10 May 2024, 20:38

Third week of evidence wraps at Trump's criminal trial

NEW YORK, May 10, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Donald Trump's New York criminal trial

prepared to wrap up its third week of evidence Friday following bombshell
testimony from the adult film star at the heart of the case.

Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had sex with Trump in 2006, denied she
threatened him if he did not buy her silence for $130,000, a payment Trump
then covered up, prosecutors say.

Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer,
Michael Cohen, for the payment on the eve of the 2016 presidential election,
when the story could have proved politically fatal.

The completion of Daniels' marathon testimony and cross-examination this week
clears the way for prosecutors to call Cohen, their remaining star witness.

The trial was taking place just six months before the November election, when
the Republican hopeful will try to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden.

During nearly eight hours over two days, Daniels walked the New York jury
through the one-night stand she said she had with Trump at a celebrity golf
tournament, and then the financial settlement she says ensued.
In her testimony, she described Trump's pajamas, his boxer shorts, the sexual
position and that he did not wear a condom.

And while she was "not threatened verbally or physically" she said she "felt
ashamed I didn't stop it, didn't say no."
These were details the defense argued were irrelevant to the case -- but
which they doubled down on and repeated frequently during cross-examination.

The jury also heard from Madeleine Westerhout, the former Trump assistant who
has penned a book about her experience working in the White House, and
described Trump's involvement with all aspects of his business.
- Mistrial requests -

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels and his lawyers asked the judge for
a mistrial on the grounds her testimony was "extremely prejudicial" in what
is essentially a financial records and election-related case.
Judge Juan Merchan denied the mistrial request on Tuesday, and a second one
lodged on Thursday.
Trump's lawyers also suggested Daniels was out for the money.
They accused her of appearing at strip club events promoted with a picture of
Trump and the tagline "Making America Horny Again."
She said she disliked the slogan and was not responsible for it.

Merchan has imposed a gag order on Trump prohibiting him from publicly
attacking witnesses and the ex-president -- who has traded insults with
Daniels for years, calling her "horseface" and other crude slurs -- has not
commented directly on her testimony.

Trump said on Thursday that his side had filed an appeal against the gag
order in an appellate court.

His lawyers also demanded that Trump be allowed to hit back publicly at
Daniels' claims about their encounter now that she was no longer a witness.

Judge Merchan denied the request to change the gag order, which Trump has
been fined $10,000 for breaking.

In addition to the New York case, Trump has been indicted in Washington and
Georgia on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020

He has also been charged in Florida with allegedly mishandling classified
documents after leaving the White House but that case has been postponed




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