Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Stormy Daniels’ credibility becomes a linchpin in the prosecution’s hush money case

By 37ci3 May8,2024

At this point, Stormy Daniels told his story about Donald Trump in many places — “60 Minutes”, the pages of In Touch magazine, his own book. But on Tuesday, he said it in a place where it might carry the most weight: the witness stand at the Manhattan criminal court where Trump is on trial.

There is no doubt that he was paid $130,000 to keep quiet just days before the 2016 presidential election. There are receipts – both the money order sending the money to her and the contract she signed promising not to tell anyone about her affair with a married man, that man was Trump.

Trump has denied ever having sex with Daniels. He has repeatedly attacked her over the past six years, calling her names and trying to line his own pockets by making up a sex story about her.

During cross-examination, Trump’s lawyer Susan Necheles tried to portray Daniels as a liar who is looking for more money and fame and who hates Trump.

And with Trump on trial on charges of falsifying business records, whether or not a jury believes his testimony will prove one of the most critical aspects of the trial, Daniels has no involvement.

On the first day of his testimony, there were few details that were not already public knowledge — in fact, the prosecution began the day by assuring the judge that it would not ask for intimate details that Daniels has revealed in other forums, such as describing them. Trump’s genitalia.

But even if every juror knew who he was before that stand, the courtroom offered a new arena in which to try to prove his credibility.

The prosecution acknowledged that it would be difficult to convince a jury that Trump was willing to spend thousands of dollars to keep quiet about the story without convincing the jury that Daniels was telling the truth.

Daniels has become a household name during Trump’s tenure. But unlike the glamorous actor and director images that often accompany stories about him, Daniels made a more muted appearance on Tuesday.

She secured her two-tone hair on top of her head with a large clip. He was dressed in all black, including the hood. And his voice trembled when he spoke.

He spoke at a hurried pace, with state judge Juan Merchan repeatedly asking him to slow down so court reporters responsible for keeping the transcript could record everything he said.

He gave answers that sometimes went beyond the level of detail requested by the prosecution and sometimes led to arguments between the prosecution and the defense. Merchan asked him to answer the question and not give more information.

The jury watched with rapt attention as she talked about having sex with Trump. Will jurors humanize his hurried cadence and occasional giggles as proof that he’s telling the truth and not written on the stand? Or will they consider it disrespectful, bolstering their argument that Trump is simply seeking personal revenge?

Necheles tried to use the fact that prosecutors had asked Daniels questions beforehand as evidence to disbelieve him.

“I’ve been asked questions that will probably be asked in court,” Daniels said. But that didn’t seem to leave him fully prepared, he added.

“I didn’t know what a real trial would be like.”

The high-level detail she was able to provide, down to the floor of the hotel room where she said she had sex with Trump, was presented as evidence that her story was fact, not fiction.

Trump’s attorneys have argued for months that Daniels was unnecessary in the case and that his testimony would be so outside the scope of the crimes he’s charged with that it would border on prejudice, meaning it would unfairly taint jurors. to the extent of denying him a fair trial.

It was an argument attorneys lost in pretrial arguments, and again Tuesday after they moved for a mistrial.

“In our view, there is no way to open the call,” Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, argued unsuccessfully. “The only reason the government is asking these questions, other than pure embarrassment, is to inflame this jury.”

As defense attorneys tried to use his old interviews, including ones that were never aired, as evidence that he wasn’t telling the truth, Daniels tried to turn it on them.

“A story about President Trump that doesn’t involve sex isn’t going to make you money, is it?” Necheles asked in cross-examination.

“It taught me that I have to tell the truth,” Daniels said.

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By 37ci3

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