Judge Warns Trump Attorney of Credibility Loss in Hush Money Case

Former media mogul reveals tactics to silence stories

by Zain ul Abedin
Judge Warns Trump Attorney of Credibility Loss in Hush Money Case
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In a striking development during Donald Trump’s landmark hush money trial, Justice Juan Merchan sharply admonished Trump's defence attorney, indicating that he was "losing all credibility" with his arguments. The defence was contesting a gag order aimed at preventing the former president from making derogatory remarks about witnesses and other individuals tied to the case.

Despite the heated courtroom exchanges, Justice Merchan deferred the decision to impose a $10,000 fine on Trump, as sought by the prosecution for allegedly breaching the gag order. Trump, undeterred, took to Truth Social to declare the proceedings a “kangaroo court” and claimed the judge should recuse himself, underscoring his belief that his constitutional free speech rights were being infringed upon.

The focal point of the trial is a $130,000 payment purportedly made to silence porn star Stormy Daniels about an alleged s-xual encounter with Trump prior to the 2016 U.S. elections - a claim he vehemently denies. This payment, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, was falsely accounted for in business records, marking the first criminal trial against a former U.S.


Testimony Exposes Suppression Tactics

In a dramatic testimony, jurors heard from David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer. Pecker recounted his long association with Trump and their collaborative efforts to suppress damaging stories, describing a "catch and kill" strategy aimed at aiding Trump’s presidential aspirations.

This included payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and a doorman with a salacious story, both intended to remain unpublished to protect Trump’s image. While the defense maintained that Trump's responses were merely to counter political attacks, New York prosecutor Christopher Conroy highlighted Trump's deliberate defiance of the court's orders.

This disobedience included derogatory posts about Daniels and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen - both key witnesses in the trial. The repercussions of Trump’s social media activity were significant, influencing media coverage and even resulting in a juror withdrawing over privacy concerns.

The case unfolds under the shadow of Trump’s broader political battles as he faces other criminal prosecutions, with one potentially coinciding with his November electoral rematch against President Joe Biden. While a conviction would not preclude Trump from the presidency, it could substantially diminish his support base, with recent polls indicating a potential decline in voter favorability among independents and Republicans if convicted.