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Trump faces testimony in historic trial over alleged hush money payment

Trump faces testimony in historic trial over alleged hush money payment
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
May 7, 2024 9:25 PM

Stormy Daniels, the key figure in former President Donald Trump’s criminal prosecution, testifies in a Manhattan courtroom about an alleged encounter with Trump in 2006

Stormy Daniels, the adult film star key to former President Donald Trump’s historic criminal prosecution, testified in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in a hotel penthouse suite back in 2006.

At 77 years old, Trump is accused of falsifying company documents to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels just before the 2016 election, a move thought to protect his campaign against Hillary Clinton.

During the hearings, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger presented Daniels, while Trump, who is considering a return to the White House in November, sat at the defense table with his legal team.

Daniels described the alleged meeting with Trump in detail, noting his clothes — silk or satin pajamas — and the lack of a condom, while Trump, seated nearby, remained mute and stoic.

Trump has repeatedly denied any sexual relationship with Daniels.

The courtroom spectacle takes place just months before the 2020 election, in which Trump hopes to replace Democratic President Joe Biden.

Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, wore a black pantsuit as she recalled her background in Louisiana, stint as a dancer, and entrée into the adult entertainment business.

She claimed meeting Trump at a celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe, when Trump, who was then married to Melania, engaged her in discussion and even suggested she star on his reality television show, “The Apprentice.”

Daniels described her uneasiness at discovering Trump on the bed in boxer shorts and a T-shirt as she exited the restroom, noting a “imbalance of power” but claiming she did not feel immediately threatened.

Despite later conversations with Trump, Daniels lost relations once her expectations for a “Apprentice” job receded.

Following Trump’s presidential announcement, Daniels detailed her publicist’s recommendation that she sell her tale, resulting in a non-disclosure agreement signed by Cohen and Hollywood lawyer Keith Davidson, which included a $130,000 payment to Daniels.

Judge Juan Merchan has issued a partial gag order prohibiting Trump from publicly attacking witnesses or court officials, with the judge imposing fines and threatening jail time for further infractions.

Aside from the New York trial, Trump is facing legal challenges in Washington and Georgia, including accusations connected to attempts to change the 2020 election results and allegations of mishandling confidential materials. 

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:58 PM