MSNBC analyst: ‘Decent chance’ Trump testifies because he ‘believes he is smarter than anyone in the room’

MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos predicted there is a “decent chance” that former President Trump will testify during his hush money trial that kicked off in Manhattan last week.

“I happen to think, and I’m sure I’m in the minority, there is a decent chance that Donald Trump will testify,” Cevallos told MSNBC’s José Díaz-Balart on Monday. “Number one, yes, he believes he is smarter than anyone in the world.”

Cevallos also said that clients in white-collar crime cases tend to believe “they have an explanation for absolutely everything.”

“They believe the prosecution is a big misunderstanding. And if they can just take the stand, they can clear up all of the misunderstanding. It is a dangerous way of thinking, and arguably it’s a way of thinking that made them white collar criminal defendants in the first place,” Cevallos said.

“So, because Donald Trump has an absolute right to testify, and because he may view this as a lost cause anyway, and he may use it more as a pulpit for a broader audience than the jury, we might see Donald Trump testify,” he added.

It’s not clear yet whether Trump will testify in the hush money trial. He has signaled that he would be open to testifying, but it would be a rare step for a criminal defendant to do so.

Judge Juan Merchan ruled Monday that Manhattan prosecutors can cross-examine Trump about several civil lawsuits he has also been involved in if the former president chooses to testify. Trump is not required to take the stand and jurors are not able to hold it against him if he chooses not to.

The first witness was called to the stand during the hush money trial Monday after prosecutors and Trump attorneys delivered their opening statements. Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker returned to the stand Tuesday to resume his testimony in the case.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with reimbursements made to his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, for a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to stay quiet about an alleged affair with the former president.

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