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Stormy Daniels testifies on cash-for-silence transaction amid criminal trial against Donald Trump

Updated on: 10 May,2024 07:08 AM IST  |  New York
AP , PTI |

Did she mean, Necheles asked, that she was running out of time to use the claim to make money?

Stormy Daniels testifies on cash-for-silence transaction amid criminal trial against Donald Trump

Donald Trump. Pic/AFP

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Stormy Daniels testifies on cash-for-silence transaction amid criminal trial against Donald Trump

On Thursday, Donald Trump's defence lawyer criticised Stormy Daniels, the porn actress, for receiving hush money for an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. "Why didn't you do that?" attorney Susan Necheles asked, questioning Daniels' decision to accept $130,000 rather than go public with her story. Daniels explained, "Because we were running out of time." Necheles pressed on, wondering if she meant she was running out of time to profit from the claim. "To get the story out," Daniels responded.

According to the Associated Press, the conversations took place during the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, which is critical to the case against Trump. Prosecutors allege that Trump and his aides illegally attempted to hide embarrassing information in order to affect election outcomes, but Trump denies any involvement. On Thursday, Daniels appeared in court before Trump to testify. His lawyers accused her of being a liar and an extortionist, attempting to use him for money and fame.

During her testimony, Daniels detailed their purported experience. She met Trump at a 2006 golf gathering sponsored by her workplace, an adult film studio. Trump scowled and shook his head as she talked, and the judge even mentioned Trump's "audible cursing" in a sidebar session. Daniels' testimony is pivotal as it's the only criminal case against Trump before the election.

As Daniels negotiated a nondisclosure agreement with Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, she was also in talks with journalists as a "backup" plan. Necheles accused her of refusing to share her story with reporters because she wouldn't get paid. "The better alternative was for you to get money, right?" Necheles asked. Daniels insisted she wanted her story out while protecting her family. "The better alternative was to get my story protected... so that my family didn't get hurt," she replied.

Trump has been charged with deceptive business records related to the hush money payment to Daniels. The prosecutor's argument justifies the payment as a means to prevent further deterioration to Trump's reputation after the never-before-seen 2005 "Access Hollywood" footage surfaced in which he boasted about grabbing women's genitals without their permission. 

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying internal Trump Organization business records. The charges stem from things like invoices and checks that were deemed legal expenses in Trump Organization records. Daniels' testimony and the legal battle highlight the complexities of the case as it unfolds Trump’s list of legal misdemeanours.

(With Inputs from AP)

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