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Judge threatens Trump with jail for contempt: the hush-money trial so far Stormy Daniels ‘likely’ called as witness Tuesday: Trump’s hush-money trial so far
(about 13 hours later)
Here’s what you need to know Donald Trump’s criminal trial, at a glance The $130,000 hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels is at the center of this trial. Trump complained earlier Tuesday that he should’ve been given more notice about Tuesday’s witness, the Associated Press reports
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:
6 May: here’s what happened today 6 May: here’s what’s happening today
Judge Juan Merchan found Trump in contempt for breaching a gag order by speaking about the jury, namely about how quickly it was seated, and his belief it was made up of “95% Democrats”. Merchan fined Trump $1,000, bringing the total fines to $10,000 for 10 separate breaches, and warned Trump he faced jail for any subsequent infraction. Donald Trump’s trial continues on Tuesday and it could take at least another two weeks for prosecutors to finish presenting their case. Trump complained about this as he was leaving, saying: “I thought they would be finished today.”
Deborah Tarasoff, a former accountant at the Trump Organization, testified that Trump personally signed reimbursement checks to his “fixer” Michael Cohen, who made the payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels that is at the heart of this case. Showing that Trump signed them chips away at the defense claim that Trump was detached from the transactions. It is “likely” that Stormy Daniels, an adult film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, will be called to testify today, her lawyer told the Associated Press.
Tarasoff was led through a succession of checks to Cohen that she cut, then sent to Trump for signing, some while the former president was in the White House. The purpose appeared to be giving the jury a clear understanding of the regular practices in place at the company, and how the hush-money payment to Daniels veered outside normal procedures to point of illegality. Trump said earlier Tuesday that he was “recently told” who the witness would be on Tuesday and complained he should’ve been given more notice, the Associated Press reports.
Jeffrey McConney, the Trump Organization’s retired controller and senior vice-president, was pressed by the prosecution on the company’s accounting and reporting procedures, focusing on the argument that Trump was in full control of his personal and company finances, and had authorized and was aware of the purpose of the payment to Daniels. Donald Trump’s trial continues on Tuesday and it could take at least another two weeks for prosecutors to finish presenting their case. Trump complained about this as he was leaving, saying: “I thought they would be finished today.”
Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove got McConney to concede he had never spoken with Trump about repayments to Cohen, and had never been directed to register the payments in a certain way, or improperly. It is “likely” that Stormy Daniels, an adult film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, will be called to testify today, her lawyer told the Associated Press.
Bove suggested there was no falsification, in part because of the narrow way Trump Organization payments had to be recorded, using the drop-down menu of an “antiquated” software recording system. Trump said earlier Tuesday that he was “recently told” who the witness would be on Tuesday and complained he should’ve been given more notice, the Associated Press reports.
Additionally, McConney conceded that Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer, and said he always recorded payments to lawyers as “legal expenses” in the ledger during his 36-plus years with the company. 5 May: Three key takeaways as the prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels:
Trump complained as he was leaving the court that prosecutors said their case could take at least another two weeks to present. Repeating previous false claims, he insisted the trial was merely a ruse to keep the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee “off the campaign trail”. Prosecutors argue Michael Cohen’s ‘expenses’ were not processed as expenses;
Judge Juan Merchan found Trump in contempt for breaching a gag order by speaking about the jury, namely about how quickly it was seated, and his belief it was made up of “95% Democrats”. Merchan fined Trump $1,000, bringing the total fines to $10,000 for 10 separate breaches, and warned Trump he faced jail for any subsequent infraction. Trump argues ‘legal expense’ was a dropdown label, not a falsification;
Deborah Tarasoff, a former accountant at the Trump Organization, testified that Trump personally signed reimbursement checks to his “fixer” Michael Cohen, who made the payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels that is at the heart of this case. Showing that Trump signed them chips away at the defense claim that Trump was detached from the transactions. Trump warned of jail for further gag-order violations.
Tarasoff was led through a succession of checks to Cohen that she cut, then sent to Trump for signing, some while the former president was in the White House. The purpose appeared to be giving the jury a clear understanding of the regular practices in place at the company, and how the hush-money payment to Daniels veered outside normal procedures to point of illegality. Prosecutors argue Michael Cohen’s ‘expenses’ were not processed as expenses;
Jeffrey McConney, the Trump Organization’s retired controller and senior vice-president, was pressed by the prosecution on the company’s accounting and reporting procedures, focusing on the argument that Trump was in full control of his personal and company finances, and had authorized and was aware of the purpose of the payment to Daniels. Trump argues ‘legal expense’ was a dropdown label, not a falsification;
Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove got McConney to concede he had never spoken with Trump about repayments to Cohen, and had never been directed to register the payments in a certain way, or improperly. Trump warned of jail for further gag-order violations.
Bove suggested there was no falsification, in part because of the narrow way Trump Organization payments had to be recorded, using the drop-down menu of an “antiquated” software recording system.
Additionally, McConney conceded that Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer, and said he always recorded payments to lawyers as “legal expenses” in the ledger during his 36-plus years with the company.
Trump complained as he was leaving the court that prosecutors said their case could take at least another two weeks to present. Repeating previous false claims, he insisted the trial was merely a ruse to keep the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee “off the campaign trail”.
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.
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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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Verdict before election? Likely.
Key moments in the trial so farKey moments in the trial so far
6 May: prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, after previously calling witnesses who described a conspiracy to kill the story.
3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand as a key prosecution witness in testimony describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand as a key prosecution witness in testimony describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.
2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified as prosecutors ask for $4,000 more for gag order violations.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.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.
6 May: prosecutors moved on to the alleged falsification of business records to cover up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, after previously calling witnesses who described a conspiracy to kill the story.
3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand as a key prosecution witness in testimony describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.3 May: Hope Hicks took the stand as a key prosecution witness in testimony describing 2016 Trump campaign staffers’ panic when a recording emerged in which Trump bragged about groping women and the former president’s complete control over the campaign.
2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified as prosecutors ask for $4,000 more for gag order violations.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.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.