United States – Former President Donald Trump obstructs the appearance of adult actress Stormy Daniels and his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen in the upcoming criminal trial for the charges of violating federal election laws due to the hush money given to Daniels prior to the 2016 election.

First of Four Indictments to Reach Trial

The case is the first of the four indictments that Trump has been facing to get to trial while he is in the campaign as he vies to return as president. The authorities of New York state prosecutors claim that Trump has falsified the business records in order to hush up the cash payment of 130,000 dollars to Daniels, who had previously maintained that she had a sexual relationship with Trump in the year 2006, as reported by Reuters.

Trump says he didn’t engage in sexual relations with Daniels and has claimed not guilty as well.

Claims of Cohen’s Unreliability

On February 22, an open court filing made by Trump attorney Todd Blanche was released, and it claimed Cohen has a habit of lying and will even continue to lie in the trial that will start on March 25. Blanche said Clifford, who wishes to use the trial for the purposes of promoting and monetizing the story, would act as the Defendant (Daniels).

“Similar to Cohen, she seeks to tell contrived stories with salacious details of events she claimed occurred nearly 20 years ago,” Blanche wrote, as reported by Reuters.

The comments of Cohen’s lawyer were not pursued. Daniels’ lawyer didn’t return the request to communicate.

Cohen’s Role as Main Witness

In a 2018 plea deal, Cohen admitted to violating federal campaign finance rules by contributing more than the legal maximum amount through the payment to Daniels and also confessed to lying before the House committee. In another civil trial, the defendant was testifying a year ago, he said that it was wrong of him to confess last year in court to tax evasion.

In a February 15 court hearing, the representative of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office assured that Trump would attain an opportunity to cross-examine Cohen at the trial.

The main witness in the case is Cohen. Daniels’ lawyer said that Cohen’s payment to Daniels was one part of the “catch-and-kill” conspiracy designed to neutralize stories about Trump’s extramarital and related affairs prior to the 2016 elections.

They added that the plans even contained a $150,000 payment a tabloid editor made on Trump’s side to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had several sexual encounters with Trump, who denies the affair.

Prosecutors will now ask Judge Juan Merchan to impose a gag order so that Trump will not be allowed to insult witnesses and people around him who are involved in this case.

Prosecutors Seek Gag Order

The impeachment trial centers on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records involving Trump’s 2017 reimbursements to Cohen for the Daniels payment. The prosecution alleges that his real estate company falsely recorded the reimbursement as legal expenses from his New York office, as reported by Reuters.

Blanche requested that the prosecutors be barred from arguing that the payments to Daniels and McDougal were a 2016 election effort.

Trump’s Ongoing Legal Challenges

Merchan will make a decision on the requests earlier to the trial starts, which can last up to six weeks.

In Trump’s case, as is the current Republican frontrunner for the nomination in 2024, he also faces state and federal charges over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss and a federal case over his management of government documents after he departs from office. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

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