New York prosecutors presented the jury with their closing argument in the case against former President Trump Tuesday, saying the case is “about a conspiracy and a cover-up,” and maintained that they have presented “powerful evidence” to convict. 

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty. 

Prosecutors need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified records to conceal a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic performer, in the lead-up to the 2016 election to silence her about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. The former president has maintained his innocence.

New York prosecutor Joshua Steinglass presented the closing arguments for Bragg. Steinglass presented his closing argument for more than five hours. 

Steinglass said Trump’s intent to defraud “could not be any clearer,” arguing that it would have been far easier for him to pay Stormy Daniels directly. Instead, the prosecutor said, he concocted an elaborate scheme and everything he and his cohorts did was “cloaked in lies.”

“The name of the game was concealment and all roads lead inescapably to the man who benefited the most: the defendant, former President Donald Trump,” Steinglass said.

Steinglass defended their use of Michael Cohen as a witness, telling the jury: “I’m not asking you to feel bad for Michael Cohen. He made his bed.” 

“But you can hardly blame him for making money from the one thing he has left, which is his knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump Organization,” he said. 

“We didn’t choose Michael Cohen to be our witness. We didn’t pick him up at the witness store,” Steinglass said. “The defendant chose Michael Cohen to be his fixer because he was willing to lie and cheat on the defendant’s behalf.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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