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Trump slams DA's case after Stormy Daniels testifies in hush money trial

Trump also lashed out at the judge in a now-deleted Truth Social post, saying he and his lawyers were not given advance notice of when Daniels would testify.
APTOPIX Trump Hush Money
Posted at 6:46 AM, May 07, 2024

After Stormy Daniels testified in Donald Trump's hush money trial on Tuesday, the former president spoke out, calling the case a "disaster for the DA."

“So, this was a very big day, a very revealing day as you see their case is totally falling apart. They have nothing on books and records and even something that shouldn’t bear very little relationship to the case — it’s just a disaster for the DA. This whole case is just a disaster," Trump said.

While he lamented about how he should have been campaigning and even touched upon the pro-Palestinian protests and inflation in the nation, he notably omitted any mention of Daniels, the former adult film actress who claimed to have had an affair with Trump before his presidency. He did, however, kept his gaze fixed on her throughout her testimony.

Daniels took to the witness stand Tuesday as she was called upon by prosecutors despite objections from Trump's legal team. As a witness who proved challenging for both sides, Daniels endured a tense 2.5-hour cross-examination with defense lawyer Susan Necheles, and while Necheles continued to press Daniels on whether she bore hatred towards Trump, Daniels remained very neutral, even saying that the only reason she would want to see the former president in jail is if he's found guilty of any crimes.

In her testimony, Daniels detailed how she first met Trump in 2006 at a golf event. She then described some of the private conversations they had. She said she initially turned down having dinner with Trump, but her publicist encouraged her to meet him.

"It'll make a great story, if nothing else. What could possibly go wrong?" she said her publicist told her.

Daniels said Trump asked about her family, upbringing, where she went to school, whether she had kids, and whether she was married.

Daniels said there was a very brief description of his wife as he showed her pictures of Melania.

"Don't worry about that. We don't even sleep in the same room," Trump told Daniels, according to her testimony.

She claimed that Trump discussed having her appear on "Celebrity Apprentice," but she questioned whether NBC would allow it.

Daniels' testimony is considered essential as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg attempts to prove Trump tried to conceal an "illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election" by trying to cover up extramarital affairs. Bragg claims Trump falsified records to hide payments to attorney Michael Cohen that were meant for Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, as well as a former doorman at Trump Tower.

Daniels' testimony could provide additional insight into how these alleged payments were transferred from Trump to Cohen to Daniels.

When Trump announced his candidacy, Daniels' manager, Gina Rodriguez offered to sell her story, the porn actress said. Daniels added that she allowed Rodriguez to try to sell her story, but Rodriguez was not successful before the "Access Hollywood" tape came out in which Trump talked about groping women.

Daniels testified that her motivation wasn't money; it was to get the story out.

After a lunch break, Trump's lawyers called for a mistrial, claiming Daniels' testimony went too far and was too scandalous. While denying the motion, Judge Juan Merchan agreed that there were things better left unsaid.

Former President Donald Trump sits in Manhattan criminal court

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As Trump's defense raised objections to Daniels' testimony, Merchan said that he agreed with the defense that Daniels has credibility issues. He also agreed with the defense that details of an alleged sexual encounter should not be part of her testimony but will allow prosecutors to question Daniels on what led up to the alleged counter.

In a now-deleted post on Truth Social, Trump said he was told Tuesday that Daniels would be called on to testify, that it was "unprecedented" and gave his lawyers "no time" to prepare. He also accused Merchan of being "crooked and highly conflicted" and complained that Merchan was taking away his First Amendment rights through a gag order.

On Monday, Merchan threatened Trump with jail time if he continues to violate the court's gag order. The gag order limits Trump from disparaging potential witnesses and others involved in the case. Merchan said Trump has violated the gag order numerous times, fining him $1,000 for each violation.

Daniels is expected to return to the stand Thursday as proceedings continue.