Trump Defense Attorney Says Bragg’s Charges Are Really Just 34 ‘Pieces Of Paper’

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Former President Donald Trump’s defense attorney argued in his opening statement Monday that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s 34-count indictment was really just 34 “pieces of paper,” according to multiple reports.

Bragg’s indictment charges Trump with falsifying business records in each of the 34 counts recording payments he made to his former attorney Michael Cohen, allegedly to reimburse him for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Defense attorney Todd Blanche argued that Trump is “innocent,” appealing to the jury by reminding them he is not just the former president or a TV star, but also a man, husband and father, according to multiple reports.

“The 34 counts, ladies and gentlemen, are really just pieces of paper,” Blanche said, according to CNN. “None of this was a crime.” (RELATED: Prosecutor Paints Trump Manhattan Case As ‘Election Conspiracy’ During Opening Statement)

Blanche said the payments were not a payback for the $130,000 given to Daniels. Trump had “nothing to do” with the payments to Cohen, except that he “signed the checks,” Blanche said, according to the outlet.

“Think for a moment of what the People just told you. President Trump did not pay Mr. Cohen back $130,000. President Trump paid Michael Cohen $420,000,” Blanche said, according to CBS News. “Would a frugal businessman, would a man who ‘pinches pennies,’ repay a $130,000 debt to the tune of $420,000?”

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo sought during his opening statement Monday to frame the payments as part of a broader “conspiracy” to corrupt the 2016 election. Blanche acknowledged Daniels entered into a nondisclosure agreement for $130,000 and said such an agreement is not illegal, according to CNN.

“There’s nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. It’s called democracy. They’ve put something sinister on this idea, as if it was a crime,” Blanche said, according to CBS News. “President Trump fought back like he always does, and like he’s entitled to do. To protect his family, his reputation and his brand. And that is not a crime.”

Blanche also tore into Cohen’s credibility as the prosecution’s star witness, calling him an “admitted liar” who has “talked extensively about his desire to see President Trump go to prison,” according to Politico.

Cohen plead guilty in 2018 to multiple charges, including making false statements to a bank, tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

“He cheated on his taxes,” Blanche said, per the outlet. “He lied to banks. He lied about side businesses he had with taxi medallions and other things, and, as the people alluded to, in 2018, he got caught.”

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