Toobin implies Trump remarks after court may hurt him if played for jury

Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested former President Trump’s remarks after the second day of his hush money trial — centered on the falsification of business records — could possibly hurt him.

Toobin implied to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night that the comments, which “could be played before the jury,” may come back to haunt the former president in the case. But, the analyst added, Trump could also turn it around and say he doesn’t handle his own business records.

“Remember, the whole case is about the falsification of these business records. And you know, Trump has potentially the argument, ‘Look, I run a multibillion-dollar company. I don’t know how the accountants, how the bookkeepers record things,'” he said. “That’s going to be a big issue in the case.”

“How is the government going to prove that Trump knew and initiated or at least supported the idea that these payoffs were recorded as legal fees?” Toobin asked, adding that the former president “caught himself” in his remarks. “But you know that that video could be played before the jury, no question.”

While speaking to reporters Tuesday after the second day of jury selection wrapped up in the historic criminal trial, the former president said he marked the reimbursements at the center of the case as a “legal expense,” before noting that the accountants did that.

“I was paying a lawyer, and we marked it down as a legal expense — some accountant. I didn’t know,” Trump told reporters. “Mark it down as a legal expense. That’s exactly what it was. And you get indicted over that?”

Law professor Jessica Roth spoke before Toobin on CNN, describing Trump’s remarks as an “interesting statement.”

“I don’t think we should overstate how incriminating it was. His name — he signed some of the checks to Michael Cohen reimbursing him for these fees,” Roth said.

“When he started to say, I marked it down as legal expenses, my ears perked up because it’s been a little bit unclear exactly how the state is going to prove that Trump falsified the records because many of these entries may have been made by the accountants for the Trump Organization,” she added.

Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records in the case. He is expected to spend most of the next few weeks in the New York court room for the trial, the first criminal trial of a sitting or former president, which began Monday.

Prosecutors in the case, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), will try to prove that Trump was involved in falsifying the records in connection to the reimbursements he made to ex-fixer, Cohen, who paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election to stay quiet about an alleged affair.

As of the end of Tuesday’s proceedings, seven jurors have been selected in the case.

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