Trump says he would testify in upcoming hush money trial

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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) hold a press conference at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on April 12, 2024, in Palm Beach, Florida. 

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Donald Trump said Friday that he would testify under oath in his criminal hush money trial, which is set to begin in New York on Monday.

"All I can do is tell the truth," said Trump, who is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, "and the truth is that there's no case."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee spoke at a press conference with House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., at Trump's Florida resort home Mar-a-Lago.

The trial — the first ever against a former president — centers on a hush money payment in late 2016 to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had an extramarital affair with Trump years earlier.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accuses Trump of facilitating that payment and others to unlawfully hide information from voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election, which Trump would go on to win.

Trump is expected to be in court throughout the trial, which could last over six weeks.

Asked at Mar-a-Lago what he will be looking for when the jury selection process begins Monday, Trump said, "Jury selection is largely luck. It depends who you get."

He went on to once again attack the presiding judge, Juan Merchan, accusing him of having a conflict of interest that requires his recusal from the case.

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Trump and his lawyers have said that conflict is that Merchan's daughter works for a Democratic political firm. Merchan already rejected that argument last year, but Trump's lawyers recently filed another recusal request on similar grounds. Trump has repeatedly targeted the judge's daughter on social media, prompting Merchan to expand a gag order on Trump.

Johnson, whose role leading the narrowly divided House is being challenged from within his own party, had traveled to Florida to meet with Trump, the GOP's de facto leader and by far its most influential member.

The two men held a press conference to announce a bill purporting to strengthen election "integrity" by requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to vote, even though it is already illegal for noncitizens to vote.

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