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Trump attorney lays out battle plan as legal teams gear up for opening statements

Former President Trump’s defense team insists facts are on their side as they lay out their battle plan for opening arguments in the “highly irregular” hush money trial slated to begin Monday.

Trump attorney Will Scharf, appearing Sunday on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” said a part of that battle plan means casting doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s key witnesses.

“With respect to Michael Cohen, as we’ve said in court pleadings, this is a man who’s been found liable for perjury by a number of courts previously. I think this is going to be a key theme here is the fact, that the prosecution’s witnesses are simply not credible people, whereas the actual facts here fully support President Trump because he did nothing wrong,” he said.

TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL: MEET THE JURORS WHO WILL HEAR BRAGG’S CASE AGAINST THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Former US President Donald Trump at Manhattan criminal court in New York, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Scharf said the defense team aims to “focus on the facts” to prove Trump “did nothing wrong.”

“This is a business records case. Those business records accurately reflected payments to one of President Trump’s lawyers as legal retainer fees. Additionally, those records weren’t actually entered by President Trump. He was busy running the country from the White House while all this was happening in Trump Tower in New York,” he said.

“We believe the facts are absolutely on our side, that they’re absolutely exonerative of the president and, as long as the jury focuses on the facts, as long as the jury can see through all the media coverage and all the sensationalism and focus on the actual facts at issue… we believe we have a winning case.”

Scharf also insisted the case shouldn’t be tried in New York during the height of election season, as the case is stealing the presidential candidate away from the campaign trail. 

EXCUSED JUROR REVEALS SELECTION PROCESS FOR TRUMP’S HUSH MONEY TRIAL: ‘NOT A FAN’

“We’ve moved to recuse the judge. We’ve moved for a change of venue,” he added.

This comes as the unusual jury makeup has created a buzz among legal experts, something Scharf noted himself.

“There are a lot of aspects of this case that are highly, highly irregular, and we saw that play out with jury selection last week,” he said.

“You saw a huge number of jurors being excused because because they admitted that they couldn’t be fair and impartial and unbiased, as we expect of jurors,” he continued.

Among the irregularities, two lawyers will sit on the panel of 12 jurors.

The move is considered “unusual” for both legal teams to allow and particularly “very risky” for the defense, according to Elliot Felig, former Manhattan district prosecutor, who also appeared on the show early Sunday.

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Former President Donald Trump exits Trump Tower in New York City

Former President Donald Trump exits Trump Tower in New York City, Monday, April 15, 2024. (Probe-Media for Fox News Digital)

Felig speculated the defense hopes the two lawyers will swing the remaining jurors after Trump’s team sets up a technical defense that, even if the jurors accept all the facts presented by the prosecution as true, it still fails to constitute a crime.

“It’s an unusual case on so many levels but, for the defense, they’re going to argue at the end that even if every single fact that the prosecution presented is accepted as truthful… they’re going to say it still doesn’t make out a crime. That’s why they have two lawyers on the jury defense,” he said.

“Both lawyers usually don’t want lawyers on the jury. In this case, both sides consented to having two lawyers on the jury.”

Scharf said he believes the presence of lawyers is among the least unusual aspects of the case.

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