Donald Trump ‘Hush Money’ Trial: What’s It About? Can You Watch Live Today?

Donald Trump ‘Hush Money’ Trial: What’s It About? Can You Watch Live Today?

Donald Trump’s first criminal case, examining payment of hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels, begins today. It is the first of four criminal cases facing the former president.

Trump, the presumed 2024 GOP presidential nominee, is charged with illegally falsifying business records to hide payments to Daniels during his 2016 White House campaign.

The former president, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, is alleged to have paid Daniels in exchange for her not speaking about an affair the pair allegedly had in 2006. Trump has denied an affair ever happened.

Donald Trump
Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears for a pre-trial hearing in a hush money case in criminal court on March 25, 2024 in New York City. Trump has pled not guilty to 34 counts of…

Mary Altaffer/Pool/Getty Images

The investigation, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, begins in New York today, following several unsuccessful efforts by the former president and his legal team to delay it.

With proceedings ready to start, Newsweek has summarized the story so far and found out whether you can watch the trial as it happens.

Trump faces 34 felony charges regarding falsified business records tied to payments made to Daniels weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels claims that she and Trump had an affair in 2006 while he was married to former first lady Melania Trump.

In 2018, Donald Trump‘s former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to the payment. Cohen has said Trump ordered him to pay the money for the “principal purpose of influencing” the election in 2016, with Trump’s company repaying him later, classifying it as “legal fees.”

Prosecutors, led by Bragg, suggest this was part of an unlawful attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

The prosecutors also allege that Trump reimbursed Cohen via a series of checks for “hush money” payments made to Daniels.

This is the first time in U.S. history that a former president has faced criminal charges. Polls have suggested voters will be put off backing Trump if he is found guilty of a crime before the November election.

Trump has used social media to attack presiding judge Juan Merchan and Bragg, alleging the trial is “election interference.”

He faces three other state and federal trials over his alleged criminal attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, as well as his hoarding of classified documents and alleged attempt to obstruct the federal attempt to retrieve the sensitive materials from his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump said during a press conference in March that he plans to take the stand in the trial, plans to appeal, and criticized prosecutors for bringing the case in the middle of the election campaign.

How long the trial will take has been debated. Legal experts have previously told Newsweek that the case may take no more than three weeks, and have called the matter “straightforward,” “simple” and dealing with a finite number of witnesses.

Judge Merchan said in February that he anticipates the hush money case will take about six weeks.

While Trump is unlikely to face prison time for the charges, it could limit his ability to travel, contact certain individuals, conduct certain business activities, and he may lose his ability to vote for himself in the presidential race.

Can I watch the trial on TV?

The trial proceedings will disrupt Trump’s political campaigning; he is expected to be in the courtroom four days a week from 9.30 am until 4.30 pm or later.

While the trial is arguably the most significant U.S. court case of the year so far, the proceedings will not be broadcast on television or elsewhere. New York is one of only three U.S. jurisdictions that prohibits audio-visual trial coverage.

There will, however, be cameras outside the court, and some photography is said to have been permitted inside the courtroom ahead of proceedings.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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