After hearing testimony by porn star in New York case, Donald Trump receives reprieve

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 08, 2024 IST

Donald Trump

New York, May 8: After having been made to sit through a salacious narrative by a porn star in a court here about her alleged tryst with him, former President Donald Trump received a reprieve in the secret document litigation in Florida where the judge indefinitely postponed the case.

The trial in the Florida case -- or a verdict in it -- may be delayed beyond the November election.

The judge in the case, Aileen M. Cannon, who was appointed to the bench by Trump, cited on Tuesday the complicated nature of the case accusing him of mishandling top secret documents that he allegedly retained illegally after leaving office.

She said that it would not be proper for the court to set a date for the trial because of "the myriad and interconnected" matters that include pretrial motions by Trump's lawyers and dealing with secret documents as the trial proceeds.

Of the four criminal cases against him, only the New York case accusing him of falsifying business records to cover up payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged that she had a sexual encounter with him while his current wife Ivana was pregnant, has gotten underway.

Trump has denied that he had sex with Daniels.

Prosecutors say that he arranged the payment before the 2016 election because he was afraid it would create a scandal during the campaign.

Daniels took the witness stand on Tuesday and sprinkled her testimony with such tawdry details like her undressing, the "missionary position" they used on the hotel bed during the alleged tryst, Trump not wearing a condom, his saying afterward it was "great", and before that she reminded him of his daughter, hitting him with a rolled-up magazine with him on the cover, and about her having her period during another encounter.

As Daniels babbled on, Judge Juan Merchan said some of it was "unnecessary narrative".

He told the prosecution lawyer, who had made her their witness, to ensure that Daniels "stays focused on the question, gives the answer and does not give any unnecessary narrative".

Trump was "cursing audibly" and "shaking his visibly" during her testimony, the judge observed his lawyers and asked them to request him to tone down his behaviour as it could be seen as intimidating the witness and affect the jurors,

Trump's lawyers asked the judge to declare a mistrial because Daniels' testimony was "extraordinarily prejudicial" and it constituted a "high risk" of turning the jury's attention away from the substance of the case.

While Merchan denied the request, it could open the way for Trump's lawyers to appeal to higher courts introducing delays.

During the cross-examination, Trump's lawyers picked on contradictions between her testimony and her book, and her statements to impugn her credibility.

Trump told reporters after the day's proceedings ended that it was a "very revealing day in court" and asserted that the case was falling apart.

The former President, who is given to making outrageous statements, has already earned the wrath of Merchan for defying his orders and commenting about his daughter, witnesses, and others linked to the case in a manner that could prejudice the case.

He imposed a fine of $1,000 on Monday for violating the gag order by telling an interviewer that the jurors were mostly Democrats and it was unfair and threatened him with the possibility of jail for future violations.

New York's Mayor Eric Adams said that he had discussed the possibility of Trump being sent to the city's notorious jail, Riker's Island, and they were prepared for it.

Merchan had imposed fines of $9,000 last week for earlier infractions.

Of the other cases, the one accusing him of conspiring to change the election results in Georgia is caught up in a controversy over the prosecutor having an affair with one of the lawyers she hired with a payment of $650,000 to help prosecute the case even though he did not have experience in the matter.

The federal case in Washington is centered on the riots when his supporters invaded the Capitol in January 2021 and he is charged with trying to prevent the US Congress from certifying the election of President Joe Biden.

That case is held up while the Supreme Court considers an appeal from Trump that he has presidential immunity from those charges.

(IANS)

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