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Quiet and brooding, Trump is a Victim in Court

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New York, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 23rd April, 2024) Donald Trump sat in a New York courtroom on Monday watching history unfold, a grim witness to his own turn as the first president of the United States to face criminal prosecution.

Most court cases are deliberate, scripted and glacial – boring for any observer to sit through, let alone a junky real estate mogul used to getting what he wants, when he wants it.

But the 45th president vying for another bid at the nation’s highest office is set to spend the next month or so forced to sit in a drafty 15th-floor courtroom with peeling paint and fluorescent lights, speak only when spoken to.

In their opening statements, prosecutors detailed how Trump allegedly falsified business records as part of a scheme to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels in an attempt to protect his 2016 presidential aspirations.

The former president collapsed and stared straight ahead as Matthew Colangelo detailed Team Trump’s collusion with the head of the media group that specializes in celebrity tabloids, who prosecutors say worked with the Republican to cover up damaging stories.

Colangelo took care to readily quote the vulgar words Trump uttered when he was infamously caught on tape bragging about grabbing a female’s genitalia without consent.

That’s when Trump stormed off, shaking his head as he heard his own transcript read aloud to a packed courtroom, the sound amplified to an overflow room that seats dozens more journalists.

But as his defense lawyer Todd Blanche delivered his opening statement, Trump turned to the jurors, poised somewhere between alarm and excitement.

“Trying to influence an election” is simply “democracy” said Blanche, noting that non-disclosure agreements are routinely used by the rich and famous.

“The 34 counts are just pieces of paper,” Blanche said, referring to the falsifying business records charges Trump faces, “really.”

– Glare, and laugh –

In contrast, the first witness David Pecker brought a lively energy to the court.

Sporting a yellow tie, moustache, slicked-back hair and an ear-to-ear grin, he looked the stereotypical tabloid man he is – a former executive whose outlets included The National Enquirer, which prosecutors say he bought it and tried to squash salacious stories about Trump as he ran for president.

“We used checkbook journalism,” Pecker told jurors, explaining his company’s editorial practices.

Pecker even bantered with prosecutors asking him to recite a series of phone numbers he had while leading American Media, at one point letting out an infectious cackle.

As a real estate scion making a name for himself in Manhattan in the 1980s and ’90s, Trump relied heavily on tabloids to fuel his rise to fame – and he threw in the evidence of how gossip mongers could play a role key in his future destiny.

Former president Pecker heard before court adjourned early because of the Easter holidays, and because a juror had an urgent dental appointment.

Outside the courthouse, the frenzy is easy fodder for tour guides: one pointed out nearby journalists hovering over laptops, alternating between cracking quotes and slurping noodles.

The guide smiled as his group paused their bike ride to enjoy the view: “Trump reporters,” he said.

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