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Editorial

Why Didn’t Trump Testify at His Trial?

“Innocent,” assured the defense attorneys of former President Donald Trump when they addressed the jurors, completing their client’s defense.

This trial is historic, regardless of the outcome. It is the first trial in American history where a former president is accused of committing criminal acts. During the four weeks of the trial, the jurors heard much from many prosecution witnesses. Trump’s side called only one.

What troubles me most is the circle of people Trump associated with. Other presidents had character issues too. Not like this, though. We expect certain standards from those who reach the U.S. presidency. Character should count for something in the White House.

From the witnesses, I highlight the testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former close associate – a fixer – who adored his boss for years and then, when thrown ‘under the bus’, turned against him with such rare hatred, raising the question of how far people’s loyalty should go.

Now the jurors must distinguish truth from what is born of bias against Trump and vindictiveness.

But what stands out, what will linger and could have serious consequences for either side, is Trump’s choice not to testify. That he decided not to seize the opportunity to defend himself. To look the jurors in the eye and say: “I am innocent. I did not break the law.”

Perhaps with this decision, he wants to send the message that the trial is rigged. That it’s a way for his political opponents to prevent him from being re-elected to the presidency.

There’s probably some truth to this.

Yet wasn’t Trump the one that gave them this opportunity by paying and then concealing the payment to Stormy Daniels so that voters would not learn about their ‘relationship’?

And doesn’t his behavior harm the judicial system, the system of rules and principles by which a society operates?

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