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Trump took a big risk by pleading the Fifth Amendment more than 400 times in deposition: legal expert
A newly released video shows Donald Trump pleading the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times in a deposition, and a legal expert explained how that could be used against him in court.
The former president was finally hauled in to testify last year in the $25 million fraud lawsuit filed against the Trump Organization by New York attorney Letitia James, and he exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination nearly 450 times -- but MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann said the move carried potential risk in a civil case.
"I agree with him on the point of taking the Fifth," Weissmann said. "It's important to remember everyone has a right to the Fifth if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate you. In a civil case, it can be used against you, unlike in a criminal case."
"One other thing I would disagree is when he is saying there's this witch hunt, he left out jurors," Weissmann added. "The Trump Organizations went to trial, they had their day in court. They could present all of their evidence, [and] 12 jurors, that's everyday citizens, found beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a multi-year tax conspiracy that his organizations were involved in, and there was evidence he knew about it as would make sense. That's one more reason for him to be asserting the Fifth Amendment."
01 31 2023 12 23 01 youtu.be
Adult film star Stormy Daniels on Tuesday took a victory lap after former President Donald Trump uncorked a tirade about being investigated for paying her hush money to keep quiet about their past sexual encounter.
In a post on his Truth Social account earlier in the day, Trump dismissed his interactions with Daniels as "VERY OLD and happened a long time ago."
Trump then proceeded to blame his decision to pay off Daniels on former "fixer" Michael Cohen, who went to jail after pleading guilty to helping facilitate an illegal campaign contribution in the form of payments to Daniels.
"I placed full Reliance on the JUDGEMENT AND ADVICE OF COUNCIL (sic), who I had every reason to believe had a license to practice law, was competent, and was able to appropriately provide solid legal services," Trump wrote of Cohen.
Daniels reacted to Trump's statement by mocking him for seeming to acknowledge the validity of her allegations that he paid her hush money during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"Thanks for just admitting that I was telling the truth about EVERYTHING," she wrote. "Guess I'll take my 'horse face' back to bed now, Mr. former 'president'. Btw, that's the correct way to use quotation marks."
Trump infamously referred to Daniels as "horse face" after her allegations against him became public, to which Daniels responded by mocking the size of Trump's genitalia.
Women and girls have finally been allowed to take part in a torchlit procession on Tuesday at a festival in Shetland celebrating the Scottish islands' Viking past.
The committee in charge of the "Up Helly Aa" festival in Shetland's main town of Lerwick announced last year that it was time to lift a ban on women taking part in the traditional procession.
The event, which marks the end of the Christmas season, is popular among tourists.
It traditionally involves around 1,000 male participants known as guizers, who wear Viking dress and divide into squads to parade through the town.
The procession is led by the Guizer Jarl, or chief guizer, and culminates in the participants using their flaming torches to set ablaze a replica Viking longship.
The modern event, first held in 1881, is known for its festive parties that often involve traditional Shetland dancing and copious alcohol consumption.
Rural "Up Helly Aa" processions on Shetland, which lies in the middle of the North Sea some 400 miles (640 kilometers) from Edinburgh, started allowing women to take part in 2015.
But the town of Lerwick's committee initially stood firm against allowing female participants to get involved in celebrating the island's Norse heritage.
This year -- despite the lifting of the gender restrictions -- there are no women in the main Jarl squad which leads the procession. However, women are taking part in other historic costumed squads involved in the event.
Festival organizers said it was not necessarily a surprise that there were no female participants for the 2023 Jarl Squad, since it was formed back in 2021, before the lifting of gender restrictions was announced in June 2022.
"It is expected that females participating in the Jarl Squad will evolve in the coming years, but we'll see females participating in some of the other 46 squads from the 2023 festival," the "Up Helly Aa" committee said ahead of the event.
The torch-lit processions and longboat burning are an echo of pagan Norse rituals -- the Shetland and neighboring Orkney Islands were ruled by the Norse for about 500 years until they became part of Scotland in 1468.
© 2023 AFP