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Trump’s hush-money trial enters third week: Here’s what’s happened so far Trump’s hush-money trial: Stormy Daniels lawyer’s testimony at a glance
(about 3 hours 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 know Keith Davidson, who also represented Karen McDougal, was questioned about text messages with former Enquirer editor. 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:
30 April: What’s happening today in Trump’s trial 30 April: what happened at a glance
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. Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial entered its third week on Tuesday. The former president was joined by his son Eric, marking the first time a member of his family has attended his trial. Also in attendance was the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton.
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. Judge Juan Merchan fined Trump $9,000 for nine violations of a gag order designed to protect trial participants from his abuse, imposing the maximum financial penalty allowed under New York state law. Merchan ordered Trump to remove the offending posts on Truth Social and his campaign website, and warned that further violations could result in jail time. The posts were taken down by Tuesday afternoon.
The private banker Gary Farro returned to the stand. 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.
Keith Davidson, a former attorney for both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, was called to the stand on Tuesday afternoon. Davidson represented Daniels and McDougal in hush-money negotiations with Cohen. Davidson’s testimony could be crucial in supporting prosecutors’ argument that Trump and his allies paid to stop tabloid stories about the former president’s alleged affairs with Daniels and McDougal before the 2016 election.
Davidson testified that he began representing McDougal in 2016 “to provide advice and counsel … regarding a personal interaction that she had” with Trump. Davidson contacted Dylan Howard, then editor of the National Enquirer, promising a “blockbuster Trump story”. Howard replied by text message: “I will get you more than ANYONE for it. You know why.”
During negotiations, Davidson joked that as part of the agreement, “throw in an ambassadorship for me. I’m thinking the Isle of Man.” Asked to explain the joke, Davidson told the jury it was about Trump’s presidential run.
Davidson was questioned by prosecutors about texts in which he was asked whether Trump had cheated on his wife. In those texts, Howard asked Davidson: “Did he cheat on Melania?” “‘I really cannot say yet, sorry,’” Davidson said, reading his text to Howard aloud.
Davidson testified that the leak of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape had “tremendous influence” on the interest in the Stormy Daniels story. He said Daniels’ agent, Gina Rodriguez, had reached a deal with Howard for the tabloid to acquire the rights to her story for $120,000, but Howard backed out of the deal.
Howard told Rodriguez to call Cohen and complete the deal directly with him, but she refused to negotiate with him following a previous interaction after which she described Cohen as a “jerk” and “very, very aggressive”. Rodriguez asked Davidson to step in and negotiate the deal with Cohen, he testified.
Davidson said he used a pair of pseudonyms to disguise the parties involved: Stormy Daniels became Peggy Peterson; Donald Trump became David Dennison.
Davidson testified that the payment to Daniels did not come even after both parties had reached a deal. Cohen made a series of excuses for the delay, Davidson said, noting that he “thought he was trying to kick the can down the round until after the election”.
Davidson was asked if Cohen ever told him who he was representing in the Daniels negotiations. He said the implication was clear and that Cohen “leaned on his close affiliation with Donald Trump … He let me know it at every opportunity he could that he was working for Donald Trump.”
Multiple other witnesses also took to the stand on Tuesday, including Robert Browning, executive director of the C-Span archives, who was largely called in a custodial capacity to discuss the facts surrounding media that prosecutors are admitting; and Phillip Thompson, who works for a court-reporting company.
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.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.
Court resumed at 9am ET in Manhattan. Court will resume on Thursday at 9.30am ET with a gag order hearing, after which Davidson is expected to return to the stand.
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. Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial entered its third week on Tuesday. The former president was joined by his son Eric, marking the first time a member of his family has attended his trial. Also in attendance was the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton.
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. Judge Juan Merchan fined Trump $9,000 for nine violations of a gag order designed to protect trial participants from his abuse, imposing the maximum financial penalty allowed under New York state law. Merchan ordered Trump to remove the offending posts on Truth Social and his campaign website, and warned that further violations could result in jail time. The posts were taken down by Tuesday afternoon.
The private banker Gary Farro returned to the stand. 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.
Keith Davidson, a former attorney for both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, was called to the stand on Tuesday afternoon. Davidson represented Daniels and McDougal in hush-money negotiations with Cohen. Davidson’s testimony could be crucial in supporting prosecutors’ argument that Trump and his allies paid to stop tabloid stories about the former president’s alleged affairs with Daniels and McDougal before the 2016 election.
Davidson testified that he began representing McDougal in 2016 “to provide advice and counsel … regarding a personal interaction that she had” with Trump. Davidson contacted Dylan Howard, then editor of the National Enquirer, promising a “blockbuster Trump story”. Howard replied by text message: “I will get you more than ANYONE for it. You know why.”
During negotiations, Davidson joked that as part of the agreement, “throw in an ambassadorship for me. I’m thinking the Isle of Man.” Asked to explain the joke, Davidson told the jury it was about Trump’s presidential run.
Davidson was questioned by prosecutors about texts in which he was asked whether Trump had cheated on his wife. In those texts, Howard asked Davidson: “Did he cheat on Melania?” “‘I really cannot say yet, sorry,’” Davidson said, reading his text to Howard aloud.
Davidson testified that the leak of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape had “tremendous influence” on the interest in the Stormy Daniels story. He said Daniels’ agent, Gina Rodriguez, had reached a deal with Howard for the tabloid to acquire the rights to her story for $120,000, but Howard backed out of the deal.
Howard told Rodriguez to call Cohen and complete the deal directly with him, but she refused to negotiate with him following a previous interaction after which she described Cohen as a “jerk” and “very, very aggressive”. Rodriguez asked Davidson to step in and negotiate the deal with Cohen, he testified.
Davidson said he used a pair of pseudonyms to disguise the parties involved: Stormy Daniels became Peggy Peterson; Donald Trump became David Dennison.
Davidson testified that the payment to Daniels did not come even after both parties had reached a deal. Cohen made a series of excuses for the delay, Davidson said, noting that he “thought he was trying to kick the can down the round until after the election”.
Davidson was asked if Cohen ever told him who he was representing in the Daniels negotiations. He said the implication was clear and that Cohen “leaned on his close affiliation with Donald Trump … He let me know it at every opportunity he could that he was working for Donald Trump.”
Multiple other witnesses also took to the stand on Tuesday, including Robert Browning, executive director of the C-Span archives, who was largely called in a custodial capacity to discuss the facts surrounding media that prosecutors are admitting; and Phillip Thompson, who works for a court-reporting company.
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.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.
Court resumed at 9am ET in Manhattan. Court will resume on Thursday at 9.30am ET with a gag order hearing, after which Davidson is expected to return to the stand.
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.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.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.