The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Trump criminal trial begins over hush money allegations

Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
President Donald Trump speaks at an Arizona campaign rally in a 2016 file photo. A criminal trial began in April over whether the former president paid hush money to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels.

Donald Trump’s hush money trial began on April 15 and has already created controversial implications for the jurors and the upcoming election.  Trump faces 34 felony charges of falsifying business records relating to payments made to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels. Many believe these payments were made to ensure her silence about an earlier alleged affair between them. 

Trump is facing allegations that he paid Daniels to keep quiet about their affair leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Trump strongly denies these allegations and the fact that he ever had an affair with Daniels. The charges he faces carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if Trump is convicted on five or more counts. However, political commentators are conflicted over whether Trump will serve any jail time. 

Many famous public figures will testify in this trial, including Trump’s former friend, Ex-National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, and Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. The jurors for the trial have been selected, but this was not an easy process. Many people dropped out of the role when the public started investigating their family life, background, and more. However, on April 22, opening statements for the trial began. 

Since the trial began, it was reported that Trump made comments to the jurors that were inappropriate for the trial. Both these comments and Trump’s history with crossing lines lead the judge to issue a gag order on him, meaning that Trump can’t say certain things.  After numerous violations of the gag order, the judge decided to hold him in contempt and fined him $9,000. 

This hush money trial is just the first of Donald J. Trump’s numerous criminal cases. Many of his supporters say they believe that these charges have been exaggerated just to make him look bad for the 2024 election. In fact, polls have shown that Trump’s criminal cases have actually helped Trump in his presidential run. 

These cases are significant because it is the first time that a former president has been indicted on criminal charges, and is facing possible jail time. The hush money trial is going on during a very critical time in Trump’s campaign run. He is spending most of his time in the courtroom, instead of going out to campaign, though it seems not to be affecting his campaign too much. 

Photo credits: “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Behind the Byline
Gabe Herman
Gabe Herman, News and Features Editor
Gabe Herman is a News & Features Section Editor for the Wessex Wire. He is in the class of 2025 and started taking journalism in his freshman year. A fun fact about Gabe is that he loves to cook, travel, and spend time with his family and friends.
More to Discover