Donald Trump’s hush money trial

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As day three concluded in Donald Trump’s hush money business fraud case, the former president’s attorney Todd Blanche asked the district attorney’s office to share the first three witnesses they plan to call, noting that opening arguments and the first witness testimony could begin as soon as Monday.

The district attorney’s office refused. Assistant District Attorney Josh Steinglass acknowledged that courtesy is often extended. But because Trump has been posting on social media about their witnesses, he said with a shrug, “We’re not telling him who the witnesses are.”

Judge Juan Merchan said he couldn’t fault prosecutors for that. Trump visibly shook his head over the exchange. Blanche then proposed that he would assure the district attorney’s office that Trump would not post about the witnesses if they shared their witness list.

“I don’t think you can make that representation,” Merchan responded.

Blanche continued to protest, but Merchan said he would not order them to turn over their witnesses. “They’re not required to,” he said.

Why this matters: The tactic from the district attorney’s office means that not only will Trump’s team be in the dark about upcoming witnesses, the DA’s office could also choose to keep the identities of witnesses in the wings from the public, too – meaning it’s possible witnesses become a surprise on a daily basis.


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