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The end of the trial is approaching and Trump tells the judge that he still has a chance to regain the "respect" he lost

The witness phase has ended and the former president's team continues to point out that the case is nonsensical and that it is not clear what the crime is.

Ensayo en el New York Times: el caso del fiscal Bragg contra Trump es un “error histórico”

El profesor de derecho Jed Handelsman Shugerman cuestionó al fiscal de Manhattan Alvin Bragg. (AFP)

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The testimonial phase ended this Tuesday, and Donald Trump's team insists that no crime was committed. In his remarks outside the Court, Trump once again cited different legal experts who remain amazed because it is still unclear what alleged major crime he is being charged with. The former president also sent a message to Judge Juan Merchán, inviting him to dismiss the case and regain the "respect" he has lost after his performance in the trial.

The day was also marked by the overwhelming testimony of the former federal prosecutor in New York, Robert Costello. The judge interrupted him several times and even threatened to stop his testimony if he did not comply with his orders. Merchán's performance with Trump's defense witness surprised many who, for weeks, saw the judge allow all types of testimonies without stopping even the intimacies and out-of-context accusations made by witnesses for the accusing party, as was the case with Stormy Daniels.

Late in the afternoon, for several hours, the two sides discussed with the judge the instructions that would be given to jurors the following week. For Trump's defense, this step is key because, as they have said on different occasions, electoral law is complicated, and it is important to ensure that jurors understand it before making a decision.

Trump tells Judge Merchán he still has a chance to regain 'respect'

In his customary words before the start of the trial, Trump referred to Judge Juan Merchán and said that he still has the opportunity to regain the "respect" he has lost with this case. The former president said that the judge should dismiss the case and that if the ruling is not in their favor, they will go to the Court of Appeals.

"This case should be abandoned by the judge. I think the judge, if he did that, could regain respect. The appeals court has to intervene; something has to happen."

Trump also once again classified this trial as electoral interference, pointing out that he has not been able to campaign for weeks because he must be in court every day.

"Think about it: the Republican Party, one of the two big parties, nominates someone to be their candidate, and that candidate has been sitting here for almost five weeks in a freezing cold refrigerator listening to this stuff."

Robert Costello finished his testimony

This Tuesday, the witness phase ended with the statements of Robert Costello, Michael Cohen's legal advisor. Contrary to Cohen's history of lying, Costello has an outstanding reputation. For years, he was a federal prosecutor in New York. He knows the law well and has created a name for himself in the world of law after years of practicing the profession.

In his testimony on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, he claimed that Cohen told him on different occasions that Trump knew nothing about the payments to Stormy Daniels and that he was personally taking care of everything.

Another important issue that Costello testified is related to Cohen's character and the possible motivations he has had throughout all these years to lie about Trump constantly. Costello said Cohen was "manic" when the former president did not choose him as part of his White House Cabinet. He also claimed at Monday's hearing that Cohen had suicidal thoughts when the FBI was investigating him.

Costello's testimony was constantly interrupted by objections from the Prosecutor's Office and reprimands from Judge Merchán. Several attendees at Tuesday's event assured that the judge's double standard was clear regarding how he had treated the prosecution's witnesses and Costello, who is the defense's witness.

The importance of jury instructions

Instructions will be given to the jury when the trial resumes next week after closing arguments. This step is key because it is the moment in which the components that they must consider to evaluate whether a crime was committed are explained to the jurors.

One of the concerns that the defense has expressed is that Michael Cohen was allowed on different occasions to claim that Trump had violated campaign finance rules during the trial. The former president's lawyers argue that those statements should not have happened because they are inaccurate and could lead the jury to think that it is already clear that Trump violated the electoral finance law.

Therefore, in the discussions at the end of this Tuesday about the instructions that will be given to the jury, judge Merchán agreed to remind jurors that just because Cohen pleaded guilty to violating election finance laws does not mean Trump committed a crime. The defense has recalled on different occasions that these matters were typical of lawyers and accountants and that, naturally, Trump was not in charge of his campaign's accounting. In addition, they have highlighted that both the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission analyzed the case and declined to file charges against Trump.

Trump's defense seeks to ensure that these instructions make it clear to the jurors that to prove that Trump committed the crime of violating electoral law, it would have to be proven that he knew the campaign violation rules and that, with the intention of violating them, he falsified the accounting books.