Closing arguments in Trump New York trial set for next week: Judge

A judge on Monday said attorneys will begin delivering closing arguments in Donald Trump‘s hush money trial next Tuesday, meaning the former president’s trial is on pace to end next week.

New York Judge Juan Merchan made the announcement at the start of court proceedings on Monday and indicated a change had occurred over the weekend that had prompted him to push arguments out a week from his initial estimation, according to reports from the courtroom.

Former President Donald Trump reads quotes from a piece of paper as he speaks to the press with his lawyer Todd Blanche before his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, May 20, 2024, in New York. (Sarah Yenesel/Pool Photo via AP)

Merchan began proceedings on Monday by announcing that other business would take up most of this week and that the court is not scheduled to be in session on Wednesday or Friday, in addition to the Memorial Day holiday next Monday.

“It was either have a long break now or have a long break then, and unfortunately the calendar is what it is,” Merchan said, according to the New York Times.

If that schedule holds, Merchan will provide instructions to the jury about Trump’s charges after closing arguments, and jurors will begin deliberating from there. Deliberations could take hours or days if needed, meaning the trial could potentially end by next Friday.

On Monday, Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen came back to the witness stand for his third day of cross-examination by Trump attorneys. When the defense questioning concludes by roughly midday, prosecutors can reinterview Cohen in an attempt to build back credibility that defense attorneys have damaged during cross-examination.

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After Cohen is done, the defense has a chance to present its own case. Trump has repeatedly said he plans to testify, but nearly all legal experts say that could be risky. His attorneys could say as soon as later on Monday whether Trump will actually take the stand.

Closing arguments will follow the defense’s case, and after that, the jury, which has been on duty since April 22, will begin to determine a verdict based on the judge’s instructions.

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