Posts tagged with "Hush-money trial"

Biden on Trump conviction: ‘Irresponsible’ to say trial was ‘rigged’

May 31, 2024

On Friday, May 31, President Joe Biden weighed in on former President Donald Trump’s verdict in his New York hush money case—calling Trump’s contention that the trial was “rigged” is “irresponsible” and “reckless,” reports The Hill.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said. “The justice system should be respected and we should never allow anyone to tear it down, it’s as simple as that,” he added.

Biden also added that it was in within Trump’s right to appeal the verdict.

A jury found Trump guilty on all counts of falsifying business records to conceal alleged affairs during his 2016 campaign on Thursday. Trump has since called the trial “rigged and “vowed to appeal the cause—and tore into Judge Juan Merchan and the district attorney who brought the case, Alvin Bragg (D).

Biden on Thursday evening issued a short statement on social platform X, calling for donations to the 2024 race and saying, “There’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box.”

His campaign called Trump a convicted felon in its first statement after the verdict and has seized on the conviction to raise money for the 2024 race.

Earlier on Friday, Biden’s reelection campaign argued that Trump’s response to his conviction should prove he “cannot be president,” following Trump’s press conference on the outcome.

Research contact: @thehill


Stormy Daniels walks Trump trial jury through alleged sexual encounter

May 7, 2024

Former President Trump came face-to-face with adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Tuesday, October 7 when she took the stand in his hush-money case, reports The Hill.

Daniels is so far the highest-profile witness in the Manhattan district attorney’s prosecution of Trump over a $130,000 payment made to her to keep quiet about allegations of an affair with the former president.

Daniels recounted her first experience meeting Trump during a celebrity golf tournament in 2006 near Lake Tahoe. She said their first interaction, when she was introduced to him, was “very brief.” She said Trump told her she must be “smart” after he learned she also directed films.

She said his security detail asked if she would like to have dinner with Trump at the time, to which she said no. The adult film actress says she ultimately agreed to have dinner with Trump, but despite “really nice restaurants” in the hotel, Trump’s bodyguard sent instructions to take a specific elevator up to the penthouse floor. That ultimately led her to Trump’s hotel room, she testified.

“That was my only expectation, that we’d have dinner,” Daniels said.

The sexual encounter with Trump

Daniels testified that Trump’s hotel suite was three times the size of her apartment. When she walked into the foyer, she said Trump met her in silk or satin pajamas.

“I told him to go change, so he obliged, very politely,” Daniels said.

The porn actress said she and Trump then sat down at the dining room table in the suite, where Trump asked her various “get to know you” questions. He also asked about how the adult film industry worked, including a query about whether Daniels had been tested for sexually transmitted infections. Daniels responded that she had and was negative. Daniels has publicly recounted these details multiple times previously. But now, she is under oath, testifying in an historic trial.

After dinner, Daniels excused herself to powder her nose. She said that the alleged sexual encounter with Trump began after she exited the bathroom, where she said she found Trump on the bed wearing boxer shorts and a T-shirt.

She said she thought at one point, “Oh my God. What did I misread to get here?” She said the “intention was pretty clear” when someone is “stripped down to underwear, posing on the bed and waiting for you.”

She said Trump did not approach her in a “threatening manner” and that she did not have any alcohol or drugs that night.

Daniels said “yes” when asked if the sexual encounter with Trump was brief. She also testified that Trump did not wear a condom but she did not say anything about it to him.

Afterwards, the porn actor struggled in getting dressed again as she tried to depart as quickly as possible, she testified.

“He said, ‘Oh, it was great, let’s get together again honeybunch,’ and I just wanted to leave,” Daniels said.

Trump looked straight forward as Daniels described the alleged encounter, which he denies, with little visible reaction.

Another meeting

Daniels said she met Trump again while in public at a nightclub at her hotel the day following the alleged sexual encounter.

She said Trump introduced her as his “little friend Stormy,” and described the nightclub as “dark” with “loud music.” She said Trump told her he would figure out how to get her on his reality show “The Apprentice” once he returned home.

She added that Trump would call her once a week, or maybe two to three times a week, after meeting him. She said Trump always called her “honeybunch” and asked when they could get together again.

An interview

Daniels confirmed that in 2011, she sat for a ten- to 20-minute interview with In Touch Weekly, a celebrity gossip magazine, about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. Daniels said she participated to control her narrative.

The adult film actress said she was supposed to be paid $15,000 but the story never ran. She said “not exactly, no” when asked by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger if she knew why it didn’t publish. It reportedly was killed after Michael Cohen threatened to sue.

Hoffinger also asked Daniels if she told the magazine all the details.

“No. I tried to keep it fairly lighthearted and to the point,” Daniels responded.

But that didn’t protect her: Telling a story she has recounted for years, Daniels told the jury about how a man threatened her a few weeks after she was interviewed by the magazine.

The encounter happened in a Las Vegas parking lot while she was with her daughter going to a mommy and me workout class, according to Daniels. But she did not go to the police, and there is no documentary evidence or other witnesses who have come forward to corroborate her claims.

“I thought he was the husband or something of one of the other women, and he approached me and threatened me not to continue to tell my story,” Daniels testified.

Trump’s Access Hollywood debacle

Daniels said that everything changed after the release of the Access Hollywood  tape. She then learned that Trump and his then-fixer, Michael Cohen, were interested in buying it, Daniels told jurors.

“They were interested in paying for the story, which was the best thing that could happen, ’cause my husband wouldn’t find out, but there would be a documentation,” she said.

Daniels connected the timing of her hush-money negotiations in October 2016 to that year’s upcoming presidential election, indicating she wanted it settled before the polls closed.

“I was afraid that if it wasn’t done before the nomination I wouldn’t be safe,” Daniels said, before correcting herself that she meant “the election.”

“Or he would never pay and there wouldn’t be a trail to keep me safe,” she added.

To secure a conviction on the felony charges, prosecutors must prove that Trump falsified business records with an intent to commit or conceal some other crime. Prosecutors have cited alleged campaign law violations—portraying the hush-money arrangements as an unlawful conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

Trump’s lawyers have maintained that Daniels’s testimony, while salacious, does not matter because she has no personal knowledge of the business records that correspond to Trump’s charges.

Research contact: @thehill