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Judge Denies Trump’s Bid to Block Testimony from Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels

Judge Rejects Trump’s Request to Prevent Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels Testimony

On Monday, a judge delivered a significant blow to former President Donald Trump’s legal strategy by rejecting his plea to bar crucial witnesses from testifying in his hush-money case. This decision paves the way for Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels to take the stand.

Judge Juan Merchan’s ruling flatly denied Trump’s request to block evidence provided by Cohen, Daniels, and other key prosecution witnesses. Merchan emphasized that their testimonies hold substantial probative value.

At the core of the case lie accusations that Trump paid former adult film star Stormy Daniels to conceal an alleged sexual encounter during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The testimony of Cohen, Trump’s ex-personal attorney, holds particular significance. Cohen, who admitted guilt in 2018 to eight charges, including campaign finance law violations, is crucial. He previously stated in a plea deal during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that Trump allegedly instructed him to pay off Stormy Daniels “to influence the election.”


Trump (Credits: Free Malaysia Today)

Cohen purportedly disbursed $130,000 on the eve of the 2016 election to Daniels—whose real name is Stephanie Clifford—to maintain silence about an affair she claims occurred with Trump 17 years earlier. Trump allegedly orchestrated the reimbursement’s accounting to resemble ongoing legal fees paid in monthly installments in 2017.

Trump contended that Cohen lacks credibility and has a propensity for perjury, seeking to disqualify him from testifying.

“Michael Cohen is a liar,” Trump was quoted by the judge as saying. “He recently committed perjury, on the stand and under oath, at a civil trial involving President Trump. If his public statements are any indication, he plans to do so again at this criminal trial.”

However, the judge noted that Trump failed to substantiate Cohen’s alleged perjury.

“This Court has been unable to locate any treatise, statute, or holding from courts in this jurisdiction, or others, that supports Defendant’s rationale that a prosecution witness should be kept off the witness stand because his credibility has been previously called into question,” the judge remarked.

Merchan also dismissed Trump’s objections to using the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape as evidence. The tape, leaked in 2005, features Trump suggesting he could engage in unwanted physical contact with women due to his fame.

In March 2023, progressive Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg leveled an indictment against Trump, alleging the payment of hush money to Daniels constituted falsification of business records.

The hush-money trial, initially slated for March 25, was postponed by Merchan until at least mid-April pending a review of newly delivered documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

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