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HomeHeadline newsPorn star Stormy Daniels to testify in Trump's hush money trial

Porn star Stormy Daniels to testify in Trump’s hush money trial

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Former US President Donald Trump is caught in controversy as porn star Stormy Daniels is all set to testify in Trump’s criminal trial. A long-awaited showdown between the former U.S. president and the porn star who says they had sex. Prosecutors say Donald Trump covered up a $130,000 hush money payment his former lawyer Michael Cohen made to Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election.

“The people call Stormy Daniels,” prosecutor Susan Hoffinger announced as the 77-year-old Trump sat at the defense table in the Manhattan courtroom flanked by his lawyers.

Daniels’ testimony is expected to be a pivotal moment in the courtroom drama rocking the scandal-plagued Republican’s attempt to recapture the White House.

Daniels, 45, a longtime actor and director in the adult film industry, says she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 and was then paid to keep quiet about it on the eve of his 2016 election against Hillary Clinton, when the news could have sunk his campaign.

Trump denies ever having sex with Daniels and Susan Necheles, a lawyer for the former president, lodged an objection with the judge presiding over the trial to allowing her to testify about any “sexual acts.”

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“It is unduly prejudicial,” Necheles told Judge Juan Merchan.

Hoffinger said Daniels’ testimony would not be graphic and would “omit details that are too salacious.”

Prosecutors say that Trump — desperate to kill Daniels’ story before it could wreck his chances in the narrow 2016 race — illegally reimbursed his fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, to cover up the $130,000 hush money payment.

He is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Cohen, who has become a vocal critic of his former boss, is also expected to testify at the trial as a prosecution witness.

This is the first time that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, comes face to face in the trial with the ex-president who has spent years insulting her, including while serving in the White House.

And their courtroom face-off comes exactly six months before election day, when Trump will try to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden for a shock return to power.

Trump will be constrained from attacking Daniels after Merchan on Monday found him in contempt of court for his repeated violations of a partial gag order.

The order is meant to prevent Trump from using his huge media presence to attack witnesses, members of the jury and court staff in a bid to influence the trial.

Merchan said that in addition a series of already imposed fines, Trump will face the threat of jail time for future violations.

In a post early Tuesday on his Truth Social app, which was then quickly deleted, Trump angrily complained that he had “just recently been told who the witness is today.”

“This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare,” he claimed, going on to describe the judge as “CROOKED & HIGHLY CONFLICTED.”

The trial is the first criminal prosecution in history of a US president and is one of four cases against the real estate tycoon.

In addition to the New York case, Trump has been indicted in Washington and Georgia on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election he lost to Biden.

He also faces charges of illegally storing top-secret documents taken from the White House at his home in Florida and refusing to return them. (AFP)

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