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  5. Hush-money judge denies mistrial and says Trump's lawyers should have raised more objections to Stormy Daniels testimony

Hush-money judge denies mistrial and says Trump's lawyers should have raised more objections to Stormy Daniels testimony

Laura Italiano,Jacob Shamsian,Natalie Musumeci   

Hush-money judge denies mistrial and says Trump's lawyers should have raised more objections to Stormy Daniels testimony
  • Donald Trump's attorneys moved for a mistrial Tuesday over Stormy Daniels' testimony.
  • The judge quickly denied that motion and said the defense should have objected more.

Donald Trump's attorneys moved for a mistrial over Stormy Daniels' graphic testimony on Tuesday, but the judge swiftly denied that motion.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over Trump's criminal hush-money trial, said most defense objections were sustained during the porn star's testimony and that he had, for the most part, granted any defense requests to suppress testimony.

"As a threshold matter, I agree, Mr. Blanche, that there were many things that would have been better left unsaid," Merchan told Trump's lead attorney Todd Blanche after a lunch break. "In fairness to the people, I think this witness was a little bit difficult to control."

Merchan added he was "surprised" the former president's defense team did not raise more objections during Daniels' testimony.

From his seat at the defense table, Trump, though, did object — though improperly, the judge warned.

Trump was "cursing audibly" and "uttered a vulgarity" while Daniels answered questions about the alleged sexual encounter posed by the prosecution, a transcript of a private discussion at the bench revealed.

While on the witness stand Tuesday in the Manhattan courtroom, Daniels — the adult film actress at the center of the trial — told jurors how she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July 2006 and, later that night, wound up in the then-"Apprentice" star's penthouse hotel suite after accepting a dinner invitation.

She testified that she and Trump had sex in the suite without a condom and said they used the "missionary position," before Trump's attorneys objected. That objection was sustained by Merchan.

Trump has vehemently denied any sexual encounter with Daniels.

Daniels also testified about a day in 2011 when she was going to a "mommy-and-me" workout class in Las Vegas. She said she was approached in the parking lot by a man who "threatened" her not to tell her story.

Blanche took issue with the testimony about that encounter.

"There's no way to unring the bell in our view," Blanche had told the court as he called Daniels' testimony "unduly prejudicial."

"All of this has nothing to do with this case. It is extraordinarily prejudicial. And the only reason the government asked those questions," on top of embarrassing Trump, "is to inflame this jury," Blanche said.

Merchan ultimately ruled that Daniels' testimony did not rise to the level of scuttling the trial.

"I don't believe we're at the point where a mistrial is warranted," Merchan said.

Daniels was back on the witness stand later Tuesday for cross-examination by Trump attorney Susan Necheles.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, faces 34 felony counts for falsifying business records.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office allege Trump lied on documents in order to cover up an illegal $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels.

The payment, delivered by Trump's ex-personal attorney and former fixer Michael Cohen, was wired to Daniels 11 days before the 2016 presidential election to buy her silence over the sexual encounter with Trump, according to prosecutors and records shown as evidence in the trial.




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