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Top 5 moments of Trump trial after ‘salacious’ Stormy Daniels testimony

todayMay 8, 2024 2

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The unprecedented criminal trial of former President Trump reached a fever pitch Tuesday with highly anticipated and salacious testimony from adult film actress Stormy Daniels that prompted a motion for a mistrial and a scolding from the judge.Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges stem from a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.The charges are related to alleged payments made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence Daniels about an alleged 2006 extramarital affair with Trump.Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg must convince the jury that not only did Trump falsify the business records related to alleged hush money payments, but that he did so in furtherance of another crime: conspiracy to promote or prevent election, which is a felony.NY V TRUMP: JUDGE DENIES MOTION FOR MISTRIAL AMID STORMY DANIELS TESTIMONYOn their own, falsifying business records and conspiracy to promote or prevent election are misdemeanor charges.Here are the top five moments from Tuesday’s day in court. Attorneys for Trump objected to prosecutors’ plans to go through the “full details” of the alleged sexual encounter between the pornography actress and Trump.Trump’s team argued there was no need for the details and further argued that there is an issue with Daniels’ credibility by pointing to her initial denial of any alleged encounter in 2018.Prosecutors told Judge Juan Merchan that they would “not go into details of genitalia.” Merchan sided with prosecutors, and Daniels promptly took the stand.Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, told prosecutors she prefers to be referred to as Stormy Daniels. She said she grew up in a low-income family in Louisiana and was raised by her mother after her parents divorced.Daniels testified that at age 17 she began erotic dancing for money, and at age 21, she began nude modeling for magazines. She said she then traveled to California to be an extra in an adult film and was offered an adult film contract at age 23.The adult film actress testified that she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in July 2006 in Lake Tahoe. She said that at the time she was under contract at Wicked Pictures, which was a sponsor and had a table at the tournament.”It was a very brief encounter … players came though … introduced to every player who came through … very brief encounter,” Daniels said on the witness stand.Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked what Daniels discussed with Trump. Daniels said it wasn’t very much; she was introduced as a director and said Trump told her that “you must be the smart one.”BRAGG PROSECUTOR LEADING STORMY DANIELS QUESTIONING IN TRUMP TRIAL DONATED TO JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRATSDaniels said she knew about Trump’s then-reality show “The Apprentice” and that he did cameos and commercials. She was 27 at the time and knew Trump was “probably as old or as old as my father,” who was 60 at the time.She said she saw Trump in the gift room and made sure Trump got a copy of a movie called “Three Wishes” and chatted briefly. She said someone came back and asked her if she wanted to have dinner with Trump.Daniels said that she discussed the invitation to dinner with her then-publicist, recalling that her publicist joked, “I think you should go … what could possibly go wrong?”The publicist implied it would be good for Daniels’ career, the performer said.She then testified in detail about the alleged sexual encounter with Trump in a hotel room.After a brief morning break and a pause in Daniels’ testimony, Merchan told prosecutors that they were going into too much detail during their questioning of her.”The degree of detail we’re going into is unnecessary,” the judge told Manhattan prosecutor Hoffinger and asked her to move things along.Prior to the break, the prosecution asked Daniels to recount an alleged meeting with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel room. Daniels said Trump asked her to dinner after meeting her earlier at the tournament.Daniels has alleged she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 and that in 2016 she was paid $130,000 by Trump’s ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to keep that story from the media.Trump has denied the affair. Daniels initially denied the affair before changing her story in 2018.After lunch, Trump’s defense attorneys moved for a mistrial amid Daniels’ testimony. Defense attorney Todd Blanche, after the court’s lunch break, told Merchan that Daniels’ testimony Tuesday morning was prejudicial.Merchan said a mistrial was not warranted and that he was doing everything he could to control the witness, including once objecting to Daniels’ testimony himself.”I agree that it would have been better if some of these things had been left unsaid,” Merchan said.Blanche said the prosecution is trying to inflame the jury with Daniels’ testimony, including with evidence that he said does not matter. Blanche said it is prejudicial testimony and evidence, saying Daniels has been trying to sell her story about an alleged consensual sexual encounter since 2016.The defense attorney said Daniels’ testimony on Tuesday was about “consent and danger” and that was “not the story that she was selling in 2016.” He also said Daniels was testifying about consent, and that kind of testimony “makes it impossible to come back from.” Blanche said the defense “objected as best we could, but she was able to say what she said.”He also questioned how the defense could “come back from this” in a way that could be “fair” to Trump.NY V TRUMP TO RESUME AFTER FORMER PRESIDENT THREATENED WITH JAIL, TOLD TRIAL TO LAST AT LEAST 2 MORE WEEKS”We believe there should be a mistrial,” he said, “or that this witness’ testimony is excluded and extremely limited.”Blanche said Daniels’ lurid and explosive testimony “has nothing to do with this case” and is “totally irrelevant.”He also noted that what Daniels said was “extraordinarily prejudicial testimony” and that there is a “high risk of the jury not being able to focus on the charged conduct.”But Hoffinger said the defense was fully briefed on Daniels’ testimony in the motions prior to trial and argued that Daniels’ testimony was probative to Trump’s intent. Hoffinger said the defense is attacking Daniels’ credibility and argued there is “no basis for this.”During the break, the former president and 2024 Republican presumptive presidential nominee posted to his Truth Social account without naming Daniels.”THE PROSECUTION, WHICH HAS NO CASE, HAS GONE TOO FAR,” he posted. “MISTRIAL!”During cross-examination by Trump defense attorney Susan Necheles, Daniels acknowledged that her story was worth a significant amount of money in 2016.When asked if Daniels tried to extort money from Trump, Daniels said, “False.”The adult film star testified that she saw 2016 as an opportunity to get her story out and benefit financially.For the first time, Daniels confirmed that she wanted to “get the story out and make some money.” She was ultimately paid $130,000 by ex-Trump attorney Cohen.Daniels, in late 2018, published a book called “Full Disclosure.”After hours of listening to Daniels make salacious allegations on the stand about an alleged sexual encounter, which he has denied, Trump spoke to reporters outside the courtroom.Merchan imposed a gag order on the former president, a gag order that he has ruled Trump to have violated at least 10 times. Trump is barred from speaking about witnesses with regard to their potential participation or about counsel in the case – other than Bragg – or about court staff, DA staff or family members of staff.NY V TRUMP: JUDGE THREATENS JAIL TIME FOR ‘POSSIBLY THE NEXT PRESIDENT’ FOR FUTURE GAG ORDER VIOLATIONSOn Monday, Trump was fined another $1,000, bringing the total to $10,000 in gag order violation fines.Merchan threatened Trump with jail time if he makes future violations.”The last thing I want to consider is jail,” Merchan said Monday. “You are [the] former president and possibly the next president.” NY V. TRUMP: MAYOR ADAMS SAYS RIKERS ISLAND IS ‘PREPARED’ IF TRUMP IS SENTENCED TO JAILTrump, after Daniels’ testimony, followed the gag order and did not mention Stormy Daniels by name or reference her testimony. “This was a very big day, a very revealing day as you’ll see their case is totally falling apart,” Trump said.”They have nothing on books and records and even something that should bear very little relationship to the case is just a disaster … for the Soros-backed DA,” he continued.”This whole case is just a disaster,” Trump said.Trump lamented that the trial is preventing him, the presumptive GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential election, from being on the campaign trail.”I’m stuck. I’m here instead of being in Georgia, instead of being in New Hampshire, instead of being in Wisconsin and all the different states that we wanted to be, and we’re not able to be there because we’re stuck in this trial, which everyone knows is a hoax,” he said.Fox News Digital’s Maria Paronich and Brianna Herlihy contributed reporting.

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