05/28/2024

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Left: Former President Donald Trump, right, and his attorney Emil Bove watch a video screen of Stormy Daniels testifying in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)/ Right: Michael Cohen arrives at New York Supreme Court Oct. 25, 2023, in New York. AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura.

‘It’s becoming a problem every single day:’ Trump hush-money judge tells prosecutors Cohen should ‘refrain’ from talking about trial on TikTok

Left: Former President Donald Trump, right, and his attorney Emil Bove watch a video screen of Stormy Daniels testifying in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP.) Right: Michael Cohen arrives at New York Supreme Court Oct. 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura.)

Donald Trump‘s criminal hush-money and election interference trial continues apace in New York where the former president faces dozens of felony counts alleging he falsified records to cover-up a hush-money payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

On Monday, Trump’s onetime “fixer” Michael Cohen is expected to testify, but before that gets off the ground, from the courtroom Friday, according to MSNBC, Trump’s lawyers took issue with Cohen’s continual appearances on TikTok.

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    Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche argued “It’s becoming a problem every single day” and that the defense is frustrated that Cohen has been able to “keep talking” every day but Trump is under a gag order.

    The terms of that gag order are narrow and only bar him from attacking potential witnesses and participants in the trial but not the judge. Prosecutors told Judge Juan Merchan they have tried to get Cohen to stop but can’t control him.

    Merchan remarked: “I would direct the people to communicate to Mr. Cohen that the judge is asking him to refrain from communicating about this case.”

    Earlier this week, Merchan warned Trump he would sanction him with jail but that wasn’t the first time he made such a remark.

    Meanwhile, after a raucous rollout of testimony by Daniels this week where she identified him as the beneficiary of a nondisclosure agreement, reports from the courtroom by various other media outlets described notable testimony from Madeline Westerhout, a onetime executive assistant to Trump at the White House.

    Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn, right, is escorted by Madeline Westerhout to a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn, right, is escorted by Madeline Westerhout to a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    As Politico reported in a profile of the aide turned author this week, she was fired from the Trump administration after she spoke to reporters and suggested the president didn’t want to take photographs with his daughter Tiffany Trump because of her appearance, namely, her weight.

    When she first took the stand, Westerhout testified that the Access Hollywood tape stirred up concern among members of the Republican National Committee about whether Trump would need to be replaced “if it came to that.”

    The tape, where the former president is heard coarsely boasted of grabbing women by their genitals and being able to get away with it because he was famous, was recorded in 2005 and recirculated before the 2016 election.

    Westerhout said Thursday, according to the PBS:

    There were conversations about — if it would be — how it would be possible to replace him as a candidate if it came to that.

    But then on Friday, according to the New York Times, on redirect, Westerhout suggested that she didn’t have actual knowledge about the reaction to the tape and claimed she wasn’t working for Trump at that time.

    The former aide, who was reportedly still effusive over her former boss, did tell jurors about arranging a meeting in the Oval Office in 2017 during which Trump and Cohen allegedly discussed the payment to Daniels.

    Westerhout described Trump as “very upset” when the news of the hush-money payment broke in 2018 and described the “whole situation” as “very unpleasant.”

    She said she “knew it would be hurtful to his family,” when speaking to Trump’s lawyer Susan Necheles, The Associated Press reported 

    Stormy Daniels’ testimony, however, may have undercut that for jurors as they weigh whether Trump was in fact more inclined to burying bad press ahead of the election through shady payments and falsified records.

    At the start of trial Friday, the former president attempted to have the trial dismissed but he was denied by Merchan.

    Trump’s lawyers argued that Daniels’ often tawdry testimony was not probative but as ABC News reported, prosecutors told Merchan it was their fault they had “opened the door to this” after Trump’s team attacked Daniels’ credibility when the trial opened.

    “We were extremely mindful of not eliciting too much testimony about the actual act,” prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said.

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    The post ‘It’s becoming a problem every single day:’ Trump hush-money judge tells prosecutors Cohen should ‘refrain’ from talking about trial on TikTok first appeared on Law & Crime.