Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (2024)

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8:59 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (1)

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand Tuesday in Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. Its unclear if she will be called first thing Tuesday morning.

The adult-film star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 – the “hush money” payment – to keep her from going public before the 2016 election about her claim that she had an affair with Trump in 2006.

The hush money payment on its own is not a crime. Michael Cohen sent the payment to a trust for Daniels’ then-lawyer Keith Davidson.

It’s the payments Trump made to Cohen, which prosecutors allege was reimbursem*nt for paying off the adult-film star ahead of the election, that are at the heart of the 34 charges of falsifying business records.

CNN's Jeremy Herb, Lauren del Valle and Kara Scannell contributed reporting to this post.

8:45 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Trump is on his way to court

Former President Donald Trump is en route to the Manhattan courthouse to attend his criminal hush money trial.

8:43 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Trump's hush money trial is in its 4th week. Here's what has happened so far in the proceedings

We are in the fourth week of court proceedings in Donald Trump's historic hush money criminal trial.

To refresh your memory, here are the key moments and witnesses from the trial so far:

April 15: Trial began with jury selection.

April 19: A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates was selected.

April 22: The prosecution and defense made their opening statements. Former tabloid boss David Pecker was called to testify.

April 23: Judge Juan Merchan held a Sandoval hearing for Trump's alleged gag order violations, but reserved his decision.

April 25: While Trump sat in the Manhattan courtroom, the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., heard arguments on the matter of his immunity in special counsel Jack Smith's election subversion case against him.

April 26: Pecker's direct questioning and cross-examination concluded. Trump's former longtime assistant Rhona Graff was called to testify briefly. Finally, Michael Cohen's former banker Gary Farro testified.

April 30: Farro's testimony concluded. Prosecutors then called Dr. Robert Browning, the executive director of C-SPAN archives, and Philip Thompson who works for a court reporting company.Then, Keith Davidson, the former attorney for Daniels and McDougal, took the stand.

May 2: Davidson's testimony concluded. Digital evidence analyst Douglas Daus was called to testify.

May 3: After Daus finished testifying, Georgia Longstreet, a paralegal at the district attorney's office, spoke about reviewing Trump's social media posts for this case. She was followed by Hope Hicks, once a longtime Trump aide. Her highly anticipated testimony was a little less than three hours.

May 6: Prosecutors called two witnesses who worked in accounting in the Trump Organization: Jeffrey McConney, a former Trump Org. controller, and Deborah Tarasoff, an accounts payable supervisor.

Read a full timeline of key moments here.

8:31 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Witnesses will continue to testify today. Read up on the stages of Trump's criminal trial

From CNN's Lauren del Valle,Jhasua RazoandGillian Roberts

Former President Donald Trump’s first criminal trialis expected to take six to eight weeks, from start to finish.

Where we are in the trial: Prosecutors are presenting evidence through witness testimony and exhibits. Defense attorneys can cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and typically aim to discredit their testimony.

Prosecutorstold Judge Juan Merchan on Monday that they have roughlytwoweeksleft of testimony in their case.

To better understand what’s going on, here are the steps of a criminal trial.

Read up on the stages of the proceedings here.

8:22 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Analysis: Trump may be one of the most famous men in the world — but in court, the judge has authority

From CNN's Stephen Collinson

Donald Trump and the judge presiding over his hush money trial are staring each other down with profound implications for the former president, the coming election and the rule of law in the United States.

Juan Merchan is now closer than any judge in American history to putting an ex-president behind bars afterlaying down a red linehe says he may have no choice but to enforce if Trump does not start obeying the rules.

Merchan on Monday found Trump had yet again violated a gag order that precludes attacks on witnesses, the jury and others, days after he fined him $1,000 each for nine previous transgressions. But he noted that the defendant wasn’t getting the message and warned he would have to escalate if necessary and appropriate in the future, as much as he sees the option as a “last resort.”

The judge’s admonition to Trump, who was seated at the defense table in court, represented an extraordinary reversal of a power dynamic for a former president — a member of an exclusive club that draws ubiquitous deference for life. Trump may be the most famous man in the world and dominate every room he enters, but Merchan is trying to send a message that, in his court, he is the sole source of authority.

Read more about the dilemma Trump faces over whether he will risk jail for a political point.

8:19 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

You can't actually see Trump from the witness stand, witness tells CNN

From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (2)

A witness testifying in Donald Trump's criminal trial was surprised to learn one thing when they entered the courtroom in Manhattan: You can't actually see the former president from the witness stand.

Given the placement of the witness stand, where 12 jurors are seated to the person's left, the judge's bench extends out enough that it obstructs their view of Trump, unless the individual were to lean forward and exaggerate their posture. The witness has a clear view of whichever member of Trump's defense team is sitting in the first chair at their table, but not the defendant himself.

Several of the witnesses have declined to look in Trump's direction as they testified, CNN reporters in the room have observed. Others have looked over as they make their way in and out of the courtroom, where they pass behind the defense table.

8:02 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Judge ruled Trump violated his gag order again and warned he would put Trump in jail if he didn't stop

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (3)

Judge Juan Merchan began Monday’s session by announcing he found Trump in contempt for violating his gag order a 10th time, after fining him last week for nine violations cited by prosecutors. Each violation came with a $1,000 fine, the maximum allowed under New York law.

While only fining Trump for one violation Monday, the judge felt it was enough to issue a sharp warning: He would put Trump in jail if he didn’t stop.

“Mr. Trump, it’s important to understand that the last thing I want to do is to put you in jail,” Merchan told Trump, adding he was “aware of the broader implications of such a sanction. The magnitude of such a decision is not one-sided.” But the judge said his job was to “protect the dignity of the judicial system and compel respect.”

“As much as I do not want to impose a jail sanction, and I have done everything I can to avoid doing so, I want you to understand that I will, if necessary and appropriate,” Merchan said.

CNN legal analyst Karen Friedman Agnifilo said Merchan could put Trump in jail for a short amount of time, increasing that amount of time if he continues to breach the gag order.

“He has several options: for example, he could put him in for a few hours. There is a holding cell behind the court room," she said. “He could put him in for the day. He could put him in over lunch. He could do it like that, as a graduated step towards putting him in overnight.”

7:56 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Key takeaways from Day 12 of Donald Trump's hush money trial

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Lauren del Valle and Kara Scannell

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (4)

Here are the takeaways from what happened Monday in Trump's trial:

Judge threatens to jail Trump: Judge Juan Merchan began Monday’s session by announcing he found Trump in contempt for violating his gag order a 10th time, after fining him last week for nine violations cited by prosecutors. Each violation came with a $1,000 fine, the maximum allowed under New York law. While only fining Trump for one violation Monday, the judge felt it was enough to issue a sharp warning: He would put Trump in jail if he didn’t stop. “Mr. Trump, it’s important to understand that the last thing I want to do is to put you in jail,” Merchan told Trump.

The judge continued saying that he was “aware of the broader implications of such a sanction. The magnitude of such a decision is not one-sided.” But the judge said his job was to “protect the dignity of the judicial system and compel respect.”

Jurors see checks, invoices and books at heart of charges: Monday’s testimony from two witnesses was important because jurors saw documents prosecutors say were falsified so Cohen could be repaid for the hush money payment to Daniels. Former Trump Org. controller Jeffrey McConney testified to the $35,000 invoices he processed to Cohen as a reimbursem*nt for the $130,000 hush money payment. Month-by-month, McConney confirmed that he received an email that contained Cohen’s invoice for $35,000, which the Trump Org. claimed were “legal expenses.”

He also confirmed he sent the invoice to Trump Org. accounts payable employee Deborah Tarasoff to cut the check. Tarasoff later testified that she cut checks from Trump’s personal account and sent them to Washington, DC, to be signed by Trump at the White House. Those records were tied to the 34 counts against Trump in the indictment, which accused Trump of having “made and caused a false entry in the business records of an enterprise,” through the checks, invoices, vouchers and ledger entries used to repay Cohen.

The testimony from McConney and Tarasoff may have been drier than what jurors learned about the world of tabloid magazines and celebrity scandals from David Pecker and Keith Davidson – but it’s what jurors need to hear as they consider Trump’s fate.

Read all the takeaways here

7:57 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Trump is also facing charges in 3 other criminal cases

From CNN’s Devan Cole, Amy O'Kruk and Curt Merrill

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (5)

The hush money criminal trial against former President Donald Trump is one offour criminal caseshe faces while juggling his presidential campaign.

The former president faces at least88 chargesover the four criminal indictments in Georgia, New York, Washington, DC, and Florida. Trump has pleaded not guilty to every charge in these cases.

Here's a recap of each case:

  • Hush money:Trump was first indicted in March 2023 by the Manhattan district attorney on state charges related to a hush-money payment to an adult film star in 2016. Prosecutors allege Trump was part of an illegal conspiracy tounderminethe integrity of the 2016 election. Further, they allege he was part of an unlawful plan to suppress negative information, including the $130,000 payment.
  • Classified documents:Trump was indicted in June 2023 by a federal grand jury in Miami for taking classified national defense documents from the White House after he left office and resisting the government’s attempts to retrieve the materials.The National Archives said in early 2022 that at least 15 boxes of White House records were recovered from the estate, includingsome that were classified. The charges were brought by special counsel Jack Smith.
  • Federal election interference:Smith separately charged the former president last August with four crimes over his efforts to reverse the 2020 election results. The indictment alleges Trump and a co-conspirator "attempted to exploit the violence and chaos at the Capitol by calling lawmakers to convince them ... to delay the certification" of the election. That case is currently on holdas the Supreme Courtweighs Trump’s claims of presidential immunity in the matter. The court held a hearing on the issue of immunity in late April. Every day the court doesn’t issue a decision will play into Trump’s strategy of delay, jeopardizing the likelihood that Smith can bring his case to trial before the November election.
  • Fulton County:State prosecutors in Georgia brought a similar election subversion case against Trump and others. An Atlanta-based grand jury on August 14, 2023, indicted Trump and 18 others on state charges stemming from their alleged efforts to overturn the former president’s 2020 electoral defeat. A trial date has not yet been set in that case.

Read more aboutthe four criminal casesTrump faces.

Prosecutors are expected to call Stormy Daniels to the stand today (2024)

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