Stormy Daniels testifies at Donald Trump’s trial in New York

Former porn star Stormy Daniels was sworn in and began testifying Tuesday against Donald Trump at the criminal trial of the former President of the United States in New York, in which she is one of the main figures.

The 45-year-old actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, entered the crowded Manhattan courtroom mid-morning and sat in the witness seat, to the left of the jurors and facing of Donald Trump.

A key witness in the case, Stormy Daniels received $130,000 at the end of the 2016 presidential campaign to keep quiet about a sexual relationship she claimed to have had with Donald Trump in 2006, a payment hidden at the center of the case.

She would probably have to testify for several hours before the former Republican president, who accuses her of being a liar.

Grim-faced, Donald Trump, 77, entered the courtroom a little before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, six months before the next presidential election, where he dreams of revenge against the outgoing Joe Biden.

“We wish to renew our objection to the fact that [Stormy Daniels] testify about any sexual act,” argued the defendant’s lawyer. “It’s excessively damaging,” she added.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger replied that the details could be left out, but that “it is important to establish that there was a sexual act and what she felt.”

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Since the payment was revealed by the Wall Street Journal in January 2018, in the middle of Donald Trump’s presidential mandate, the latter always denied a relationship with the former American pornographic film star. He attacked her credibility and called her “horse face.”

The money was paid by the billionaire’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, via a shell company. He was reimbursed in 2017 by Donald Trump’s business group, the Trump Organization, for expenses recorded as “legal fees” which are at the center of the lawsuits.

Since April 15, the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election has appeared before a jury for 34 falsifications of accounting documents, which could earn him the first criminal conviction of a former president of the United States and, in theory, a sentence of prison.

Even if convicted, he could still run on November 5 against Joe Biden.

The payment itself is not disputed, but Donald Trump’s lawyers deny any criminal wrongdoing.

A few hours earlier Tuesday, a post on Donald Trump’s account on his Truth Social network was deleted. The former President of the United States complained, without naming him, about the witness expected on Tuesday, protesting the short time available to his lawyers to prepare for this moment.

The judge banned Donald Trump from publicly attacking witnesses or jurors outside the courtroom and has already imposed ten fines of $1,000, the maximum amount, for as many violations of this ban. On Monday, he threatened for the second time to incarcerate him if he did it again.

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