The trial of the century is happening right now. Think about it. A corrupt individual is on trial for interfering with the 2016 election to become President of the United States. Testimony by witnesses for the prosecution has been shocking. The witness list alone was a necessary risk, but it’s paying off.

Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Gregory Clifford, is an eyewitness to a key part of the case. Her story is what Trump tried to cover up to influence the outcome of the election. But there were also unwilling, even hostile key witnesses. It might seem risky to have Trump’s accountant Jeffrey McConney, or Trump fan girl Hope Hicks testify because they tend to defend Trump. However, the prosecution must put these witnesses on the stand.

Keep in mind, the reason you hear attorneys object during jury trial is because only evidence and corroborating testimony is allowed to be presented. Neither the prosecution, the defense, nor witnesses are allowed to make conclusive statements. It’s all about presenting compelling evidence and witness testimony for the jury to decide beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the prosecution argues that Trump knew about the payments to Michael Cohen, for example, they need a witness to corroborate that claim. Otherwise, the defense attorney could point to the empty chair at the witness stand as a gaping hole in the story. It’s known as the “empty chair defense.” Having corroborating witnesses stops the defense from shifting blame to someone that is not in the courtroom.

In this case, the prosecution showed shocking evidence, a handwritten note by the accountant calculating the “grossing up” of the payments to Cohen to cover his income taxes. Then the corroborating witness, that same accountant Jeffrey McConney, testified that the checks and corresponding invoices were sent to Trump for his signature, AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

Stormy Daniels willingly gave detailed testimony about her sexual encounter with Trump and that she was paid off by Trump to hide the story from the public to help Trump win the 2016 election. Hope Hicks unwillingly testified that Trump admitted to covering up the story. The pay-off for the prosecution was that, as Joyce Vance explains, “Now the jury can appreciate the motivation that led to the crime and how it was motivated by the upcoming election.”

Trump knows how damaging the testimony is too. He was heard “cursing audibly” during Stormy Daniels’s testimony. Judge Merchan called a side bar to give Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche a stern warning about Trump’s “contemptuous” behavior.

It’s also worth noting that the strategy used for covering up the illegal payments was a money laundering tactic. The “creative accounting” as we call it in the business, tries to make it hard to trace where money came from and where it ended up. But any forensic accountant following the paper trail can recreate what really happened. A clumsy attempt at hiding illegal election campaign payments. Trump is finally learning that crime does not pay off.

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