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Trump’s lawyers set to grill David Pecker in hush money trial

The prosecution’s first witness against Donald Trump will return to the stand Friday as defense attorneys try to combat the story he told about how the former president was involved in efforts to to suppress “embarrassing” stories that could have hurt him during the affair. the 2016 campaign.

Testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker marks the end of the second week of Trump’s secret trial.

Since taking the stand Monday, Pecker told jurors that Trump and his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, asked him to be their “eyes and ears” when it came to salacious stories which could harm Trump’s candidacy.

When the cross-examination began Thursday, Trump’s lawyer, Emil Bove, immediately set about undermining Pecker’s credibility, getting him to acknowledge that he had sometimes mixed up dates and that the passage of time could affect his memory.

“There are some gaps, aren’t there?” Because it was a long time ago? » asked Bové.

“Yes,” Pecker replied.

Bove also got Pecker, 72, to acknowledge that it was not unusual for the newspaper to buy stories from sources it did not want printed. Pecker said about half of the stories purchased did not make it to print, although some about celebrities were used as leverage to get other stories from those celebrities.

Pecker testified this week that he participated in efforts to kill three stories that could have damaged Trump’s campaign in 2016. The first involved a doorman who claimed Trump was the father of an illegitimate child. The newspaper paid the doorman $30,000 for his silence, although, Pecker told the court, the claim was later found to be “absolutely 1,000 percent false.”

The second story involved former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had a months-long affair with Trump that began in 2006. Pecker said he believed her account, in part because, he said , Trump told her she was “a good girl.” Pecker ended up paying him $150,000 for the rights to his story, money he said he initially wanted Trump to repay before deciding it could land him in legal trouble if Trump did so.

Trump has denied McDougal’s affair allegations.

Pecker added that in 2017, Trump invited him to the White House, where he thanked him for his help, saying the doorman and McDougal’s stories would have been “embarrassing.”

Pecker testified that he was less involved in the third story, which involved adult film actor Stormy Daniels. Daniels claims she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006, which Trump denies. Pecker said he refused to pay her for her story, but encouraged Cohen to do so.

Pecker told the court that one of his employees, Enquirer editor Dylan Howard, helped negotiate the terms of their eventual $130,000 settlement. Trump later reimbursed Cohen for payments that were considered legal fees, which prosecutors say were a sham.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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