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New York Times Reports David Pecker to Be Initial Witness in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

David Pecker (Credits: CNN)

Magazine publisher David Pecker is set to be the inaugural witness in the upcoming criminal trial involving former President Trump, marking the commencement of the first criminal trial of a former president, as reported by The New York Times on Sunday.

The trial revolves around payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, with prosecutors alleging that Trump illicitly orchestrated the payments in the days leading up to the 2016 election to conceal reports of an alleged prior affair.

Pecker, who served as the publisher of the National Enquirer at the time, confessed to orchestrating a “catch-and-kill” scheme to aid Trump’s 2016 election bid. This unethical tactic involved paying sources to suppress negative stories about a subject, in this instance, Trump.

Donald Trump (Credits: CBC)

Under this scheme, Pecker’s media company paid $150,000 to actress Karen McDougal, who also claimed to have had an affair with Trump around the same time as the payments to Daniels. The company then deliberately withheld McDougal’s story until after the election.

According to a source familiar with the prosecutors’ strategy, Pecker’s testimony is anticipated to focus on his discussions with Trump regarding the hush money payments.

Other prominent witnesses expected to testify include former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, who facilitated the payments to Daniels, Daniels herself, and former aide Hope Hicks, among others.

Donald Trump (Credits: Vogue)

It remains uncertain whether the former president will testify in his defense. Trump has denounced the case as a politically motivated distraction from the upcoming 2024 election and has pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying business records.

The trial is projected to span approximately six weeks.

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