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Trump Trial: Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels will be able to testify | Donald Trump faces justice

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Stephanie Clifford, also known as by Stormy Daniels, and former President of the United States Donald Trump

  • Sophie-Hélène Lebeuf

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The New York judge who presiding over former President Donald Trump's document-falsifying trial has rejected nearly all of his motions, including some aimed at barring his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and pornographic actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges having had an intimate relationship with him, to testify.

Donald Trump's lawyers had filed around fifteen motions to prevent prosecutors from calling certain witnesses or showing various pieces of evidence in court.

One of the motions sought to block the testimony of Michael Cohen, the expected star witness in this trial. They particularly attacked his credibility, arguing that he had already perjured himself. They also alleged that he lied during his testimony at Donald Trump's civil trial for tax fraud.

The defendant gives examples of situations where [Michael] Cohen's credibility was questioned. However, he provides no evidence of perjury in the case before the court, Judge Juan Merchan wrote in his nine-page decision.

The latter also gave the green light to the testimony of Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Prosecutors will therefore be able to question her about the $130,000 payment she received from Michael Cohen, shortly before the November 2016 election, to keep silent about an alleged relationship with Donald Trump that allegedly took place. produced ten years earlier.

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Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, among other charges for tax evasion and electoral law violations.

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The purchase of information from [Stormy] Daniels not only completes the account of the events leading up to the falsification of business records, but also may prove the defendant's intentions, writes Judge Merchan.

Donald Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying documents following his indictment by a New York grand jury in March 2023.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former confidant, today claims to have bought Ms. Clifford's silence on the instructions of his former client and to have been reimbursed by him subsequently.

Mr. Trump is not accused of muzzling Stormy Daniels in exchange for money, since a non-disclosure agreement is not illegal. But prosecutor Alvin Bragg accuses him in particular of having entered in his accounting records, as well as in a series of invoices and checks, reimbursements made to Michael Cohen as fees.

The judge also decided to authorize the testimony of former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have been Donald Trump's mistress from 2006 to 2007, but within a restricted framework which will be clarified during the trial. She received $150,000 for her story from the National Enquire, a publication that was favorable to Donald Trump and did not. x27;has not published.

Although no charges are related to the payment made to him, prosecutor Elvin Bragg intends to present it as evidence to support his argument that Donald Trump participated in a scheme to conceal negative information in order to maximize his chances of being elected.

The judge also rejected Donald Trump's request to block prosecutors from arguing that ;he tried to influence the 2016 election.

Michael Cohen has already served a prison sentence, after having admitted, in particular, to having violated the rules of electoral financing in connection with the payments made to Stormy Daniels and to Karen McDougal.

Judge Merchan, however, accepted the request of Donald Trump's lawyers to exclude a recording in which he was heard making crude and degrading remarks about women, a recording which could have derailed his 2016 electoral campaign.

If it is not necessary to make the jurors hear this extract which caused a great stir at the #x27;At the time, the prosecutors will however have the right to refer to it during their argument, the magistrate clarified.

In October 2016, the Washington Post made public a 2005 behind-the-scenes recording of the show Access Hollywood, on which Donald Trump was heard boasting about being able to grab women by their genitals with impunity.

The court could reconsider this aspect of the decision if the defense opens the door, nevertheless warned Judge Merchant.

The trial, which was scheduled to begin March 25, was postponed until mid-April at the earliest after Donald Trump's lawyers requested a delay after receiving more than 100,000 pages of documents from a former federal investigation recently handed over to prosecutors.

Donald Trump faces three other criminal trials, the dates of which have not been set and which may not be completed before the November presidential election.

Elsewhere, earlier Monday, lawyers representing Donald Trump in the civil suit for financial fraud within the Trump Organization claimed, in a court filing, that it is “virtually impossible” for it to provide the required guarantee of 455 million US dollars.

With information from CNN

  • Sophie-Hélène LebeufFollow

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