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Trump’s hush-money trial: here’s what’s happened in the case so far Trump’s hush-money trial: here’s what’s happened in the case so far
(about 16 hours later)
Catch up on latest news out of Donald Trump’s criminal trial for hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy DanielsCatch up on latest news out of Donald Trump’s criminal trial for hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels
Donald Trump is the first former US president to be tried on criminal charges – and could face prison if convicted. Trump allegedly falsified the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He 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. Trump allegedly falsified the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He denies 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in spring 2023.
9 May: here’s what happened today Here’s what you need to know about the case and what’s happening today:
Trump arrived in court on Thursday morning with the Florida senator Rick Scott among his entourage, part of a parade of supporters who have come to court to back the former president. 10 May: here’s what’s happening today
Stormy Daniels testified for a second day as the former president’s lawyers sought to undermine her in an attempt to persuade jurors that the case’s key prosecution witness cannot be believed. Donald Trump arrived in cour for his hush-money criminal trial at about 9.30am ET on Friday, with apparent frustration, after sitting through two days of testimony from the adult film actor Stormy Daniels, who provided a salacious account of an alleged sexual liaison with him some 20 years ago.
Trump attorney Susan Necheles pressed on Daniels’s motivations for agreeing to a hush-money payment, asking her why she did not go public with her story in the waning days of the 2016 campaign and instead sought to get paid for her story. Madeleine Westerhout is back on the stand today. Westerhout was working at the Republican National Committee (RNC) when Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape leaked right before the 2016 presidential election.
Necheles seemed to be trying to seed the idea that Daniels was more interested in getting a payout than telling the truth. “You wanted money, right?” Necheles said. Daniels said: “I wanted the truth to come out.” Michael Cohen is expected to begin testifying in the hush-money trial on Monday, according to NBC News reports. Cohen was once a lawyer for Trump and one of the former president’s most loyal lieutenants and enforcers. He facilitated the payment to Daniels, funnelling the $130,000 to her through a shell company called Essential Consultants LLC. Trump later arranged to pay him back in monthly payment installments of $35,000.
Necheles tried to poke holes in Daniels’s story about her encounter with Trump, highlighting instances in which she said Daniels’s recollection had changed over the years. Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies: “You’re trying to make it say that it changed, but it hasn’t changed.” Donald Trump arrived in cour for his hush-money criminal trial at about 9.30am ET on Friday, with apparent frustration, after sitting through two days of testimony from the adult film actor Stormy Daniels, who provided a salacious account of an alleged sexual liaison with him some 20 years ago.
Necheles also suggested that Daniels could make up a good story about having sex with Trump because of her experience in the adult entertainment industry. “If that story was untrue, I would have written it to be a lot better,” Daniels fired back. Madeleine Westerhout is back on the stand today. Westerhout was working at the Republican National Committee (RNC) when Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape leaked right before the 2016 presidential election.
During redirect examination, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Daniels bluntly if she was telling the truth or lies about Trump. Daniels said: “The truth.” Hoffinger also asked Daniels whether the whole episode had been a net positive or net negative on her life. “Negative,” Daniels said. Michael Cohen is expected to begin testifying in the hush-money trial on Monday, according to NBC News reports. Cohen was once a lawyer for Trump and one of the former president’s most loyal lieutenants and enforcers. He facilitated the payment to Daniels, funnelling the $130,000 to her through a shell company called Essential Consultants LLC. Trump later arranged to pay him back in monthly payment installments of $35,000.
Trump Organization bookkeeper Rebecca Manochio testified about sending unsigned checks for Trump to sign at the White House for his personal expenses. She told the jury that Trump and then Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg would speak at least once a day before Trump embarked on his run for president.
Donald Trump’s former personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, was also called as a witness. Westerhout, who was Trump’s personal secretary from 2017 to 2019 and the former director of Oval Office operations for the Trump White House from February to August 2019, is expected to return to the stand on Friday.
Westerhout worked for the Republican National Committee before going to the White House. She testified that the RNC was rattled by the Access Hollywood tape release and that there were “conversations” about replacing Trump as a presidential candidate.
The jury was shown a list of key contacts that Trump’s assistant at his company, Rhona Graff, put together for Westerhout, containing names including Cohen, Weisselberg, David Pecker, members of the Trump family, Fox News hosts and football legends.
Westerhout broke into tears as he described being fired from the White House after she spoke at an off-the-record dinner with journalists.
Judge Juan Merchan denied the defense’s request to modify the gag order so that Trump be allowed to respond publicly to Daniels’s testimony. Merchan, in denying the request, said his concern “is with protecting the integrity of these proceedings as a whole”.
Merchan also denied the defense’s renewed mistrial motion. Trump attorney Todd Blanche argued that one of Daniels’s answers on the stand was “a dog-whistle for rape”. Merchan said Trump’s lawyers had ample opportunities to object to questions that elicited what they say were damaging details about the alleged sexual encounter.
Trump arrived in court on Thursday morning with the Florida senator Rick Scott among his entourage, part of a parade of supporters who have come to court to back the former president.
Stormy Daniels testified for a second day as the former president’s lawyers sought to undermine her in an attempt to persuade jurors that the case’s key prosecution witness cannot be believed.
Trump attorney Susan Necheles pressed on Daniels’s motivations for agreeing to a hush-money payment, asking her why she did not go public with her story in the waning days of the 2016 campaign and instead sought to get paid for her story.
Necheles seemed to be trying to seed the idea that Daniels was more interested in getting a payout than telling the truth. “You wanted money, right?” Necheles said. Daniels said: “I wanted the truth to come out.”
Necheles tried to poke holes in Daniels’s story about her encounter with Trump, highlighting instances in which she said Daniels’s recollection had changed over the years. Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies: “You’re trying to make it say that it changed, but it hasn’t changed.”
Necheles also suggested that Daniels could make up a good story about having sex with Trump because of her experience in the adult entertainment industry. “If that story was untrue, I would have written it to be a lot better,” Daniels fired back.
During redirect examination, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Daniels bluntly if she was telling the truth or lies about Trump. Daniels said: “The truth.” Hoffinger also asked Daniels whether the whole episode had been a net positive or net negative on her life. “Negative,” Daniels said.
Trump Organization bookkeeper Rebecca Manochio testified about sending unsigned checks for Trump to sign at the White House for his personal expenses. She told the jury that Trump and then Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg would speak at least once a day before Trump embarked on his run for president.
Donald Trump’s former personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, was also called as a witness. Westerhout, who was Trump’s personal secretary from 2017 to 2019 and the former director of Oval Office operations for the Trump White House from February to August 2019, is expected to return to the stand on Friday.
Westerhout worked for the Republican National Committee before going to the White House. She testified that the RNC was rattled by the Access Hollywood tape release and that there were “conversations” about replacing Trump as a presidential candidate.
The jury was shown a list of key contacts that Trump’s assistant at his company, Rhona Graff, put together for Westerhout, containing names including Cohen, Weisselberg, David Pecker, members of the Trump family, Fox News hosts and football legends.
Westerhout broke into tears as he described being fired from the White House after she spoke at an off-the-record dinner with journalists.
Judge Juan Merchan denied the defense’s request to modify the gag order so that Trump be allowed to respond publicly to Daniels’s testimony. Merchan, in denying the request, said his concern “is with protecting the integrity of these proceedings as a whole”.
Merchan also denied the defense’s renewed mistrial motion. Trump attorney Todd Blanche argued that one of Daniels’s answers on the stand was “a dog-whistle for rape”. Merchan said Trump’s lawyers had ample opportunities to object to questions that elicited what they say were damaging details about the alleged sexual encounter.
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
7 May: Stormy Daniels undercuts some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggests Daniels has a propensity to embellish 9 May: Trump attorneys sought to cast doubt on the account of alleged tryst but Stormy Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies.
7 May: Stormy Daniels undercut some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggested Daniels has a propensity to embellish.
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.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, 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, 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.2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified.
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: 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: 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: Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.25 April: 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.19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors.
18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.
15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial begins. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial begins. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.
7 May: Stormy Daniels undercuts some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggests Daniels has a propensity to embellish 9 May: Trump attorneys sought to cast doubt on the account of alleged tryst but Stormy Daniels refused to concede any inconsistencies.
7 May: Stormy Daniels undercut some of Trump’s defenses as his lawyer suggested Daniels has a propensity to embellish.
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.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, 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, 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.2 May: Keith Davidson, a lawyer who negotiated payments, testified.
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: 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: 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: Pecker testified about his role in buying a story from the model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Trump.25 April: 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.19 April: The court finally chose all 18 jurors.
18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.18 April: Twelve jurors were selected for after two seated jurors were removed earlier in the day.
15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial begins. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.15 April: Trump’s hush-money trial begins. He is the country’s first president to face a criminal trial.