year inquiry, Mueller found no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.

During the discussion, the former president also recalled the dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the law firm Perkins Coie. Authored by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, this dossier made explosive allegations of coordination between Trump and Russia.

Trump rebuked those claims, reminding Hewitt's audience of his belief that the probe was politically driven and its core claims "all fake."

Manhattan and the Hush-Money Allegations

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg spearheaded an investigation that led to Trump's indictment on counts that stemmed from hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has vehemently denied allegations of criminality in the matter, pleading not guilty to all the 34 felony counts tied to supposed business record falsifications. A trial date in that case remains undecided.

Allegations from Special Counsel Jack Smith

The former president faces additional challenges due to indictments spearheaded by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Stemming from investigations into alleged mishandling of classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property, these charges include the willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements. Trump has countered these accusations, again, pleading not guilty.

Another indictment associated with Smith's probe was handed down on July 27, adding three more counts to the charges against Trump. Tentative trial discussions suggest a date in May of the upcoming year, coinciding with GOP primaries and the Republican convention.

The Jan. 6 Capitol Event and Fulton County's Case

Smith's scope also extended to Trump's alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol unrest and potential interference in the 2020 election results. As a result of this, Trump faces four federal charges set to go to trial on March 4, 2024.

Lastly, a recent indictment from Fulton County, Georgia's District Attorney Fani Willis, added to Trump's legal battles.

Stemming from an investigation into purported efforts to influence the 2020 election results in Georgia, the charges include violations of the Georgia RICO Act, criminal solicitation, conspiracy, and false documentation. In line with his responses to other charges, Trump has entered a plea of not guilty.

As Trump faces a series of legal challenges, he remains determined and fully committed to defending himself. The timeline for his trials remains a point of serious dispute and continued negotiation between the courts and the former president's legal team.