Donald Trump Struggles to Deny Hush Money Claims, Says Attorney

New developments emerge in Trump's legal battles

by Zain ul Abedin
Donald Trump Struggles to Deny Hush Money Claims, Says Attorney
© Pool/Getty Images

In a significant development in the ongoing legal saga surrounding former President Donald Trump, the anticipated testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump's ex-attorney, is set to pose substantial challenges to Trump's denial of a hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

This payment, allegedly made to silence Daniels about her claimed s-xual encounter with Trump in 2006, has thrust the former president back into the legal spotlight. Earlier this week, the New York criminal court was captivated by Daniels' explicit two-day testimony, which delved into her alleged intimate encounter with Trump.

The judge, Juan Merchan, noted that some details disclosed were overly explicit, suggesting that they might have been better left unspoken. As Trump faces 34 felony charges for falsifying business records related to the supposed hush-money scheme, the legal stakes are high.

These charges also involve former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who, like Daniels, was reportedly paid to keep quiet about her alleged affairs with Trump during the crucial phases of his 2016 presidential campaign. The crux of the prosecution's case is the $130,000 payment to Daniels, which Trump supposedly orchestrated via Cohen.

In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges tied to his role in this alleged scheme, shedding light on the murky financial transactions intended to protect Trump's candidacy.

Testimony Threatens Trump

Despite vehemently denying any s-xual relations with Daniels or any misconduct, Trump has criticized the trial as a politically motivated "witch hunt," lamenting its timing as it clashes with his current political campaigns.

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney and now a law professor, underscored the significance of Cohen's upcoming testimony. According to Vance, Cohen's statements could decisively link Trump to the allegations. The prosecution has already hinted at a damning partial audio recording of Trump and Cohen discussing the payment, which could be pivotal in the trial.

Adding another layer to the complex legal narrative, during the trial, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger highlighted a previous civil case where Trump admitted to reimbursing Cohen for the payment to Daniels. This admission could severely undermine Trump's current denials.

As Cohen prepares to take the stand, his testimony is not just anticipated but could indeed be crucial in determining the trajectory of the trial. Trump's legal team, meanwhile, insists that the payments were unrelated to Daniels, a claim Cohen is expected to challenge robustly.

Donald Trump