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They are the first jury in the 235-year history of the United States to be confronted with that weighty question. The payment was made to keep her silent about allegations that she and Trump had a sexual encounter (which Trump denies) ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Merchan then offered a detailed explanation of the legal rules that the jury must apply to make those determinations. This time it was for the judge to re-read the jury instructions to them, another indicator of the care they are taking in deliberations. We will see how long their deliberations take, but this afternoon’s developments suggest that it will not be an instant process.
Persons: Norman Eisen, , Donald Trump, , Juan Merchan, Donald Trump’s Manhattan, Trump, Norm Eisen, Norm Eisen Trump, Stormy Daniels, Merchan, , David Pecker, Todd Blanche, Michael Cohen, Blanche, Pecker, Cohen, Karen McDougal, McDougal Organizations: CNN, Yorkers, National Enquirer, Trump, Twitter, Facebook Locations: American, United States, Manhattan
Former President Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial will enter its final stage Tuesday as defense lawyers and prosecutors deliver their closing arguments in a last attempt to sway the 12 New Yorkers who will decide his fate. First the defense and then the prosecution will spend hours weaving disparate strands of evidence into a cohesive story that they hope will resonate with the jurors. The undisputed facts concern that $130,000 transaction; Mr. Cohen paid the porn star, Stormy Daniels, to silence her story of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. Prosecutors have argued that Mr. Trump directed Mr. Cohen to pay Ms. Daniels and approved a criminal scheme to reimburse Mr. Cohen, disguising the repayments by saying that they were made for legal services that in fact were nonexistent. Their case is backed by the testimony of Mr. Cohen himself, as well as Ms. Daniels, several other witnesses and phone records, text messages and emails.
Persons: Donald J, Yorkers, Trump, Michael D, Cohen, Stormy Daniels, Daniels, Mr Organizations: Prosecutors
Mr. De Niro said that Mr. Trump had engaged in a “coward’s violence” after the 2020 election. The news conference was the sort of thing the Trump campaign would have done from the beginning if the political situation were reversed. The Biden campaign has rarely discussed that case or the verdict against Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has sought to tie together all four of his pending criminal cases and has argued baselessly that Mr. Biden is behind them all. Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, said the Biden campaign was “making a political mockery” of the criminal case with its appearance.
Persons: Donald J, Biden’s, Biden, Robert De Niro, Harry Dunn, Michael Fanone, Trump, De Niro, , surrogates, Trump’s, , Jean Carroll, Carroll, The Biden, , Mr, “ We’re, ” Michael Tyler, Jason Miller, De, Steven Cheung, Karoline Leavitt Organizations: U.S . Capitol Police, Mr, Capitol Police, Biden Locations: Manhattan, Trump’s Manhattan, Georgia
CNN —The biggest drama in the trial of former President Donald Trump on Monday came not, as expected, in the cross-examination of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. His testimony wrapped without any moments approaching the significance of last week’s defense hits on the star witness. Cohen had already admitted that he lied to Costello, and indeed lied more broadly to protect Trump before cooperating with the government. But Cohen has already testified that he lied about Trump’s knowledge of the payment to Daniels before cooperating with prosecutors. It culminated before the lunch break with a bit of razzle- dazzle to bolster Cohen’s testimony about what happened on that phone call with Schiller and Trump.
Persons: Norman Eisen, , Donald Trump, Trump, Michael Cohen, — Robert Costello, Cohen —, audibly, Juan Merchan, Costello, ” Merchan, cautioning, , , ” Costello, Merchan, Norm Eisen, Cohen, chastising Costello, Stormy Daniels, Daniels, Todd Blanche, Blanche, Keith Schiller, Schiller, , Trump’s, , Susan Hoffinger, Perry Mason Organizations: CNN, Monday, Trump, Trump Organization, SPAN, Twitter, Facebook Locations: Trump’s Manhattan, Tampa , Florida
Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial will enter its final phase on Monday with the prosecution poised to complete its case and the defense considering whether to call witnesses of its own. The witness, Michael D. Cohen, has already testified over the course of three days, telling jurors that in 2015 he entered a conspiracy to suppress information damaging to the presidential campaign of his then-boss, Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen, who was Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, suppressed one of those stories himself, paying $130,000 to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, just weeks before the election to bury her story of having had sex with Mr. Trump. After the election, Mr. Cohen testified, the president-elect approved a plan to reimburse him for the payment, knowing that the reimbursements would be classified as ordinary legal expenses. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has charged Mr. Trump with 34 felonies, arguing that what Mr. Cohen described was a crime: the falsification of business records.
Persons: Donald J, Michael D, Cohen, Trump, Stormy Daniels Locations: Manhattan
Mr. Biden recently indicated he would debate Mr. Trump, but had until now declined to give any firm commitment or specific details. In a video announcing his offer, Mr. Biden taunted Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump leads Mr. Biden in most polls of battleground states, including the recent surveys by The New York Times, Siena College and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Significantly more voters trust Mr. Trump over Mr. Biden to handle the economy. Mr. Biden, exasperated, famously said to Mr. Trump, “Will you shut up, man?
Persons: Biden, Donald J, Trump, , Robert F, Kennedy Jr, Mr, Biden’s, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, O’Malley Dillon, , Trump’s, “ Let’s, Donald, Ms, Mark Makela, “ Will, Susie Wiles, Chris LaCivita, Reagan, , There’s, Kennedy, Wiles, LaCivita, George W, Bush’s, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Richard Perry, Romney, Hillary Clinton’s, Bill Clinton, Reid J, Epstein Organizations: The New York Times, Biden, Commission, Mr, Trump, , , Republican National Convention, Republican National Committee, Siena College, The Philadelphia Inquirer, White House, CNN, Electoral College —, Republican, Democratic, ” Networks, CBS News, ABC News, Telemundo Locations: Washington, Trump’s Manhattan, York, Milwaukee, America
“Sounds like something I would say,” responded Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer. The question set the tone for the cross-examination of the Manhattan district attorney’s key witness in the hush money trial against the former president. For roughly two hours, Blanche began a cross-examination to try to discredit Cohen’s allegations against Trump. Blanche then asked whether Cohen called Trump a “Cheeto-dusted cartoon villain.”“That also sounds like something that I said,” Cohen said. “You were telling the truth, correct?” Blanche asked in regards to the compliments Cohen gave Trump.
Persons: Donald Trump’s, Todd Blanche, Michael Cohen, Blanche, Cohen, Cohen “, , Trump’s, Stormy Daniels, Trump, Daniels, Joshua Steinglass, Juan Merchan, ” Cohen, , Donald Trump, ’ ” Cohen, Trump Blanche, ” Blanche, Blanche . Trump, Robert Mueller’s, Jay Sekulow, , Susan Hoffinger, Florida Sen, Rick Scott, Sen, J.D, Vance of Ohio, Doug Burgum, Mike Johnson, Byron Donalds, Cory Mills, Vivek Ramaswamy, Johnson, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, ” Ramaswamy, ” Trump Organizations: CNN, Trump, Trump . Assistant, Trump –, Federal, Commission, FBI, Trump Organization, North Dakota Gov, Republican National Committee Locations: Manhattan, Russia, United States, New York, Florida, Louisiana
Members of the public and reporters get 14 rows, seven on each side, inside the wood-paneled courtroom, behind the prosecution and defense tables. Those seats provide a view of the judge — the bench sits directly under burnished letters spelling out “In God We Trust” — and the witness stand. The jurors sit on the right side and are usually focused on the witness stand or the lawyer speaking at the lectern. Four large closed-circuit television screens also make it possible to see the faces of those at the prosecution and defense tables, including Mr. Trump. The former president usually sits in the second chair, with the defense lawyer who is handling arguments or questioning a witness occupying the first.
Persons: Donald J, , Trump Locations: Lower Manhattan
Pecker explained that for the scheme to further benefit Trump’s campaign, he later set in motion the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. Trump claimed Cohen made the payment on his own and not at Trump’s direction, but Hicks did not believe him. He testified that he was under the belief that Cohen needed Trump’s approval to wire any funds and that Trump was the source. Former Trump Organization accountant Deborah Tarasoff also told the jury that Trump was directly involved in reimbursing Cohen. She spoke at length about how Trump continued to focus on personal and Trump Organization business minutiae while in the White House.
Persons: Norman Eisen, , Donald Trump, CNN — Michael Cohen, Trump, Cohen, Stormy Daniels, Norm Eisen, Daniels, David Pecker, Pecker, Hope Hicks, ” Hicks, Hicks, Allen Weisselberg, ” Trump, Weisselberg, Keith Davidson, Davidson, Deborah Tarasoff, reimbursing Cohen, Tarasoff, Donald J, Eric Trump, Reimbursing Cohen Cohen, Trump’s, Jeffrey McConney, I’ve, ” McConney, Madeleine Westerhout, Westerhout, Sally Franklin, Organizations: CNN, Trump, American Media, National Enquirer, Trump Organization, Trump Revocable Trust, White House, White, Twitter, Facebook, Random, “ Trump, The Trump Organization Locations: Trump’s Manhattan, Manhattan, Trump,
At Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial, his lawyers have insisted he had “nothing to do” with any of the felony charges against him. The Manhattan district attorney says Mr. Trump orchestrated the disguise of 11 checks, 11 invoices and 12 ledger entries to continue the cover-up of a damaging story, paying his former fixer $420,000 in the process. And the testimony about Mr. Trump’s management style could play a central role as prosecutors seek to convince the jury that there is no world in which Mr. Trump was not tracking the outflow of cash from his accounts. The prosecutors’ strategy illustrates the risk of a criminal trial for Mr. Trump, one of the most famous men in the world, whose character and habits are familiar even to those who have not tracked his every move. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has accused him of orchestrating the falsification of the 34 documents to cover up a hush-money payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, Stormy Daniels Locations: Manhattan
Thinking back to when Donald Trump was president, what one thing do you remember most about Donald Trump’s presidency? Like past presidents, Mr. Trump has enjoyed a higher approval rating of his time in office in retrospect. Some of them may have spoken about Mr. Trump generally because of the multitude of controversies during his time in office, Mr. Sides said. A handful of voters in the survey, mostly Trump supporters, looked back on the Trump years as a time of peace. In the battle over memories, the Biden campaign will be trying to remind voters of some older ones that reflect poorly on Mr. Trump.
Persons: Donald Trump’s, Trump, , Donald J, Trump’s, Jan, , John Sides, Donald Trump, Here’s, Biden, ” Biden, Seth Masket, Mr, Masket, don’t, Biden’s, ” “ Jan, “ Trump, Covid, North Korea ”, , Kim Jong, ” Mr Organizations: New York Times, Siena College, Trump, Vanderbilt, Voters, Biden, University of Denver, North Korea, North Korean Locations: Siena, America, Times, Mexico, North Korea, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Korea
Norm Eisen Courtesy Norm EisenIn Donald Trump’s Manhattan election interference trial, the case is coming in better than expected, and that is ominous for the former president. The prosecution asked Davidson to explain the meaning of a text he had sent to Howard that evening. As the election was about to be called for Trump, Davidson sent a text to Howard asking, “What have we done?”Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked Davidson what the meaning of those words were. It also highlighted the stakes here: Unlike Trump’s 2020 election interference cases pending in Georgia and federal court, the unlawful effort to impact the election alleged in this case might have actually worked. I was watching the jury closely when Davidson spoke, and they were riveted.
Persons: Norman Eisen, , Donald Trump, CNN CNN —, Norm Eisen, Donald Trump’s, Keith Davidson, Davidson, Karen McDougal, Stormy Daniels, Trump, Michael Cohen, Daniels, David Pecker, Cohen, Dylan Howard —, Howard, Joshua Steinglass, , Matthew Colangelo Organizations: CNN, CNN CNN, American Media, Inc, National Enquirer, Trump, Twitter Locations: , Donald Trump’s Manhattan, Georgia
Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial had barely begun when he started to turn his anger toward his lead lawyer, Todd Blanche. Although Mr. Blanche has been Mr. Trump’s favorite lawyer for some time, behind closed doors and in phone calls, the former president has complained repeatedly about him in recent weeks, according to four people familiar with the situation. He has griped that Mr. Blanche, a former federal prosecutor and veteran litigator, has not been following his instructions closely, and has been insufficiently aggressive. Mr. Trump wants him to attack witnesses, attack what the former president sees as a hostile jury pool, and attack the judge, Juan M. Merchan. Mr. Trump, who often complains about legal fees and sometimes refuses to pay them, has also wondered aloud why his lawyers cost so much, according to the people, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic.
Persons: Donald J, Todd Blanche, Blanche, Trump’s, litigator, Trump, Juan M, Merchan
Mr. Trump, the first former president to face criminal prosecution, is accused of falsifying records to cover up the hush-money payment, which was made to a porn star, Stormy Daniels. The $130,000 payment — made by Mr. Trump’s fixer, Michael D. Cohen — silenced Ms. Daniels’s story of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. The prosecutors requested a $1,000 fine for each of Mr. Trump’s 10 statements that they say ran afoul of the order — including attacks on Ms. Daniels and Mr. Cohen, as well as the jury. Also on Tuesday, prosecutors are expected to wrap up their questioning of Gary Farro, a banker who helped Mr. Cohen open the account that he used to pay Ms. Daniels. Mr. Trump’s lawyers will then cross-examine Mr. Farro.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, Stormy Daniels, Michael D, Cohen —, Juan M, Daniels, Cohen, Gary Farro, Farro
Mr. Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in an effort to conceal the payment. Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied that he had sex with Ms. Daniels. The week also brought more accusations that Mr. Trump had violated a gag order prohibiting him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors and jurors. Credit... Jefferson Siegel for The New York TimesBut Mr. Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche said his client’s actions were “run-of-the-mill” business. Mr. Trump will use the midweek break to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan, two battleground states in this year’s election.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, Donald Trump’s, David Pecker, Trump’s, Pecker, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, Daniels, Juan M, Merchan, Mr, Prosecutors, Todd Blanche, Jefferson Siegel, “ It’s, Blanche, Cohen, , Dave Sanders, Karen McDougal, McDougal, Emil Bove, mutter, Merchan’s, Rhona Graff, Gary Farro, Farro, Hope Hicks Organizations: National Enquirer, Mr, Trump Tower, Prosecutors, The New York, Trump Organization, The New York Times, Playboy, Trump, White House, Republican Locations: Donald Trump’s Manhattan, Manhattan, Trump’s, Wisconsin, Michigan
Jim Walden Courtesy of Jim WaldenA few days later, New York’s highest court overturned the sex crimes conviction of Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. And the recent dramatic developments in the Weinstein case demonstrate why the presiding judge in the Trump trial, Judge Juan Merchan, needs to reverse his ruling allowing Trump to be questioned about proven misconduct from other cases. If he doesn’t, Trump could have an easy path to having a conviction in the case tossed out. This is essentially what happened in the Weinstein case. If he does not, Trump could get a conviction overturned while the ink hasn’t yet dried on the jury’s verdict.
Persons: Jim Walden, Deanna Paul, Walden, Donald Trump’s Manhattan, Harvey Weinstein, Weinstein, Trump, Juan Merchan, Deanna Paul Meredith Eves Flynn Trump, , Karen McDougal, Stormy Daniels, David Pecker, Michael Cohen, Cohen, Daniels, Maggie Haberman, Merchan, Letitia James, E, Jean Carroll, Merchan’s, James Burke, Burke’s Organizations: New, CNN, Republican, Hollywood, Trump, Prosecutors, National Enquirer, New York Times, New York, Manhattan, Appeals Locations: New York
“So that’s not true? That’s not true?”The judge in control of Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial had just cut off the former president’s lawyer, Todd Blanche. Mr. Blanche had been in the midst of defending a social media post in which his client wrote that a statement that had been public for years “WAS JUST FOUND!”Mr. Blanche had already acknowledged during the Tuesday hearing that Mr. Trump’s post was false. But the judge, Juan M. Merchan, wasn’t satisfied. But this particular defendant, accused by the Manhattan district attorney’s office of falsifying business records to conceal a sex scandal, has spent five decades spewing thousands and thousands of words, sometimes contradicting himself within minutes, sometimes within the same breath, with little concern for the consequences of what he said.
Persons: Donald J, Todd Blanche, Mr, Blanche, Trump’s, Juan M, wasn’t, Merchan Locations: Manhattan
The second week of Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial was dominated by four days of testimony by David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer, who detailed his efforts to safeguard Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Pecker, a longtime associate of the former president, talked at length about a “catch and kill” scheme that he said he had entered into with Mr. Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, during a 2015 meeting at Trump Tower. The publisher said he would purchase the rights to unsavory stories he had no intention of running. Mr. Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in an effort to conceal the payment. Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied that he had sex with Ms. Daniels.
Persons: Donald Trump’s, David Pecker, Trump’s, Pecker, Trump, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, Daniels Organizations: National Enquirer, Mr, Trump Tower Locations: Donald Trump’s Manhattan
In the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump called David Pecker, publisher of The National Enquirer. The candidate was seeking advice about a former Playboy model who was trying to sell her story of an affair with him, Mr. Pecker told jurors in Mr. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial. Mr. Pecker suggested a way to silence the model, Karen McDougal. “I think that the story should be purchased,” he said he told Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up the Daniels payment as part of an effort to influence the election.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, David Pecker, Pecker, Trump’s, Karen McDougal, , , Ms, McDougal, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, Daniels Organizations: National Enquirer, Playboy
Days before Donald J. Trump became president in early 2017, a handful of advisers, officials and allies descended on his office at Trump Tower: the F.B.I. The future president, triumphant, thanked Mr. Pecker for his service. That remarkable scene was private until Thursday, when Mr. Pecker recounted it to jurors in Mr. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial. He described in vivid detail how Mr. Trump laid bare their effort to buy and bury damaging stories that could have derailed Mr. Trump’s campaign — a plot at the center of the case. “He said, ‘I want to thank you for handling the McDougal situation,’ and then he also said, ‘I wanted to thank you for the doorman situation,’” Mr. Pecker testified Thursday.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, , David Pecker, Karen McDougal, Mr, Pecker, Trump’s, , , McDougal, Organizations: Trump, National Enquirer
A little after 10:30 a.m., just as a prosecutor began delivering his opening statement in Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial, CNN’s chief legal correspondent, Paula Reid, had a live on-air update. “We’re learning that Trump is sitting back in his chair,” Ms. Reid said, “and not even looking at the prosecutor as he speaks.”This could make for a compelling visual, if only viewers could see Mr. Trump. Instead, CNN viewers saw Ms. Reid sitting on a blustery balcony somewhere outside the courthouse alongside the prime-time anchors Anderson Cooper and Kaitlan Collins. Together they tried to navigate a challenging assignment: how to cover a historic trial when network cameras aren’t allowed inside? Mr. Trump’s trial began in earnest on Monday, a remarkable event when a former president was being tried in a criminal case — and where television cameras are banned, forcing members of the TV and news media to figure out creative approaches to in-the-moment coverage.
Persons: Donald J, Paula Reid, Trump, ” Ms, Reid, Anderson Cooper, Kaitlan Collins, Trump’s Organizations: CNN
The Manhattan criminal trial of Donald J. Trump will be closely followed around the world. There will be no video feed aired live from the courtroom. Nor will there be an audio feed, as some federal courts allow. New York courts generally do not permit video to be broadcast from courtrooms, although a feed is being transmitted into an overflow room for the reporters covering the trial. And cameras will be stationed in the hallway outside the courtroom to capture Mr. Trump’s remarks as he enters and leaves.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, Trump’s Locations: Manhattan, New York
As former President Donald J. Trump goes on trial on Monday in Manhattan, President Biden and his allies are not likely to say much. For Democrats, a former president facing criminal charges over covering up a sex scandal surrounding the 2016 campaign speaks for itself. The media coverage will be constant, especially if Mr. Trump takes the stand, which he has floated as a possibility. The approach could be bolstered by the fact that Mr. Trump will be appearing in a court case involving salacious details and questionable financial maneuverings while Mr. Biden is addressing a conflict in the Middle East. Mr. Biden and his campaign have said nothing publicly about the criminal indictments against Mr. Trump, worried about improperly influencing the cases or stoking Mr. Trump’s repeated allegations — made without evidence — that Mr. Biden has engineered the charges.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, Biden, Trump’s, Organizations: White, Mr Locations: Manhattan
The hundreds of New Yorkers who report for jury duty Monday morning in Manhattan will embark on an experience not found in history books: They will be vetted as jurors for the trial of a former U.S. president. Lawyers for Donald J. Trump and prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office will narrow the pool to 12 jurors and several alternates. The jury pool is composed of Manhattanites. Beyond that, little about the group is known, even by prosecutors and defense lawyers. Both sides will use the next several days, or weeks, to find out all they can.
Persons: Donald J, Trump Organizations: Yorkers Locations: Manhattan, U.S
A New York judge on Friday delayed Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan until at least mid-April, postponing the only one of Mr. Trump’s four criminal cases that appeared set to begin. Citing the records, Mr. Trump’s lawyers sought a 90-day delay of the trial, while the Manhattan prosecutors that brought the case proposed a postponement of up to 30 days. The prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, who accused the former president of covering up a sex scandal during and after his 2016 campaign, had said the extra time would allow Mr. Trump’s lawyers to review the records that recently emerged. Mr. Trump, who recently clinched the Republican presidential nomination for the third time, was initially set to go on trial on March 25. Now, the judge in the case, Juan M. Merchan, will hold a hearing that day to determine whether the trial should be delayed further — and if so, for how long.
Persons: Donald J, Trump’s, Trump, Juan M Organizations: Manhattan, Mr Locations: York, Manhattan
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