Stormy Daniels Testifies in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Stormy Daniels Testifies in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Adult film star Stormy Daniels testified in the highly unusual criminal trial involving former President Trump on Tuesday.

Trump has asserted his innocence regarding 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, which are the result of a lengthy investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

These charges revolve around purported payments aimed at silencing Daniels about an alleged 2006 extramarital affair with Trump prior to the 2016 presidential election.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, as hush money before the 2016 election to prevent her from disclosing allegations of an affair with Trump in 2006.

Details of these payments to Daniels came to light in January 2018 through a Wall Street Journal report that disclosed negotiations between Cohen and Daniels' lawyer for a nondisclosure agreement to keep quiet about the alleged encounter with Trump.

At that time, both Cohen and Trump, along with Daniels, denied any such arrangement.

Cohen stated in January 2018 that rumors about the alleged encounter had been circulating since 2011, while Daniels, in a letter dated Jan. 10, 2018, denied the allegations outright, saying, “I am stating with complete clarity that this is absolutely false.”

She further emphasized in the letter that if she had a relationship with Trump, it would not be a secret and would be detailed in her book, dismissing the rumors as untrue.

However, in March 2018, Daniels changed her narrative during an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” claiming a single, unprotected sexual encounter with Trump.

Trump initially stated he was unaware of the payment to Daniels and later remarked in April 2018 that inquiries about the payment should be directed to Michael Cohen.

Questions arose about the validity of the non-disclosure agreement, particularly since it was signed by Daniels but not by Trump.

Daniels took legal action to depose Trump and Cohen regarding the payment, also filing a defamation suit against Cohen after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from his attorney.

Throughout the trial, witnesses like attorney Keith Davidson, who represented Daniels and another model, Karen McDougal, testified. Davidson clarified that Daniels' denial of an affair with Trump was technically true and described the payment as a “consideration” rather than a payoff.

Trump’s defense team presented audio recordings during cross-examination, where Davidson admitted that Cohen did not require Trump's authorization to make the payment to Daniels.

Meanwhile, Cohen faced a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to various federal charges, including lying to Congress, campaign-finance violations, and tax evasion, stemming from investigations by federal prosecutors in New York and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the New York case, Cohen was accused of a “tax evasion scheme” to avoid paying taxes on over $4 million from several ventures, including taxi medallions, real estate sales, and consulting work.

Cohen's guilty plea also encompassed arranging payments to Daniels and another model to prevent them from publicizing alleged affairs with Trump, although Trump has consistently denied these allegations.

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