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Trump hush-money trial: here’s what’s happened so far Trump hush-money trial: Douglas Daus to continue testifying as Trump faces new gag order violations
(about 16 hours later)
Catch up on the latest news from Donald Trump’s criminal trial Trump’s New York criminal trial will resume at 9.30am ET, with forensic analyst expected to return to the witness stand
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:
2 May: what happened at a glance 3 May: what’s happening today
Keith Davidson, an attorney who represented both hush-money deals for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, continued his testimony in Donald Trump’s criminal trial on Thursday in Manhattan. Prosecutors want Davidson’s testimony to corroborate the upcoming testimony of Michael Cohen, a key witness in the case, who negotiated the deals on Trump’s behalf. Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial enters its 11th day on Friday following raucous testimony from Keith Davidson, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
Earlier this week, Trump was fined $9,000 for violating a gag order imposed by Juan Merchan, the trial judge. The prosecution started off by pointing to the gag order. “The order was issued because of the defendant’s persistent and escalating rhetoric aimed at participants in this hearing He’s already been found by the court to have violated the order nine times and has done it again here,” prosecutor Christopher Conroy said of Trump. Before Davidson’s testimony, prosecutors asked Judge Juan Merchan to punish Donald Trump for still more alleged gag order violations; the four alleged instances involve two comments about Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, one about the jury, and one about the former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.
Conroy referred to Trump’s recent comments on Cohen, his one-time consigliere-turned-star prosecution witness. “Michael Cohen is not a political opponent, defendant’s comments about Michael Cohen relate to issues at the heart of the proceeding,” he said, adding: “Defendant is doing everything he can to make this case about his politics it’s not, it’s about his criminal conduct.” The hearing on Thursday morning came two days after the jurist fined Trump $9,000 for other gag order violations. Merchan has barred Trump from attacking witnesses or jurors in the case.
Justice Merchan was not buying Trump lawyer Todd Blanche’s “Donald Trump is a victim to media” narrative. “Whats happening in this trial is no surprise to anyone,” the judge said. “It wasn’t the press that went to him, he went to the press,” Merchan said, adding: “You’re telling me that the scrutiny is outrageous. Nobody forced your client to go stand where he did that day.” Court is scheduled to begin at 9.30am ET, with forensic analyst Douglas Daus expected to return to the witness stand after a brief appearance on Thursday.
Prosectuor Joshua Steinglass asked Davidson about a series of exchanges on election night, when it appeared that Trump would win. “There was an understanding that our activities may have in some way assisted the campaign of Donald Trump,” Davidson said on the stand. Prosecutors showed his election night texts with National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard. Davidson wrote “what have we done?” and Howard wrote back “oh my god”. Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial enters its 11th day on Friday following raucous testimony from Keith Davidson, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
Trump’s lawyers are likely to seize on Davidson, Daniels’ lawyer, insisting that he would never characterize the $130,000 payment to Daniels as “hush money” but as “consideration for a settlement agreement” which sounds legal-related. Recall that the Manhattan DA’s underlying case is that Trump falsified business records because the $130,000 to Daniels was recorded as legal expenses or legal retainers to Cohen. It is likely that Trump’s lawyers will try to argue “consideration” is a legal expense. Before Davidson’s testimony, prosecutors asked Judge Juan Merchan to punish Donald Trump for still more alleged gag order violations; the four alleged instances involve two comments about Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, one about the jury, and one about the former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.
There was a lot of tension between Donald Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove and Davidson. Davidson was clearly uninterested in talking about past less-than-flattering deals in which he has gotten payments for clients from Charlie Sheen. Bove kept saying Davidson “extracted” money from Sheen. “If you’re not here to play legal games, don’t say extract,” Davidson said. The hearing on Thursday morning came two days after the jurist fined Trump $9,000 for other gag order violations. Merchan has barred Trump from attacking witnesses or jurors in the case.
The prosecution played Cohen’s recording of conversation with Trump. “I need to open up a company for the transfer ... regarding our friend David [Pecker] ... I’m going to do that right away, and I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up,” said Cohen. Court is scheduled to begin at 9.30am ET, with forensic analyst Douglas Daus expected to return to the witness stand after a brief appearance on Thursday.
Merchan said he refuses to review things, including media articles, in advance that Trump wants to post to his Truth Social platform to warn him if they would violate his gag order. “I’m not going to be in the position of looking at posts and determining in advance whether he should or should not post these on Truth Social,” Merchan said.
Keith Davidson, an attorney who represented both hush-money deals for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, continued his testimony in Donald Trump’s criminal trial on Thursday in Manhattan. Prosecutors want Davidson’s testimony to corroborate the upcoming testimony of Michael Cohen, a key witness in the case, who negotiated the deals on Trump’s behalf.
Earlier this week, Trump was fined $9,000 for violating a gag order imposed by Juan Merchan, the trial judge. The prosecution started off by pointing to the gag order. “The order was issued because of the defendant’s persistent and escalating rhetoric aimed at participants in this hearing … He’s already been found by the court to have violated the order nine times and has done it again here,” prosecutor Christopher Conroy said of Trump.
Conroy referred to Trump’s recent comments on Cohen, his one-time consigliere-turned-star prosecution witness. “Michael Cohen is not a political opponent, defendant’s comments about Michael Cohen relate to issues at the heart of the proceeding,” he said, adding: “Defendant is doing everything he can to make this case about his politics – it’s not, it’s about his criminal conduct.”
Justice Merchan was not buying Trump lawyer Todd Blanche’s “Donald Trump is a victim to media” narrative. “Whats happening in this trial is no surprise to anyone,” the judge said. “It wasn’t the press that went to him, he went to the press,” Merchan said, adding: “You’re telling me that the scrutiny is outrageous. Nobody forced your client to go stand where he did that day.”
Prosectuor Joshua Steinglass asked Davidson about a series of exchanges on election night, when it appeared that Trump would win. “There was an understanding that our activities may have in some way assisted the campaign of Donald Trump,” Davidson said on the stand. Prosecutors showed his election night texts with National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard. Davidson wrote “what have we done?” and Howard wrote back “oh my god”.
Trump’s lawyers are likely to seize on Davidson, Daniels’ lawyer, insisting that he would never characterize the $130,000 payment to Daniels as “hush money” but as “consideration for a settlement agreement” – which sounds legal-related. Recall that the Manhattan DA’s underlying case is that Trump falsified business records because the $130,000 to Daniels was recorded as legal expenses or legal retainers to Cohen. It is likely that Trump’s lawyers will try to argue “consideration” is a legal expense.
There was a lot of tension between Donald Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove and Davidson. Davidson was clearly uninterested in talking about past less-than-flattering deals in which he has gotten payments for clients from Charlie Sheen. Bove kept saying Davidson “extracted” money from Sheen. “If you’re not here to play legal games, don’t say extract,” Davidson said.
The prosecution played Cohen’s recording of conversation with Trump. “I need to open up a company for the transfer ... regarding our friend David [Pecker] ... I’m going to do that right away, and I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up,” said Cohen.
Merchan said he refuses to review things, including media articles, in advance that Trump wants to post to his Truth Social platform to warn him if they would violate his gag order. “I’m not going to be in the position of looking at posts and determining in advance whether he should or should not post these on Truth Social,” Merchan 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? Likely.Verdict 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
30 April: Trump fined $9,000 over gag order violations as judge warns of jail time 2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified as prosecutors ask for $4,000 more for gag order violations.
30 April: Trump fined $9,000 over gag order violations as judge warns of jail time.
26 April: David Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme that 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 that 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, said he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, said 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 finally chose all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial.19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial.
18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors were 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.
30 April: Trump fined $9,000 over gag order violations as judge warns of jail time 2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified as prosecutors ask for $4,000 more for gag order violations.
30 April: Trump fined $9,000 over gag order violations as judge warns of jail time.
26 April: David Pecker’s testimony presented a granular look into a hush-money scheme that 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 that 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, said he was Trump’s “eyes and ears” during the 2016 election campaign.23 April: David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher, said 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 finally chose all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial.19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors who will decide the fate of Donald Trump in his historic criminal trial.
18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for Donald Trump’s criminal trial after two seated jurors were 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.