Donald Trump's lawyers resumed their defense at the former president's hush money trial, with testimony expected to conclude on Tuesday unless the former president decides to take the witness stand himself.

Trump's lawyers have said they are unlikely to need much time to make their case, and Trump himself indicated they could be done in a matter of hours. "It should end a little bit early today," he told reporters before entering the courtroom on Tuesday.

Lawyer Robert Costello returned to the witness stand for further defense testimony. It was unclear if Trump's lawyers would call additional witnesses. Trump did not respond when reporters asked if he would testify.

Justice Juan Merchan said on Monday that he expected the defense to wrap up its presentation on Tuesday and both sides will make their closing arguments next week.

Trump's lawyers have asked Merchan to dismiss the case before it reaches the jury, arguing that it rests on the testimony of a witness, the estranged former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who has a well-documented history of lying.

Such dismissal motions are rarely successful, and Merchan indicated on Monday that he was inclined to let jurors assess Cohen's credibility for themselves. Prosecutors say his testimony is buttressed by other evidence.

Cohen, the prosecution's final witness, wrapped up his testimony on Monday, clearing the way for Trump's lawyers to present witnesses and their own evidence.

Costello, the second witness called by Trump's defense, testified on Monday that Cohen told him he did not have any incriminating information on Trump.

Costello's demeanor on the witness stand apparently angered Merchan on Monday, who cleared the courtroom to tell him, "Don't roll your eyes."

Trump is accused of covering up a $130,000 payment that bought the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels, who in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election was peddling her story of a sexual encounter with Trump.

Though the hush-money payment itself is not illegal, Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide his reimbursement to Cohen, who initially paid for the transaction.

Trump, 77, has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing. He says he never had sex with Daniels and has cast the trial as a politically motivated attempt to hurt his effort to win back the White House as a Republican from Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election.

Cohen testified that he spoke repeatedly with Trump about the payment to Daniels in the final stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign when Trump was facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

Cohen said Trump worried that Daniels would hurt his appeal to women voters if she went public with her story. Trump's legal team says he made the payment to protect his family from embarrassment.

Cohen admitted on the witness stand on Monday that he had stolen money from Trump's business, saying he was angry his bonus was cut after he handled the Daniels payment.

(Reporting by Jack Queen in New York and Andy Sullivan in Washington; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Howard Goller)