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David Pecker’s fourth day of testimony: Trump’s hush-money trial at a glance Trump’s hush-money trial enters third week: Here’s what’s happened so far
(4 days later)
A jury will weigh the allegation that Trump falsified business records to cover a $130,000 payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels. Here’s what you need to knowA jury will weigh the allegation that Trump falsified business records to cover a $130,000 payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels. Here’s what you need to know
Donald Trump is the first former US president to be tried on criminal charges – and could face prison if convicted. A jury of seven men and five women will weigh the allegation that Trump falsified the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump denies 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in spring 2023.Donald Trump is the first former US president to be tried on criminal charges – and could face prison if convicted. A jury of seven men and five women will weigh the allegation that Trump falsified the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump denies 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in spring 2023.
Here’s what you need to know about the case and what happened today:Here’s what you need to know about the case and what happened today:
26 April: at a glance 30 April: What’s happening today in Trump’s trial
David Pecker, the former National Enquirer publisher and Trump ally, took to the stand in the Manhattan courtroom for a fourth day. Trump’s lawyers continued their cross-examination of Pecker, after he testified earlier that the “catch-and-kill” schemes used to buy negative stories about Trump in order to bury them were specifically about helping his 2016 campaign. Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial enters its third week today, after a fallow day yesterday. Judge Juan Merchan says that Trump is fined $9,000 for violating prohibitions on commenting on witnesses.
Trump attorney Emil Bove’s questions prompted Pecker to in effect say that coverage beneficial to Trump was business as usual, as the defense team tried to chip away at the prosecution’s claim that there was an illicit conspiracy to sway the 2016 election. Private banker Gary Farro returned to the stand to continue his testimony on the alleged dodgy financial maneuvering used to hide Trump’s dirty laundry from American voters. Last week, Farro said that in 2015 he became the contact for Michael Cohen then Trump’s attorney at First Republic Bank, where he says he witnessed Cohen’s financial chicanery to protect Trump.
Pecker testified that the Enquirer ran negative stories about the Clintons as part of the effort to help the Trump campaign, agreed in a meeting in August 2015, as the defense attempted to show that Pecker helped run positive stories about Trump and negative stories about other politicians even before the alleged catch-and-kill scheme. The court may hear from Cohen later in the week. Cohen, a disbarred lawyer who served as Trump’s personal attorney for 12 years until 2018, has turned on his boss and is one of district attorney Alvin Bragg’s key witnesses.
Trump’s legal team also appeared to try driving wedges into the notion that Trump’s 2006 affair with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, was any real threat to Trump’s reputation. Pecker admitted Trump did not pay him any money directly related to McDougal. Court resumed at 9am ET in Manhattan.
Pecker testified earlier in the week that he agreed to buy McDougal’s story so that it did not “embarrass or hurt the [Trump] campaign”, and that Trump had called him for advice after he became a presidential candidate, worried about how news of the affair would hurt his campaign. He said he ultimately backed out of the agreement after talking with lawyers. Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial enters its third week today, after a fallow day yesterday. Judge Juan Merchan says that Trump is fined $9,000 for violating prohibitions on commenting on witnesses.
Pecker has testified that American Media Inc (AMI), the publisher of the National Enquirer, paid $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed Trump had a child out of wedlock. Another $150,000 was paid to McDougal. Private banker Gary Farro returned to the stand to continue his testimony on the alleged dodgy financial maneuvering used to hide Trump’s dirty laundry from American voters. Last week, Farro said that in 2015 he became the contact for Michael Cohen then Trump’s attorney at First Republic Bank, where he says he witnessed Cohen’s financial chicanery to protect Trump.
It is the third payment, however, worth $130,000 and paid by Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, to Stormy Daniels in October 2016, that is at the heart of the case. Pecker testified on Thursday that he did not want the Enquirer to be involved with a porn star, and that Cohen told him “the boss will be very angry with you.” The court may hear from Cohen later in the week. Cohen, a disbarred lawyer who served as Trump’s personal attorney for 12 years until 2018, has turned on his boss and is one of district attorney Alvin Bragg’s key witnesses.
Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime executive assistant, was called to the stand as the prosecution’s second witness. Pecker testified earlier this week that Graff was often the conduit for his communications with Trump, routing his calls and summoning him to a January 2017 meeting at Trump Tower in which he and Trump discussed some of the hush-money arrangements at issue in the case. Court resumed at 9am ET in Manhattan.
Graff testified that contact information for Daniels and McDougal were in Trump’s contacts. She said Daniels was once at Trump’s offices in Trump Tower, and that she assumed Daniels was there to discuss potentially being a contestant on the Apprentice.
Gary Farro was called as the prosecution’s third witness. Farro works at Flagstar Bank as a private client adviser and was previously at First Republic, which was used by Cohen.
Prosecutors accused Trump of violating a court-imposed gag order – which bars him from speaking publicly about witnesses, prosecutors, jurors, court staff and their relatives – four more times over the course of the week, bringing the total alleged violations to 14. Prosecutors said judge Juan Merchan should hold Trump in contempt of court and fine him $1,000 for each violation. Merchan has yet to rule on the alleged violations.
Nevertheless, in a post written, unusually, in the third person on Donald Trump’s Truth Social account, the former president has once again demanded Merchan lift the gag order. “We request that Judge Merchan immediately LIFT THE GAG ORDER, so that President Trump is able to freely state his views, feelings, and policies,” the post said.
David Pecker, the former National Enquirer publisher and Trump ally, took to the stand in the Manhattan courtroom for a fourth day. Trump’s lawyers continued their cross-examination of Pecker, after he testified earlier that the “catch-and-kill” schemes used to buy negative stories about Trump in order to bury them were specifically about helping his 2016 campaign.
Trump attorney Emil Bove’s questions prompted Pecker to in effect say that coverage beneficial to Trump was business as usual, as the defense team tried to chip away at the prosecution’s claim that there was an illicit conspiracy to sway the 2016 election.
Pecker testified that the Enquirer ran negative stories about the Clintons as part of the effort to help the Trump campaign, agreed in a meeting in August 2015, as the defense attempted to show that Pecker helped run positive stories about Trump and negative stories about other politicians even before the alleged catch-and-kill scheme.
Trump’s legal team also appeared to try driving wedges into the notion that Trump’s 2006 affair with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, was any real threat to Trump’s reputation. Pecker admitted Trump did not pay him any money directly related to McDougal.
Pecker testified earlier in the week that he agreed to buy McDougal’s story so that it did not “embarrass or hurt the [Trump] campaign”, and that Trump had called him for advice after he became a presidential candidate, worried about how news of the affair would hurt his campaign. He said he ultimately backed out of the agreement after talking with lawyers.
Pecker has testified that American Media Inc (AMI), the publisher of the National Enquirer, paid $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed Trump had a child out of wedlock. Another $150,000 was paid to McDougal.
It is the third payment, however, worth $130,000 and paid by Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, to Stormy Daniels in October 2016, that is at the heart of the case. Pecker testified on Thursday that he did not want the Enquirer to be involved with a porn star, and that Cohen told him “the boss will be very angry with you.”
Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime executive assistant, was called to the stand as the prosecution’s second witness. Pecker testified earlier this week that Graff was often the conduit for his communications with Trump, routing his calls and summoning him to a January 2017 meeting at Trump Tower in which he and Trump discussed some of the hush-money arrangements at issue in the case.
Graff testified that contact information for Daniels and McDougal were in Trump’s contacts. She said Daniels was once at Trump’s offices in Trump Tower, and that she assumed Daniels was there to discuss potentially being a contestant on the Apprentice.
Gary Farro was called as the prosecution’s third witness. Farro works at Flagstar Bank as a private client adviser and was previously at First Republic, which was used by Cohen.
Prosecutors accused Trump of violating a court-imposed gag order – which bars him from speaking publicly about witnesses, prosecutors, jurors, court staff and their relatives – four more times over the course of the week, bringing the total alleged violations to 14. Prosecutors said judge Juan Merchan should hold Trump in contempt of court and fine him $1,000 for each violation. Merchan has yet to rule on the alleged violations.
Nevertheless, in a post written, unusually, in the third person on Donald Trump’s Truth Social account, the former president has once again demanded Merchan lift the gag order. “We request that Judge Merchan immediately LIFT THE GAG ORDER, so that President Trump is able to freely state his views, feelings, and policies,” the post said.
Key characters and factsKey characters and facts
Trump hush-money trial status: Trump pleaded not guilty; the trial began on 15 April 2024.Trump hush-money trial status: Trump pleaded not guilty; the trial began on 15 April 2024.
Charges: 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.Charges: 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.
Hush-money case summary: The case involves a hush-money scheme during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to the adult film star Stormy Daniels to quash her story about having an extramarital affair with the former president. Trump has denied the affair took place. Prosecutors accuse the former president of illegally reimbursing Cohen for the hush-money payment by falsely classifying the transaction, executed by the Trump Organization, as legal expenses.Hush-money case summary: The case involves a hush-money scheme during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to the adult film star Stormy Daniels to quash her story about having an extramarital affair with the former president. Trump has denied the affair took place. Prosecutors accuse the former president of illegally reimbursing Cohen for the hush-money payment by falsely classifying the transaction, executed by the Trump Organization, as legal expenses.
Verdict before election? LikelyVerdict before election? Likely
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Stay up to date on all of Donald Trump’s trials. Guardian staff will send weekly updates each Wednesday – as well as bonus editions on major trial days.Stay up to date on all of Donald Trump’s trials. Guardian staff will send weekly updates each Wednesday – as well as bonus editions on major trial days.
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Key moments in the trial so farKey moments in the trial so far
26 April: David Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme which prosecutors allege was meant to sway the 2016 election in the real estate mogul’s favor.
25 April: David Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.25 April: David Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.
23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, says he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, says he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.
22 April: in its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.22 April: in its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
19 April: The court has finally chosen all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial. With the jury bench now full, the trial is expected to move toward opening statements next week.19 April: The court has finally chosen all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial. With the jury bench now full, the trial is expected to move toward opening statements next week.
18 April: Twelve jurors have been selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors had been removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors have been selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors had been removed earlier in the day.
16 April: Judge Juan Merchan admonished Trump for “gesturing and speaking in the direction of the juror” as jury selection continued in the second day of the criminal trial.16 April: Judge Juan Merchan admonished Trump for “gesturing and speaking in the direction of the juror” as jury selection continued in the second day of the criminal trial.
15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began on Monday. He is the country’s first president – present or former – to face a criminal trial.15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began on Monday. He is the country’s first president – present or former – to face a criminal trial.
26 April: David Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme which prosecutors allege was meant to sway the 2016 election in the real estate mogul’s favor.
25 April: David Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.25 April: David Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.
23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, says he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, says he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.
22 April: in its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.22 April: in its opening statement, the prosecution said Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
19 April: The court has finally chosen all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial. With the jury bench now full, the trial is expected to move toward opening statements next week.19 April: The court has finally chosen all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial. With the jury bench now full, the trial is expected to move toward opening statements next week.
18 April: Twelve jurors have been selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors had been removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors have been selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors had been removed earlier in the day.
16 April: Judge Juan Merchan admonished Trump for “gesturing and speaking in the direction of the juror” as jury selection continued in the second day of the criminal trial.16 April: Judge Juan Merchan admonished Trump for “gesturing and speaking in the direction of the juror” as jury selection continued in the second day of the criminal trial.
15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began on Monday. He is the country’s first president – present or former – to face a criminal trial.15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial began on Monday. He is the country’s first president – present or former – to face a criminal trial.