Stormy Daniels opened up about a sex story in a hush money case

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Trump attorney Susan Necheles questions Stormy Daniels on May 9, 2024.

Artist: Jane Rosenberg

This is news development. Check back for updates throughout the day.

The former Playboy model, who allegedly had an extramarital affair with Donald Trump, will not be called to testify by prosecutors, a lawyer for the former president announced Thursday.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office told Trump attorney Todd Blanche that they “no longer” plan to summon the ex-model, Karen McDougal, to stand trial in New York’s criminal hush money trial. Blanche told Judge Juan Merchan after jurors were dismissed for the day.

Blanche gave no reason for the apparent reversal by prosecutors, who cite a $150,000 payment to McDougal by a tabloid publisher in their case accusing Trump of falsifying company records.

Blanche then asked Merchan to partially lift the gag order on Trump so he could speak about porn star Stormy Daniels, a key witness in the case who finished testifying earlier Thursday.

Merchan immediately denied the request.

On her second day of testimony, Daniels said publicly discussing her story about sex with former President Donald Trump has been detrimental to her life.

“Negative,” Daniels testified when a prosecutor asked whether telling the truth about Trump was a “net positive” or “net negative” for her.

Daniels gave the blunt answer shortly before she was dismissed from Trump’s criminal hush-money trial after two days on the witness stand at Manhattan Supreme Court.

Daniels’ second day of testimony turned combative at times under cross-examination by Trump attorney Susan Necheles, who questioned the adult film star about her alleged 2006 one-night stand with the then-married businessman.

The claim is crucial to District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case, which centers on a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels from Trump’s then-personal attorney Michael Cohen shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

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Daniels at one point mocked Necheles’ suggestion that she might someday tell the world about sex with the former president.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments related to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 9, 2024.

Angela Weiss | Reuters

“Even though you had agreed not to discuss this so-called story and you had received a lot of money for that agreement, you then decided that you wanted to publicly say that you had sex with Donald Trump,” Necheles said.

Daniels shot back: “No one would ever want to say that publicly.”

At another point, Necheles told Daniels, “You have a lot of experience creating fake stories about sex.”

Daniels responded, “Wow. I wouldn’t put it that way. The sex in the movies is very real, just like what happened to me in that room.”

She added that if her claim that she had slept with Trump were not true, “I would have written it a lot better.”

After Daniels left court, prosecutors called Rebecca Manochio, the former assistant to ex-Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.

Manochio, who still works as a junior bookkeeper for the company, briefly testified about a series of Trump Organization invoices from 2017.

Prosecutors then called Tracey Menzies, a senior vice president at HarperCollins Book Publishing, to the witness stand. Menzies read passages from Trump and Bill Zanker’s 2008 book “Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life.”

GOP senator berates judge’s daughter and district attorney’s wife outside court

While the trial was underway, Senator Rick Scott appeared outside the courthouse to criticize the judge’s daughter and Bragg’s wife.

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“Let’s see who’s involved in this,” said the Florida Republican, who entered the courtroom with Trump on Thursday morning.

“The lead prosecutor was a No. 3 person for Biden – Biden’s Justice Department. The judge’s daughter is a political operative and raises money for the Democrats. The wife of the chief prosecutor is a major donor to Democrats and I think Biden,” he said.

Trump is barred by a gag order from speaking about all three of these people, in addition to witnesses, jurors, court staff and their families. The silence order also prohibits Trump from “directing others to make public statements” about those parties.

“So this is just a bunch of Democrats saying, ‘We want to make sure Donald Trump can’t talk,’” Scott said.

When asked if Scott appeared at the trial because of Trump’s gag order, the senator said, “No, I’m tired of it.”

Merchan has held Trump in contempt of court for violating his gag order 10 times. On Monday, the judge warned Trump that he will be jailed if he continues to violate court orders.

Trump gets mad at Daniels

Daniels’ first day of testimony drew an angry response from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

On Tuesday, Merchan warned Trump’s lawyers that the former president should stop cursing and shaking his head during Daniels’ testimony because he could intimidate her or influence the jury.

Stormy Daniels arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 9, 2024.

Michael M Santiago | Getty Images

“I understand your client is upset at this point, but he is swearing audibly and he is visually shaking his head and that is contemptuous,” Merchan said during a pause in Daniels’ testimony.

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“It has the potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that,” Merchan said, according to a court transcript shared Tuesday night. ‘You have to talk to him. I won’t tolerate that.’

The judge gave that warning at the hearing, out of earshot of reporters in the courtroom, because he said he did not want to “embarrass” Trump.

Read more about Trump’s hush money lawsuit

The former president’s tantrums came as Daniels testified — in vivid detail — about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, shortly after she met him at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels. Prosecutors say the money was part of an illegal scheme to benefit Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Cohen paid Daniels for her silence about the alleged sex less than two weeks before that election. Trump reimbursed Cohen after he became president.

The hush money case, often considered the least serious of the four criminal charges Trump faces, is increasingly likely to be the only one to go to trial before the Nov. 5 presidential election.

On Wednesday, a Georgia appeals court may have postponed a case against Trump in state-level elections by agreeing to his request to disqualify his accuser, District Attorney Fani Willis.

On Tuesday evening, federal Judge Aileen Cannon postponed Trump’s trial indefinitely on charges that he illegally took classified documents and then concealed them from authorities.

A federal election interference case against Trump in Washington, D.C., meanwhile, has been put on hold while the Supreme Court examines whether Trump is immune from the charges because he was president at the time the alleged crimes occurred.

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