‘I tell the truth’: Trump says he’ll testify at hush money trial as judge rejects last minute plea

Former President Trump has said he will testify at his upcoming hush money trial in New York City, the same day the judge overseeing the case rejected a last-ditch attempt from Trump’s legal team to delay the trial, which begins Monday.

“I’m testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth,” Trump told reporters at a press conference at Mar-a-Lago Friday. “And the truth is, that there’s no case.”

His trial related to accusations he falsified business records to cover up a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election is scheduled to begin Monday.

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Former President Donald Trump

Former President Trump, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said he will testify at his New York City trial. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The ex-president and 2024 White House candidate made the announcement alongside Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Fla., who was in Palm Beach to roll out a legislative package aimed at bolstering election integrity.

Trump called his trial a “scam” and a “witch hunt” when asked if he planned to testify at his upcoming trial.

“What they have done is incredible. It’s election interference, and it’s got to stop. It’s a third-world country. This country has never done it,” the former president said.

The trial in New York City is the first of the election year for the 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts. 

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Alvin Bragg wearing glasses

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the trial. Trump’s legal team had filed a motion requesting Merchan be recused from the trial due to his daughter’s Democrat-affiliated political work and his alleged “hostility” against the 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 

Bragg last April charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

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Bragg alleged Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

Trump’s trial comes as he readies to challenge President Biden for another White House term later this year. Leading up to the election, Johnson vowed the House of Representatives would vote on a bill aimed at cracking down on voter fraud by requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to be able to vote.

Speaker Mike Johnson standing in front of former President Trump

Speaker Mike Johnson rolled out an election integrity package at a press conference with Trump (Getty Images )

Noncitizens are already barred from voting in federal elections, but Johnson argued instances of such fraud are more likely given the record number of people crossing into the U.S. illegally.

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“There’s so many millions of illegals in the country that if only one out of 100 voted, they would cast potentially hundreds of thousands of votes in the election. That could turn an election,” Johnson said.

The White House quickly smacked down the proposal in a statement by Biden spokesman Andrew Bates.

“As fact-checkers across the board have made clear, it is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. The American people see through today’s stunt, which amounts to House Republicans wasting time on a redundant proposal as they continue to choose fentanyl traffickers over the Border Patrol Union by delaying the toughest bipartisan border security deal in modern history,” Bates said.


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