Stormy Daniels Gives Shocking Testimony About Trump, But Trial Depends on Business Records

NEW YORK – Donald Trump’s defender on Thursday defendant Stormy Daniels of slowly changing the details of an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump in an attempt to convince jurors that a key prosecution witness in the former president’s hush money criminal trial cannot be believed.

– You made this all up, didn’t you? asked lawyer Susan Necheles.

“No,” Daniels shot back.

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The jury watched as the two women exchanged remarks over what Necheles said were inconsistencies in Daniels’ description of their meeting with Trump in a Nevada hotel suite. He denies the whole story.

Yet despite all the talk about what might have happened in that hotel room, despite the adult film actress’ troubling testimony that she consented to sex in part because of a “power imbalance,” the case against Trump doesn’t rise or fall or fall. is her account true or even credible. It’s a lawsuit about the exchange of money – business transactions – and whether those payments were intended to illegally influence the 2016 election.

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying internal business records of the Trump Organization. The fees arise from documents such as invoices and checks that are considered legal costs in the company’s records. Prosecutors say the payments were largely restitution to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet.

Testimony over the last three weeks has ranged between accountants and bankers giving details of check and wire transfer procedures to unflattering, shady stories about Trump and tabloid world machinations he intended to keep them a secret.

This criminal case may be the only one against the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee face trial before voters decide in November whether to send him back to the White House. Trump has pleaded not guilty and considers himself a victim of a politically tainted justice system that is trying to deny him another term.

Meanwhile, when there is a threat of imprisonment in Trump’s case over his repeated violations of the silence order, his lawyers are challenging Judge Juan M. Merchan’s order and seeking a quick decision from the appeals court. If the court refuses to lift the silence order, Trump’s lawyers want permission to appeal to the state supreme court.

At the same time, they also asked Merchan to amend the order so that Trump could publicly respond to Daniels’ testimony, and filed a second motion for a mistrial based on her “exceptionally prejudicial testimony” that “has nothing to do with the allegations related to the false business documents.” Merchan rejected both.

“My concern is not solely about protecting Ms. Daniels or the witness who has already testified. I am committed to protecting the integrity of the entire proceedings,” Merchan said, refusing to change the silence order.

In denying a motion to mistrial, Merchan said Trump’s lawyers had opened the door to detailed testimony about the alleged sexual encounter by stating in their opening statement that no sex had occurred. “Your refusal puts the jury in the position of having to choose who to believe.”

“The more details Ms. Daniels can provide about the meeting, the more the jury can consider whether the meeting occurred and, if so, whether it will choose to accept Ms. Daniels’ story,” Merchan said.

By the end of the day, Trump was furious outside the courtroom.

“I am innocent,” he said. “I am in this court with a corrupt judge who is completely conflicted.”

At the time of the payment to Daniels, Trump and his campaign were reeling from the October 2016 release. never-before-seen footage from 2005’s ‘Access Hollywood’ in which he bragged about catching women without their consent.

Prosecutors argued that the political firestorm over the “Access Hollywood” tape precipitated Cohen’s payment to keep Daniels from going public with her claims that could further damage Trump with voters.

The tape rattled Republican National Committee leaders, and “there were discussions about how he could be replaced as candidate if that happened,” according to testimony from Madeleine Westerhout, a Trump adviser who worked at the RNC when the tape was leaked.

Daniels was on the stand for 7.5 hours over two days. During questioning by prosecutors, she detailed what she said happened during their meeting, after they met at a celebrity golf outing on Lake Tahoe sponsored by, among others, the adult film studio where she worked.

Trump grimaced and shook his head as he read most of Daniels’ description, including how she found him sitting on a hotel bed in his underwear after she returned from the bathroom and that he had not used a condom. On Tuesday, a judge told Trump’s lawyers that he heard him “swearing loudly.”

Trump’s lawyers have sought to paint Daniels as a liar and blackmailer trying to bring down Trump after extracting money and fame from her claims. They also say the secret cash payments made on his behalf were intended to protect his reputation and family – not his campaign – by shielding them from embarrassing stories about his personal life.

On Thursday, Necheles questioned Daniels about the encounter, in which she described fear and discomfort even though she had consented to sex. Earlier this week, she testified that although she was not in physical danger, she felt an “imbalance of power” when Trump, in his hotel bedroom, stood between her and the door and propositioned her.

As for whether she felt forced to have sex with him, she reiterated on Thursday that he did not drug her or physically threaten her. However, she added, “At that point, my insecurities kept me from saying no.”

Necheles suggested that her work in the porn industry meant that her story of being shocked and horrified by Trump’s alleged advances was unreliable.

“You have acted and had sex in over 200 porn movies, right?” – Necheles asked. “And these videos feature naked men and women having sex, including you, right?”

Necheles continued: “But you found the sight of a man sitting on a bed in a T-shirt and boxers so depressing that it made you feel dizzy.”

The Trump experience was different from porn for many reasons, Daniels explained, including that Trump was more than twice her age and size and that she didn’t expect to find him undressed when she emerged from the bathroom.

“I came out of the bathroom and saw an older man in underwear who I didn’t expect to be there,” she said.

Necheles pressed her on why she accepted the payout to remain silent rather than go public.

“Why didn’t you do it?” she asked, wondering why Daniels hadn’t held the press conference as she had planned.

“Because we were running out of time,” Daniels said.

Did she mean, Necheles asked, that she was running out of time to use her claim to make money?

“To get the story out there,” Daniels shot back. The negotiations took place in the last weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.

She testified that she never discussed the payment with Trump and stated she had no knowledge whether Trump was aware of or involved in the transaction.

“You have no personal knowledge of his involvement in this transaction or what he did or did not do,” Necheles asked.

“Not directly, no,” Daniels replied.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger later asked Daniels, “Were you telling lies about Trump or the truth about Trump?”

“Truth,” said Daniels, who also said that while she has made money since her story broke, she also had to spend heavily on hiring security, moving and taking other precautions, and yet still owes Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees .

“To sum up, has speaking the truth about Trump publicly affected your life positively or negatively?” – Hoffinger asked.

“Negative,” Daniels replied quietly.

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