Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer testifies in Trump hush money trial

7:09 pm Eastern Time, May 2, 2024

Key takeaways from day 10 of Trump’s hush money trial

From CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Lauren del Valle and Kara Scannell

Donald Trump’s lawyers on Thursday tried to portray one of the witnesses at the center of the hush money deal with Stormy Daniels as someone with a long history of extracting money from celebrities while going “to the line without committing extortion.”

Trump’s lawyer, Emil Bove, raised a series of celebrities Keith Davidson has dealt with (Hulk Hogan, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen and Tila Tequila) seeking to undermine Davidson’s credibility as a witness and argue that the deals he made with the former president followed a long-standing pattern.

Before testimony began, Judge Juan Merchán held a second hearing into Trump’s alleged violations of the gag order, where prosecutors raised four more statements that Trump had made that they claimed violated the gag order. silence of the judge, preventing the discussion of the witnesses and the jury. Trump was already fined $9,000 for nine violations earlier this week.

Here are the best takeaways From day 10 of Trump’s hush money trial:

Trump lawyer drags Davidson through celebrity mud: After prosecutors finished meticulously walking Davidson through the deals he struck before the 2016 election for both Daniels and Karen McDougal, Trump’s lawyer dragged Davidson through the proverbial celebrity mire, marking a series of deals he was involved in involving other high-profile figures.

Bove pressed Davidson on whether he had studied racketeering law when he asked AMI and Cohen for money for the McDougal and Daniels settlements. Bove asked Davidson if he had “gone to the limit without extortion” with the Trump deals.

“I don’t understand your question,” Davidson responded.

Another gag order hearing on Trump’s comments: Merchan held a second hearing Thursday morning on more violations of the gag order that prosecutors want Trump to hold in contempt. Merchan did not comment on the latest allegations after Thursday’s hearing. Prosecutor Chris Conroy pointed to four of Trump’s comments since last Monday: two were about Cohen, the others about the jury and former AMI chief David Pecker.

The district attorney’s office wants Trump to be fined $1,000 for each violation, but has not yet asked Merchan to jail him, pointing to the inconvenient slowing effect it would have on the trial.

Witnesses don’t have good things to say about Michael Cohen: Davidson described how Cohen was difficult to deal with, who frequently acted as if he was “on fire.” Davidson testified that he had “lost trust” in Cohen to pay the money he had agreed to in the deal with Daniels, and at one point he said the deal was canceled after Cohen missed a deadline. He also described Cohen as dejected during a phone call in December 2016 after learning that he would not get a job at the White House.

“He said something like, ‘Jesus Christ, can you believe I’m not going to go to Washington after everything I’ve done for that damn guy?’ I can’t believe I’m not going to Washington. I’ve saved that guy’s ass so many times you don’t even know it,’” Davidson testified Cohen told him.