Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (2024)

Table of Contents
Trump protests gag order ruling - and the trial itself Proceedings adjourned for day Davidson describes Cohen as 'highly excitable,' 'pants-on-fire' kind of guy Davidson re-sent money wiring instructions to Cohen Donald Trump TIME interview: 'It always depends on the fairness of an election' National Enquirer editor indicated Trump's frugality could be downfall, per text Davidson believed Daniels would go public after $130,000 wasn't paid Donald Trump not present in courtroom – despite earlier reproach from judge Court takes short break 'Goddammit, I'll just do it myself': Cohen allegedly said he'd make $130,000 payment Witness complained Michael Cohen was late on Stormy Daniels hush money payment Witness says Michael Cohen demanded only he keep document identifying parties to hush money deal Witness peeks at jurors during Trump hush money trial testimony What is AMI? Can you watch Trump's hush money trial? 'Wave the white flag,' National Enquirer editor texted after 'Access Hollywood' tape Access Hollywood tape created 'crescendo' of interest in Stormy Daniel's story 'TheDirty.com' post in 2011 on Trump-Daniels affair removed after lawyer's letter Davidson testimony shifts to Stormy Daniels Karen McDougal signed hush money deal three months before 2016 election Davidson says Trump is the reason he called Michael Cohen on Karen McDougal hush money deal Trump complies with judge's order to remove offending social media posts No trial proceedings on May 24 due to juror conflict Trial teams arrive in courtroom for afternoon proceedings Every word: How you can read Trump trial transcripts Trump's hush money trial breaks for lunch 'Throw in an ambassadorship for me. I'm thinking Isle of Mann' 'The girl is being cornered by the estrogen mafia' "I will get you more than ANYONE for it. You know why..." 'I have a blockbuster Trump story' Davidson hired to represent McDougal on claims against Trump and press opportunities Davidson describes working with Karen McDougal Former Stormy Daniels lawyer Keith Davidson begins testifying Who is Stormy Daniels and what is her real name? Who is Karen McDougal? Thompson testimony ends after brief questioning on Truth Social, Access Hollywood tape Court reporting company employee begins testimony Videos show Trump denying women's claims Evidence that Trump had a guilty mind can't come in, judge rules. Other evidence permitted C-SPAN executive called to testify Evidence of Trump attacks on Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen? Judge to rule on what jury can hear Trump defense opened the door to potentially damaging testimony, prosecutor says 'Shady stuff' text message: Will the jury see it? Cohen banker Gary Farro's testimony concludes Trump lawyer laying groundwork for claiming Trump was ignorant? Farro says he wouldn't have knowingly assisted with shell company for Cohen Trump condemns college protestors; defends people involved in Jan. 6 Farro says Cohen's claims about new LLC didn't raise alarm bells Farro confirms Michael Cohen can be "aggressive guy" Trump lawyer Todd Blanche begins cross-examining Cohen banker p*rn star money transfer might not have been approved by bank, Farro testifies Cohen gained advantage by not indicating money transfer was for political candidate, Farro testifies Michael Cohen asked to transfer $131,000, according to documents Donald Trump can attend son Barron Trump's high school graduation, judge says 2016 banker for Michael Cohen, Gary Farro, testifying Trump violated gag order nine times, judge rules Trump: I'd rather be in Georgia Trump enters the courtroom with son, Eric Prosecutors arrive for Day 9 of trial Donald Trump does Michigan TV before heading to court Trump Media stock price What is Trump on trial for? Who is Gary Farro? What happens if Trump is found guilty? FAQs References

NEW YORK — A lawyer who represented former Playboy model Karen McDougal testified Tuesday about his efforts to get her story of an affair with Donald Trump into the hands of the National Enquirer during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Attorney Keith Davidson, who had also represented p*rn star Stormy Daniels, texted the Enquirer's editor that he had "a blockbuster story" that the supermarket tabloid, which was backing Trump's first White House campaign, would want to purchase and suppress.

Earlier on Tuesday at Trump's historic New York hush money trial, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was held in criminal contempt and fined $9,000 for violating a judge’s gag order.Trump, the first-ever former president to face criminal trial, is charged with doctoring business records to cover up the true purpose of reimbursem*nts he made to his attorney Michael Cohen.

These were USA TODAY's live updates throughout the day:

Trump protests gag order ruling - and the trial itself

An angry Trump railed against the gag order ruling and again blamed President Joe Biden for his many legal problems.

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

"It's ridiculous," Trump told reporters at the courthouse after his trial concluded for the day. "I'm supposed to be in Georgia. I'm supposed to be in New Hampshire ... and they have me sitting here for a Biden trial."

There is no evidence Biden has had anything to do with the hush money case in New York, which was brought by the Manhattan district attorney.

Trump continued to attack Judge Juan Merchan, calling him "conflicted" and claiming he is "rushing this case through."

For good measure, Trump also attacked the two judges in his previous civil cases, both of which he lost, and added that "this is a corrupt system we're in."

David Jackson

Proceedings adjourned for day

Judge Juan Merchan called an end to proceedings for the day. Trump exited the courtroom at 4:28 p.m. EST.

There will be a hearing Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. EST over whether Trump violated the judge's gag order another four times. Merchan already ruled earlier today Trump has violated it nine times. Merchan said he has allotted 30 minutes for that hearing, and asked the jurors to be ready at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday.

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (1)

– Aysha Bagchi

Davidson describes Cohen as 'highly excitable,' 'pants-on-fire' kind of guy

Davidson was clearly frustrated with Michael Cohen in October of 2016, after Cohen missed the deadline to send the $130,000 hush money payment agreed to in the deal with Stormy Daniels. Asked by prosecutor Joshua Steinglass how he would describe Cohen, Davidson said he was a "highly excitable," "pants-on-fire" kind of guy.

– Aysha Bagchi

Davidson re-sent money wiring instructions to Cohen

Davidson said he re-sent instruction to Cohen for wiring the Stormy Daniels hush money in late October because of Cohen's "repeated assertion" he didn't have them, despite the fact that they were previously sent.

Cohen then forwarded an Oct. 26, 2016 email from his Trump Organization email address with "First Republic Bank Transfer."

The email didn't mean anything to Davidson, he said. Cohen had his wiring instructions.

– Aysha Bagchi

Donald Trump TIME interview: 'It always depends on the fairness of an election'

In an exclusive interview with TIME magazine published Tuesday, Trump provided one of his most in-depth descriptions yet of what a possible second term could look like.

His agenda would be staunchly conservative, telling TIME he wants to focus on deporting undocumented immigrants, deploying the National Guard to stop protests, and getting Europe to pay their share for international alliances.

Amid standout moments from the April interview, Trump did not dismiss the possibility of violence around the 2024 election in light of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. He also signaled that Florida's 6-week abortion ban is "too severe," but largely stuck with his recent stance that abortion regulation should be up to states.

Kinsey Crowley

National Enquirer editor indicated Trump's frugality could be downfall, per text

After Davidson warned National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard a mess could unfold for Trump when the $130,000 hush money deal with Stormy Daniels appeared to fall through, Howard responded: "All because trump is tight"

That's according to Oct. 18, 2016 text messages shown to the jury. Davidson said he interpreted Howard's text to mean Trump is frugal.

– Aysha Bagchi

Davidson believed Daniels would go public after $130,000 wasn't paid

Davidson testified that he believed Stormy Daniels was going to go public with her story of having sex with Trump, potentially with multiple media outlets, after the Trump team failed to pay the $130,000 settlement.

Davidson was explaining a text he sent to National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard on Oct. 18, 2016. He texted: "I can't believe Cohen let this go," he said referring to Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen.

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (2)

Donald Trump not present in courtroom – despite earlier reproach from judge

The judge returned and proceedings were officially announced to restart after a short court break, but Trump and his lawyers still weren't in the courtroom. They entered a couple minutes later. It's unclear if they were actually late.

Judge Juan Merchan earlier chided Trump's defense team about returning to the courtroom on time. However, Merchan didn't make any comment once they did return just now. Merchan has just called for the jury to be brought into the courtroom.

– Aysha Bagchi

Court takes short break

Judge Juan Merchan announced a short afternoon break in proceedings. The trial teams have exited the courtroom.

– Aysha Bagchi

'Goddammit, I'll just do it myself': Cohen allegedly said he'd make $130,000 payment

Davidson testified he communicated to former Trump attorney Cohen that the level of dissatisfaction was "quite high" after they hadn't been paid the $130,000 agreed to in the hush money deal.Remember, Davidson represented Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

"Goddammit, I'll just do it myself," Cohen responded, according to Davidson. He said he interpreted that to mean that, although the deal was already "consummated" with a signature, Cohen wouldn't seek authority in order to provide the funding.

– Aysha Bagchi

Witness complained Michael Cohen was late on Stormy Daniels hush money payment

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is now asking Davidson about complaints he made to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in 2016 that the deadline to pay the $130,000 settlement in the hush money deal had passed without payment.

– Aysha Bagchi

Witness says Michael Cohen demanded only he keep document identifying parties to hush money deal

Davidson testified that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen demanded that only he keep a copy of a document labeled a "side letter agreement." According to an email from Davidson that was shown to the jury, the side letter agreement identified the parties to the hush money deal. The deal was worth $130,000, according to the email.

Davidson also testified about using pseudonyms for Daniels and Trump in the deal.

– Aysha Bagchi

Witness peeks at jurors during Trump hush money trial testimony

Despite providing testimony that he may sometimes find embarrassing – he referred to women as the "estrogen mafia" in a text message shown earlier – Davidson is showing a lot of ease and comfort as his time on the stand goes on. He is sometimes looking directly at jurors as he's testifying. They are to Davidson's left, while prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is asking him questions from slightly to his right.

While witnesses who aren't used to a courtroom will often just look at the person asking them questions, seasoned trial witnesses as well as lawyers are more prone to look directly at jurors. That can be motivated by a desire to build trust.

– Aysha Bagchi

What is AMI?

American Media Inc. (AMI) is the parent company of the publication National Enquirer.

Former AMI CEO and president David Pecker was the first witness called in the trial. He testified that he attempted to help Trump's 2016 presidential campaign by publishing positive stories about the president and stopping negative ones from getting out.

National Enquirer bought Karen McDougal's life story but refused to pay for Stormy Daniels', Pecker said on the stand.

– Kinsey Crowley

Can you watch Trump's hush money trial?

No, the trial won't be televised or available to watch online or aired on TV.

New York court rulesstate that audio-visual coverage of trials is not permitted unless a representative of the news media submits an application and the judge allows it.

Records show an application was submitted to cover the arraignment, but not the trial.Judge Juan Merchanrejected the requestto televise the arraignment.

– Kinsey Crowley and Aysha Bagchi

'Wave the white flag,' National Enquirer editor texted after 'Access Hollywood' tape

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass introduced yet another piece of evidence supporting the prosecution's story of a scheme involving the National Enquirer to help Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Keith Davidson, who represented Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal in hush money deals ahead of the election, texted National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard after the Access Hollywood tape's release, saying Trump would not win the election and using a vulgar term.

"Wave the white flag. It's over people!" Howard texted back.

– Aysha Bagchi

Access Hollywood tape created 'crescendo' of interest in Stormy Daniel's story

Davidson said the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape had "tremendous" importance when it came to interest in p*rn star Stormy Daniels' story of an affair with Donald Trump. The tape, which hit the media about a month before Election Day in 2016, recorded Trump saying he kisses women without waiting and grabs their genitals.

"It wasn't until 'Access Hollywood' that the interest sort of reached a crescendo," Davidson testified.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (3)

'TheDirty.com' post in 2011 on Trump-Daniels affair removed after lawyer's letter

Keith Davidson testified he sent a cease-and-desist letter in 2011 to a blog, "TheDirty.com," after it posted a story saying p*rn star Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump had "some sort of" physical or romantic interaction.

Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, called Davidson angrily after the post was up, Davidson testified. Davidson said Cohen believed Daniels was behind the blog post, but Davidson told him Daniels didn't want the story published. After Davidson's letter to the blog, the post was taken down, he said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Davidson testimony shifts to Stormy Daniels

Keith Davidson's testimony is shifting to p*rn star Stormy Daniels, whom he also represented in a hush money deal ahead of the 2016 election. Davidson confirmed he represented her as early as 2011.

– Aysha Bagchi

Karen McDougal signed hush money deal three months before 2016 election

Karen McDougal signed her hush money deal on August 6, 2016, according to a document shown to the jury. The effective date for the contract was August 5, 2016. It was about three months before Election Day.

– Aysha Bagchi

Davidson says Trump is the reason he called Michael Cohen on Karen McDougal hush money deal

Davidson has resumed his testimony after the lunch break and is going over McDougal's deal with prosecutor Joshua Steinglass.

Davidson said he called Michael Cohen as a professional courtesy because a deal involving Cohen's client had closed.

Asked by Steinglass what client that was, Davidson responded: "Donald Trump."

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump complies with judge's order to remove offending social media posts

Trump's Truth Social account has removed posts that Judge Juan Merchan ruled earlier Tuesday were in violation of his gag order.

The former president had faced a 2:15 p.m., deadline, lest he face the possibility of a contempt citation and jail.

Some of the flagged posts involved a key witness in the hush money trial, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Other posts includes attacks on potential jurors, other witnesses, prosecutors, and the judge.

-David Jackson

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (4)

No trial proceedings on May 24 due to juror conflict

Earlier today, Merchan said there won't be trial proceedings on Friday, May 24, because a juror has a plane flight that day ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Merchan announced that cancellation after stating earlier that there will be a day off May 17 so that Donald Trump can attend his youngest son Barron Trump's high school graduation. Merchan said he may also cancel June 3 proceedings at the defense's request - at least if jury deliberations aren't going on by then.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trial teams arrive in courtroom for afternoon proceedings

Trump and his defense team returned to the courtroom for afternoon proceedings around 2:13 p.m. EST, followed soon after by the prosecution team. Eric Trump is still with his father this afternoon and has again taken a seat in the first bench behind the defense table.

– Aysha Bagchi

Every word: How you can read Trump trial transcripts

The New York courts are publishing transcripts of the proceedings and copies of the evidence shown to the jury. Although transcripts of proceedings aren't always available, officials decided to post official copies online due to the "unparalleled public interest."

You can access all the transcripts and evidence from week two on the New York court system's media website. Documents from each day in court this week will be posted by the end of the following business day.

−Kinsey Crowley

Trump's hush money trial breaks for lunch

Donald Trump exited the courtroom at about 12:59 p.m. EST after Judge Juan Merchan announced a lunch break. The prosecution team is preparing to exit as well.

– Aysha Bagchi

'Throw in an ambassadorship for me. I'm thinking Isle of Mann'

According to messages shown to the jury, as Davidson was negotiating a deal to keep McDougal's story of an affair with Trump quiet ahead of the 2016 election, National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard texted Davidson: "We are going to lay it on thick for her."

"Good. Throw in an ambassadorship for me. I'm thinking Isle of Mann," Davidson responded.

Davidson described it as a joke. He confirmed to prosecutor Joshua Steinglass that he understood the hush money deal would benefit Trump's campaign.

–Aysha Bagchi

More:Trump trial Day 6 recap: National Enquirer's David Pecker testifies on killing stories

'The girl is being cornered by the estrogen mafia'

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (5)

Davidson was asked about a text message he sent when he was negotiating a deal with the National Enquirer's parent company to pay McDougal for her story. Davidson texted: "Don't forget about Cohen. Time is of the essence. The girl is being cornered by the estrogen mafia."

Davidson, forced to explain that comment on the witness stand, described his text as "very unfortunate" and "regrettable." He said he thought "the estrogen mafia" was a term he'd adopted from one of McDougal's associates. He said there were several women leaning on McDougal to sign a deal with ABC News.

– Aysha Bagchi

"I will get you more than ANYONE for it. You know why..."

When former National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard heard that Keith Davidson had a "blockbuster trump story," Howard responded: "Talk 1st thing. I will get you more than ANYONE for it. You know why..."

That's according to text messages shown to the jury.

What did Howard mean when he said Davidson knew why Howard would get Davidson more than anyone else for the story? Davidson told jurors there was an at least implicit awareness that the parent company of the National Enquirer had endorsed Trump's 2016 presidential run.

For that reason, the tabloid would want to keep the story quiet, Davidson's comment seemed to suggest.

The blockbuster story was McDougal's account of a sexual affair with Trump, Davidson testified. He said he couldn't specifically recall how long the alleged affair lasted, and that it could have been several weeks to months, "if not more."

– Aysha Bagchi

'I have a blockbuster Trump story'

The jurors were shown a 2016 text message from Keith Davidson to Dylan Howard, the former editor in chief of the National Enquirer.

"I have a blockbuster Trump story," Davidson told Howard, setting the stage for a "catch and kill" purchase of the rights to her account of a purported affair with the reality TV star and presidential candidate.

– Aysha Bagchi

Davidson hired to represent McDougal on claims against Trump and press opportunities

Davidson and prosecutor Joshua Steinglass just reviewed a paragraph from Davidson's legal retainer agreement with Karen McDougal on the scope of his services for her.

The agreement said he was hired to represent McDougal when it came to her claims against Donald Trump "and/or" several other potential services tied to her interaction with Trump: Negotiating a confidentiality agreement, handling the rights to her story, and negotiating the assignment of exclusive press opportunities.

– Aysha Bagchi

More:Debunking misinformation about Stormy Daniels amid Trump hush money trial | Fact check

Davidson describes working with Karen McDougal

Davidson said he met former playboy model Karen McDougal about 25 years ago, when she was dating a friend of his. In the summer of 2016, he said he represented her to provide "advice and counsel" on her rights and obligations when it came to a "personal interaction" she had with Donald Trump.

– Aysha Bagchi

Former Stormy Daniels lawyer Keith Davidson begins testifying

Keith Davidson, who represented both p*rn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal when they got hush money payments in the run-up to the 2016 election, has begun testifying. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is asking Davidson introductory questions.

– Aysha Bagchi

Who is Stormy Daniels and what is her real name?

Stormy Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, is an adult film star.

Daniels says she had an affair with Trump in 2006, months after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron Trump. Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to stay quiet about the alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

More:National Enquirer editor said Stormy Daniels' affair story was true: Texts shown to jury

Who is Karen McDougal?

Karen McDougal is a former Playboy model. Sheindirectly received a hush money payment in 2016 after claiming to have an affair with Donald Trump.

Cohen funneled the money through the National Enquirer owned by American Media Inc., paying the tabloid to buy rights to her story and prevent her from telling anyone else about it.

She has since spoken out about heraffair with Trump, saying it lasted for 10 months starting in 2006. He denies the allegation.

Thompson testimony ends after brief questioning on Truth Social, Access Hollywood tape

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold reviewed a few portions of a 2022 deposition of Trump with Thompson. The portions touched on Trump social media platform Truth Social, Melania Trump, and the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump crudely described kissing and groping women.

Those details about the tape weren't described. That may be something that comes later in the trial. The judge has ruled the tape can't be played to the jury, but details about it can be shared.

Trump's defense team didn't have any questions for Thompson.

– Aysha Bagchi

Court reporting company employee begins testimony

C-SPAN archives executive director Robert Browning concluded his brief testimony, which was used to bring in video clips of Trump. Phillip Thompson, who works for national court reporting company Esquire Deposition Solutions, is now testifying.

– Aysha Bagchi

Videos show Trump denying women's claims

Video clips of Donald Trump speaking were introduced into evidence as prosecutor Rebecca Mangold questioned Robert Browning, including one clip from Oct. 22, 2016, and another from Jan. 11, 2017. Mangold played passages for the jury of Trump denying different women's claims about him − though the videos didn't make clear what allegations he was denying.

"I have no idea who these women are," Trump said in one clip.

Trump also said:

  • "The stories are total fiction. They're 100% made up. They never happened."
  • "Fortunately we have the microphone."
  • "These are lies being pushed by the media and the Clinton campaign."
  • "I don't know who these people are."

Trump also said he's been advised not to talk about it, but he feels he has to. And he said claims about him were completely "fabricated."

– Aysha Bagchi

Evidence that Trump had a guilty mind can't come in, judge rules. Other evidence permitted

Before Browning, the C-SPAN executive, began his testimony, Judge Merchan ruled that prosecutors may not bring in evidence designed to show Trump was exhibiting consciousness of his own guilt. The prosecution argued Trump's defense team opened the door to that alleged evidence during opening statements.

However, Merchan said prosecutors may introduce evidence designed to:

  • Offset the defense's claim that Daniels and Cohen are benefiting from their willingness to testify, and
  • Explain why Daniels and Cohen both initially denied certain facts.

– Aysha Bagchi

C-SPAN executive called to testify

The prosecution has called Robert Browning, an executive director of C-SPAN's archives to the stand. He said he has never testified in a legal proceeding before and confesses he's a little nervous. Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold is asking him questions.

– Aysha Bagchi

Evidence of Trump attacks on Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen? Judge to rule on what jury can hear

Before a short court break, prosecutor Matthew Colangelo argued that Trump's defense lawyers opened the door to evidence of his attacks on p*rn star Stormy Daniels and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen through comments they made during opening statements. Colangelo noted in particular a comment about Daniels benefiting from the case through a book and a documentary.

Colangelo said his team wants to show, for example, how Trump's public statements about Cohen changed after Cohen started cooperating with prosecutors, with Trump earlier saying Cohen wasn't the type of person to flip, but afterwards attacking him. They also want to present evidence that Daniels' and Cohen's cooperation with law enforcement has harmed them more than it's helped them.

The prosecutor said evidence should be allowed in for three separate purposes:

  • To offset the defense's claim that Daniels and Cohen are benefiting from their willingness to testify;
  • To explain why Daniels and Cohen both initially denied certain facts; and
  • To show Trump was exhibiting consciousness of his own guilt.

Trump defense lawyer Todd Blanche pushed back, saying Trump wasn't showing consciousness of guilt about the indictment in this case when he was speaking about Cohen in relation to crimes Trump was never charged with. The risk that the jury will hear that and use it for an improper purpose "is huge," Blanche said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump defense opened the door to potentially damaging testimony, prosecutor says

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (6)

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo is now arguing Trump's defense team opened the door in their opening statement to prosecutors bringing in broader evidence and testimony than Judge Merchan previously authorized. The judge has announced a short break.

– Aysha Bagchi

'Shady stuff' text message: Will the jury see it?

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass and defense lawyer Todd Blanche made arguments to Judge Juan Merchan over whether potential evidence might prejudice the jury against Trump. Steinglass argued prosecutors should be able to show certain text messages to the jury that the defense wants kept out of the trial. One text, according to Blanche, said certain "shady (stuff) is going on."

Merchan said he will rule on the issue after a court break.

– Aysha Bagchi

Cohen banker Gary Farro's testimony concludes

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche ended his cross-examination of Farro, and after very brief further questioning by the prosecution and defense, Farro was allowed to leave the witness stand.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump lawyer laying groundwork for claiming Trump was ignorant?

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche got banker Gary Farro to confirm that nothing about how an account Michael Cohen opened in October of 2016 raised a red flag for Farro. Blanche also got Farro to confirm he has never spoken with Donald Trump himself.

That may be groundwork for the defense team to later argue to the jury that the banker saw no red flags at the time, so why would Trump?

– Aysha Bagchi

Farro says he wouldn't have knowingly assisted with shell company for Cohen

Farro testified that, if a client said he was opening a shell company that didn't have a business behind it, Farro generally wouldn't have assisted the client. The exception he noted is an LLC for owning a home or yacht or air craft, where the purpose of the LLC would be to maintain anonymity since a mortgage would become a public record.

Prosecutors say the LLC Michael Cohen opened in October of 2016 was a shell company for wiring hush money to p*rn star Stormy Daniels.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump condemns college protestors; defends people involved in Jan. 6

In pre-trial remarks this morning, Trump combined his attacks on the Israel-Hamas protesters at colleges with sympathy for the pro-Trump rioters of Jan. 6, 2021.

The former president questioned whether the kinds of protesters who took over a building at Columba University will be prosecuted like the Jan. 6 defendants have been.

"I wonder if that's going to the the same kind of treatment they gave J6," Trump said.

In a Time magazine interview published earlier in the day, Trump again said he would consider pardons for J6 defendants.

-David Jackson

Farro says Cohen's claims about new LLC didn't raise alarm bells

Gary Farro testified that Michael Cohen's explanation for why he was opening a new LLC didn't raise alarm bells for Farro. Cohen said he was opening the LLC to collect fees for investment consulting work he did for real estate deals, according to a document shown in court.

Prosecutors say the real purpose of the LLC was to wire $130,000 in hush money to p*rn star Stormy Daniels, to keep her story of having sex with Trump quiet in the run-up to the 2016 election.

– Aysha Bagchi

Farro confirms Michael Cohen can be "aggressive guy"

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche asked Farro if he believes Michael Cohen is an "aggressive guy," a "fast speaker," and someone who's not easy to work with if you can't convey that not everything can get done as quickly as the client wants. Farro confirmed he thought that was fair to say.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche begins cross-examining Cohen banker

Trump defense lawyer Todd Blanche has begun cross-examining Michael Cohen's 2016 banker, Gary Farro.

– Aysha Bagchi

p*rn star money transfer might not have been approved by bank, Farro testifies

Gary Farro, Michael Cohen's banker in 2016, said if Cohen had indicated his wire transfer was a payment to an adult film star, there would "definitely" have been "enhanced due diligence" by the bank. Farro added that a p*rn star's involvement would "certainly" have delayed the transaction," and it's possible the bank wouldn't have approved the wire transfer at all out of reputation concerns.

– Aysha Bagchi

Cohen gained advantage by not indicating money transfer was for political candidate, Farro testifies

Gary Farro, Michael Cohen's banker in 2016, testified that all money wire transfers had to be approved by the bank, and the bank's process would have been different if Cohen had indicated he was transferring money on behalf of a political candidate. There would have been additional due diligence issues that could have delayed things, Farro said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Michael Cohen asked to transfer $131,000, according to documents

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold is taking Gary Farro through documents showing Michael Cohen sought $131,000 from a home equity line of credit, and to have the money transferred.

The details match allegations prosecutors made in an early "statement of facts" in the case, where they alleged Cohen opened a bank account in Manhattan in the name of a shell company that was created to send p*rn star Stormy Daniels hush money. Cohen transferred $131,000 from his personal home equity line of credit into the bank account, and then wired $130,000 to Daniels' lawyer, according to the allegations.

– Aysha Bagchi

Donald Trump can attend son Barron Trump's high school graduation, judge says

Judge Juan Merchan said former President Donald Trump will be able to attend his son Barron's high school graduation on May 17th. The judge noted the jury was picked pretty quickly in the trial.

The judge also addressed a request from the defense for a day off on June 3rd, saying if the jury is deliberating at that point, there could be a challenge, but if they're not deliberating, he thought that would be fine as well.

– Aysha Bagchi

2016 banker for Michael Cohen, Gary Farro, testifying

Gary Farro, who was Michael Cohen's banker in 2016, is testifying. Farro began his testimony on Friday. Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold is asking him to confirm details in documents about Cohen setting up a limited liability company, ESSENTIAL CONSULTANTS LLC.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump violated gag order nine times, judge rules

Judge Merchan said he has determined Trump violated a gag order in the case nine out of ten times alleged by the prosecution. Trump will be fined $1,000 for each violation. The judge said he is issuing a written decision that will provide more details.

The prosecution has alleged Trump violated the gag order another four times, in addition to those earlier allegations, that weren't addressed by the judge. There will be a hearing later this week to address those allegations.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump: I'd rather be in Georgia

Donald Trump ran down a list of issues in brief comments to reporters before entering the courtroom.

He criticized the Israel-Hamas protests at Columbia University and other colleges, complained about the temperature in the courtroom "icebox," and again lamented that he cannot be on the campaign trail while he is sitting in court.

"I'd much rather be in Georgia," Trump said.

He also urged listeners to look at his interview in Time magazine in which he outlined his plans for another term in the White House. Trump also again criticized the judge and the hush money case in general.

-David Jackson

Trump enters the courtroom with son, Eric

Former President Donald Trump entered the courtroom for Day 9 of his criminal trial at 9:26 a.m. EST. His entrance brought something new today: a Trump family member. Eric Trump is standing in the front bench behind Trump's defense table. He turned to scan reporters behind him and smiled and nodded at some. His father has just turned and is talking to his son ahead of today's proceedings.

– Aysha Bagchi

Prosecutors arrive for Day 9 of trial

The prosecution team entered the courtroom at 9:19 a.m. EST. We are still waiting for the defense team and the judge.

– Aysha Bagchi

Donald Trump does Michigan TV before heading to court

First things first: Just before motorcading to the New York courthouse, Trump did an interview with a Michigan television outlet.

The former president holds a campaign rally Wednesday in Freeland, Mich., near Saginaw, a swing area in a pivotal state in this year's presidential election.

Trump aide Margo Martin posted a picture of Trump during the interview with a Michigan outlet that was not identified.

-David Jackson

Trump Media stock price

At close on April 29, Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. shares rose to $46.69, up 12.4% from the previous close.

What is Trump on trial for?

Donald Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors say Trump falsely labeled the purpose of checks to Michael Cohen in order to cover up a conspiracy to unlawfully interfere with the 2016 presidential election. They say a $130,000 hush money payment from Cohen to p*rn star Stormy Daniels was authorized by Trump and violated federal campaign finance laws.

Daniels has claimed she and Trump had sex in 2006, while the two were discussing Trump potentially casting her on a version of his TV show, "The Apprentice." Trump denies her claim, and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Aysha Bagchi

Who is Gary Farro?

Gary Farro, who began testifying on Friday, is a banker. He said he was assigned Michael Cohenas a client in 2015, when he was a senior managing director at First Republic Bank.

In October of 2016, Cohen asked Farro to help him open an account "immediately" for a new limited liability company, according to Farro's Friday testimony. Prosecutors have alleged Cohen opened a bank account that month in the name of a shell company he created in order to pay Daniels the $130,000 hush money.

– Aysha Bagchi

What happens if Trump is found guilty?

Trump could theoretically face decades in prison if convicted on all counts, although most experts say that's highly unlikely. Instead, he's probably facing a sentence that ranges from merely probation to some jail or prison time that wouldn't exceed four years, according to several legal expects who spoke to USA TODAY.– Aysha Bagchi

Trump trial Tuesday recap: Witness alleges Michael Cohen was late on hush money payment (2024)

FAQs

Did Michael Cohen lose his law license? ›

In his final moments being questioned by prosecutors, Cohen testified that as a result of telling the truth about Trump, “my entire life has been turned upside down." Cohen said his decision to speak out resulted in him losing his law license, his businesses and his financial security.

Was Michael Cohen charged with a felony? ›

He practiced law at the firm for about a year before joining The Trump Organization. Following his 2018 felony convictions, Cohen was disbarred in New York.

What is Michael Cohen accused of? ›

Cohen served prison time after pleading guilty to various federal charges, including lying to Congress and a bank and engaging in campaign finance violations related to the hush money scheme.

What is Michael Cohen's net worth? ›

But his association with Mr Trump has also cost Cohen dearly. A slew of legal problems, time in prison and his disbarment from practising law have all contributed to his wealth dwindling. Today, his net worth is estimated to now stand at less than $1m.

Is Michael Cohen married? ›

Michael Cohen married Laura Shusterman in 1994.

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