The Stormy Daniels hush money case against Donald Trump is “very weak” and “an extremely difficult case for the prosecution to win,” according to one legal expert.

Speaking to Newsweek, Tre Lovell, a Los Angeles-based corporate law attorney, said the case “reeks of a desperate attempt to go after Trump” who “has a very reasonable alibi.”

Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records which prosecutors claim he did to cover up the payment of $130,000 in hush money to Stormy Daniels, a former pornographic actress, ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The former president has pled not guilty to all charges and denies having sexual relations with Daniels, which she claims took place in 2006.

Trump, the presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee, is set on Monday to become the first former president in the history of the United States to stand trial in a criminal case.

Falsification of business records is typically a misdemeanor under New York law but can count as a felonies if done to cover up another crime, as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is alleging in Trump’s case. The alleged payments were facilitated by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, who in 2018 pled guilty to eight counts of breaking campaign finance and other laws with the aim of impacting the 2016 presidential race.

Lovell commented: “This hush money case against Trump is very weak and full of reasonable doubt. It reeks of a desperate attempt to go after Trump by connecting a few dots. Trump has strong defense arguments to rely on, making this an extremely difficult case for the prosecution to win.

“Trump has a very reasonable alibi motive; hiding the payment was for personal reasons to save his marriage and protect his family, and had nothing to do with the election.”

The lawyer also suggested the impact of Daniels’ claim, had it gone public, would have been limited compared to the publication of an Access Hollywood tape on October 7 2016 in which Trump was heard saying “you can do anything” with women when you’re a star, before adding: “Grab ’em by the p****.”

Lovell argued: “Hiding the affair followed the leak of the Access Hollywood tape, which was much more damaging in comparison. Any affair Trump might have had would pale in comparison with the political fallout from his demeaning characterization of women on the Access Hollywood tape.

“This supports the argument that his reasons for the payment were personal and not related to his presidential campaign, because it would have had no effect on the election. At the very least, it amounts to reasonable doubt which equals acquittal.”

Newsweek contacted Trump representatives by email and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office by telephone and voicemail message outside of usual business hours on Saturday. This article will be updated if either wishes to comment.

Donald Trump holding a press conference at Mar-a-Lago on April 12, 2024, in Palm Beach, Florida (left) and Stormy Daniels attending the 2024 Adult Video News Awards at Resorts World Las Vegas on January 27,…

Joe Raedle/Ethan Miller/GETTY

In an interview with Newsweek, Robert Swafford, a legal expert and founder of Strike for Cause Jury Consultants, said one Trump supporter on the jury could prevent a guilty verdict as this would require unanimity.

He said: “If one true believer, a MAGA supporter, manages to get on the jury, then it won’t matter how much evidence the prosecution brings to bear. That juror will sit there until kingdom come and say not guilty. And that juror will derail the case because a verdict must be unanimous in a criminal trial.

“I’m sure that both legal teams are doing research on the prospective jurors’ social media accounts, their voting records, any prior criminal convictions, and credit histories—everything that can be searched in a database. But at the end of the day, if someone scrubbed their social media or their activity on internet forums, those online trails become very hard to find.”

Trump is also facing criminal trials over accusations he mishandled classified documents then obstructed their return to the relevant authorities, and broke the law attempting to overthrow the 2020 presidential election both across the nation and in the state of Georgia specifically. He has pled not guilty to all charges and insists the cases against him are politically motivated.