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Stormy Daniels shows resilience under attack from Team Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and lawyer Todd Branch speak to the media during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments related to an extramarital affair at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 10, 2024. Forged documents A plan to cover up business records from his alleged sexual relationship with adult film actress Stormy Daniels to protect his 2016 campaign from adverse publicity.

On May 10, 2024, former US President Donald Trump and lawyer Todd Branch spoke to the media during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments related to extramarital affairs in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City. Forged documents A plan to cover up business records from his alleged sexual relationship with adult film actress Stormy Daniels to protect his 2016 campaign from adverse publicity. | Image source: Reuters

Donald Trump’s defense attorneys and Stormy Daniels went head-to-head on Thursday as they cross-examined the porn star’s fiery testimony, with lines of questioning that at times turned bizarre and even drew criticism from the judge afterward.

Ms. Daniels was quick-witted and walked a tight line between toughness and vulnerability during an often hostile review as jurors watched the defense mock her career and attack her credibility.

She applauded for hours during the most heated testimony yet in the criminal trial, which focused on whether a $130,000 hush-money payment to Ms. Daniels was fraudulently covered up with the intent of influencing the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s attorney, Susan Necheles, insisted repeatedly during questioning that Daniels, 45, made up the story about her one-time sexual encounter with Trump.

“You made this all up, right?” the lawyer asked at one point, and Ms. Daniels responded with an emphatic “no.”

On several occasions, Ms. Daniels accused Ms. Nechels of putting words in her mouth: “You want me to say things have changed, but they haven’t,” she said of her version of events. said.

The Trump team scrambled to portray Daniels as money-hungry, despicable and deceitful.

Ms Necheles questioned Ms Daniels’ decision to write a book describing the encounter and her decision to promote the brand’s products.

“No different than Mr. Trump,” Daniels quipped.

In one of the most offbeat moments of the nearly eight hours of testimony, Necheles brought up Daniels’ interest in tarot cards and the paranormal in an apparent attempt to portray her as unhinged.

She then painted Ms. Daniels as a fabulist, mocking her work as a writer and director of pornographic films while claiming it made her good at twisting the truth.

“So you have a lot of experience in making false stories about sex real?” Ms Necheles said.

“Wow, I wouldn’t say that,” Ms. Daniels said.

“The sex is real. The characters’ names may be different. But the sex is very real. That’s why it’s pornography,” the witness continued.

If Trump’s story wasn’t true, she said, “I would have written it better.”

Mistrial dismissed again

At the end of a marathon of testimony that lasted about eight hours over two days, the defense asked Ms. Daniels if she knew anything about Mr. Trump’s accounting — the real crux of the case.

She said she didn’t.

But a prosecutor later said the purpose of subpoenaing Ms. Daniels was not to detail why Mr. Trump wanted to suppress her story at the last minute of his bid for the White House.

That reasoning came after jurors were dismissed that day and during a motions hearing, the Trump team made another attempt at a mistrial.

The request was again denied, but Judge Juan Merchan lashed out at Trump’s lawyers in front of him.

“I don’t agree with your assertion that there’s any new narrative here. I don’t agree that there’s any change of story,” he said, clearly annoyed.

In an unusually scathing rebuke to defense attorneys, Mr. Murcha said they maintained that Ms. Daniels fabricated the encounter, clearing the way for prosecutors to present evidence to the contrary, much of it pornographic. .

Ms. Merchas said Ms. Necheles spent much of her time focusing on the details they used as grounds for a mistrial, “drilling those details into the jury over and over again.”

“I don’t understand the reason for that,” he said in dramatic criticism, asking why the defense had not objected to raising those details during direct examination.

Merchant said the Trump team attacked Ms. Daniels from the beginning, including “pitting your client’s words against Ms. Daniels’ words” during opening statements.

“In my view, this allows the people to do what they can to vindicate her and corroborate her story,” he said, using prosecutorial terms.

“Your motion for a mistrial is denied.”

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