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At the Trump trial, new standoff over his freedom to attack witnesses and jurors

Photo: Mark Peterson Getty Images via Agence France-Presse Donald Trump returned to his trial in New York on Thursday.

Gregory Walton – Agence France-Presse and Andréa Bambino – Agence France-Presse in New York

Published at 0:00

  • United States

After two campaign meetings, Donald Trump returned Thursday to his trial in New York for hidden payments in 2016 to a former porn actress, who resumed with a new standoff over his attacks against witnesses and jurors.

Before the resumption of the debates, Judge Juan Merchan examined a new round of unbridled statements from the tempestuous Republican billionaire vituperating against one of the key witnesses, his former lawyer turned sworn enemy, Michael Cohen, or against the jurors, whom he described as “95% Democrats” to protest their supposed lack of impartiality towards him.

Prosecutors saw this as further violations of the ban on any invective against jurors or witnesses, ordered by the magistrate to protect them from possible pressure or intimidation.

Donald Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, once again defended the urgency of protecting the Republican presidential candidate's freedom of expression. “This trial is important to voters, he (Donald Trump) answered a question about the trial, we really believe this is political persecution, and the fact is this jurisdiction is 90% Democratic “, he argued.

“The implication [of these remarks] is that the jury is not fair,” he argued. irritated the judge.

The question has become burning, because the magistrate has already sentenced Donald Trump, on Tuesday, for contempt, to the maximum fine, i.e. 9,000 US dollars for nine posts on his Truth Social network or campaign site. Above all, he warned the former President of the United States that he was ready to incarcerate him purely and simply to maintain the good administration of justice, the law providing for up to 30 days in prison.

The judge did not rule immediately.

Arriving at the hearing, Donald Trump, gold tie and navy blue suit, congratulated himself on having been able to campaign the day before “without being at this ridiculous show trial”, which he “calls the Biden trial”. to denounce the supposed involvement of his rival in his legal troubles.


Donald Trump risks in this case the first criminal conviction of a former American president and in theory a prison sentence, a scenario which would tip the presidential campaign into the unknown.

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The former President of the United States is being prosecuted for 34 falsifications of accounting documents which allegedly served to conceal a payment to cover up a potential sex scandal in the home stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, won narrowly against Hillary Clinton.

A sum of $130,000 was paid to former porn star Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, to buy her silence about a relationship sexual encounter that she claimed to have had with him in 2006, when he was already married. A relationship that Donald Trump denies.

The actress's former lawyer, Keith Davidson, continued to testify Thursday behind the scenes of this transaction, carried out directly with the Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

He detailed the steps that led to the signing of a confidentiality contract on October 28, 2016, a few election days, under the pseudonyms of “Peggy Peterson” for Stormy Daniels, and “David Dennison” for Donald Trump.

The money, initially taken from Michael Cohen's personal funds, was paid via a shell company. According to the prosecution, Mr. Cohen was reimbursed in 2017 by Donald Trump's business group, the Trump Organization, for expenses recorded as “legal expenses”, hence the prosecution for falsified accounting documents.< /p>

Keith Davidson was then pushed into the ropes by Donald Trump's lawyer Emil Bove, who likened his activities to “extortion.” The lawyer had to concede that he had been the subject of a federal investigation after negotiating the sale of a “sex tape” to former wrestling star Hulk Hogan.

Michael Cohen, a key prosecution witness, has not yet testified before the jury.

Three years after leaving the White House in chaos, and having recovered from two impeachment proceedings, Donald Trump enters the campaign being indicted in four different cases, including that before the federal courts in Washington for his alleged illegal attempts to 'reverse the results of the presidential election won by Joe Biden in 2020.

But through appeals and procedural questions, the ongoing trial in New York, of a smaller scale, could be the only one tried before the November 5 election.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116