Sports

Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen can testify in Trump’s hush money trial, judge rules

Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen can testify in Trump’s hush money trial, judge rules

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal trial stemming from hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels has rejected the former president’s attempts to block her testimony.

On Monday, New York Judge Juan Merchan also rejected Mr Trump’s attempts to block testimony from Michael Cohen, his former attorney who allegedly supported a scheme to bury compromising details of Mr Trump’s affairs leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Judge Merchan also rejected Mr Trump’s attempts to block testimony from former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who allegedly had an affair with Mr Trump before his presidency.

The case from Manhattan District Attorney’s office could rely on critical Cohen’s testimony that Mr Trump authorised his business to falsely file payments to Ms Daniels as legal expenses. Mr Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records and has pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection was initially set to begin on 25 March, but Judge Merchan agreed to delay the proceedings 30 days after prosecutors said they had received a flood of documents to review less than two weeks before trial was scheduled to start.

Last week, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said the United States Attorney’s Office produced more than 30,000 pages of records and were expecting thousands more. Those records are likely related to the federal investigation into Cohen, who pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance charges stemming from the alleged scheme.

In court filings, Mr Trump’s attorneys sought to prevent prosecutors from arguing that the scheme sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, as well as any mention of “catch and kill,” in which potentially embarassing stories were purchased through the National Enquirer, which then intentionally suppressed their publication.

Judge Merchan rejected those arguments from Mr Trump’s legal team in a lengthy set of rulings responding to several defence motions.

This is a developing story


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button