Sun. May 19th, 2024

Trump hush money trial to resume with a look at Michael Cohen’s electronics

By 37ci3 May3,2024

Former president Donald TrumpThe New York criminal trial will resume on Friday with testimony from a forensic expert who examined data from Trump’s ex-lawyer’s phones. Michael Cohenincluding text messages and secret notes.

Cohen is a key figure in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump. Prosecutors say Cohen and Trump he conspired With David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, for suppressing scandalous stories about Trump during the 2016 campaign. The scheme resulted in Cohen paying the porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her 2006 sexual relationship with Trump. Trump rejected this claim.

Trump later paid Cohen the fees, which the DA said were wrongly classified as legal expenses. Trump pleaded not guilty to all 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Douglas Daus, forensic analyst for the DA’s office, began his testimony Thursday, which revealed that it found more than 39,000 contacts on Cohen’s phone, including contacts with Trump and his wife, Melania; Text messages with Trump allies, including former White House communications director Hope Hicks; photos of Cohen in the White House; and some notes.

One of the memos was an excerpt from a conversation between Cohen and Trump in September 2016 about how they were going to handle the return of $150,000 to Packer that he spent to buy Karen McDougal’s silence. McDougal, a former Playboy model, claimed she had a one-month affair with Trump that began in 2006, a claim Trump denied.

In the recording heard in court — the first He reported in 2018 — Trump’s “What should we pay for it – 150?” can be heard saying. He then tells Cohen to “pay cash,” to which Cohen replies, “No, no, no. I understood.”

Peker, who first demanded to get the money back, later agreed and informed Cohen not to pay him for fear it might land him in legal trouble.

Prosecutors played one of Cohen’s secret tapes earlier in the day, when Daniels and McDougal’s plea bargain attorney, Keith Davidson, was on the stand.

On the tape, Cohen tells Davidson that Trump, whom he did not name, repeatedly complained to him about Daniels’ settlement: “I can’t even tell you how many times he said, you know, ‘I hate it. the fact that we did it”” and “my comment to him was “but everyone you talked to said it was right.

Davidson said he understood “he” to be referring to Trump and “we did it” to refer to the payment to Daniels.

During cross-examination, Trump’s lawyer, Emil Bove, pressed Davidson about others scandalous tabloid stories he’s been busy over the years, including clients selling sex tapes featuring wrestlers Hulk Hogan and influencer Tila Tequila, as well as another person who allegedly leaked information about actor Lindsay Lohan’s stint in rehab. He was also asked about representing clients paid by actor Charlie Sheen. Davidson was evasive, saying he did not remember details about specific cases or clients.

Bove, who cross-examined Daus at the end of Thursday’s court day, raised questions about whether the phone data had been tampered with. Daus admitted that the FBI seized the same phones and examined them before the DA’s office.

It is unclear who will testify after Daus. The DA’s office has been tight-lipped about witnesses coming forward. Judge Juan Mercana, who previously presided over the case, said despite the gag order, he was hesitant to release too much information because he feared Trump would post about the witnesses on social media, in part because of the gag order.

Merchan found Trump guilty this week and fined him $9,000 for violating that order with nine social media and campaign posts. Prosecutors argued Thursday that he should be held in contempt for the additional alleged violations. Merchan has not yet decided on the petition.

The court day will end a little earlier on Friday. Merchan said it will stop at 3:45 PM ET instead of the traditional 4:30 PM because one of the judges has a meeting.

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By 37ci3

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