Friday, May 10, 2024

Under fierce opposition from Trump's lawyers, Stormy Daniels stands her ground in a "mic drop moment" about her sexual encounter with the former president

Stormy Daniels leaves the New York courthouse (MEGA/GC Images)

Stormy Daniels yesterday fought off accusations from Donald Trump's lawyers that her claims of a sexual encounter with the former president were false. A report from Axios indicates the former adult-film actress was largely successful in countering the lawyers' efforts to get her to admit that she had made up the story. Under the headline "Stormy Daniels stands her ground in tense Trump trial testimony," Axios' Erin Doherty writes:

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels clashed with a lawyer for former President Trump on Thursday during her second day on the stand in the New York hush money trial.

Why it matters: Daniels' allegations about an alleged sexual encounter with the former president are at the heart of the criminal trial. She defended herself Thursday against at times intense, personal questioning from Trump's attorneys.

  • Defense lawyer Susan Necheles led the questioning, often appearing to try to undermine the key witness' credibility by accusing her of discrepancies in her story.

Driving the news: "You made all this up, right?" Necheles asked Daniels, to which she responded with an emphatic, "no," per Reuters, affirming her story remains unchanged.

  • "You're trying to make me say that it changed, but it hasn't changed," Daniels said at one point.
  • Asked by the defense if her account of sleeping with Trump was like "fictional stories" memorized for work, Daniels replied: "If that story was untrue, I would've written it to be a lot better."

Daniels took the stand for a second day on Thursday, wrapping up her testimony. But Trump's lawyers returned to her account from Tuesday in an apparent effort to undermine her credibility. Doherty suggests that the Trump team's efforts, which came across as bullying at times, did not appear to be particularly effective:

Zoom in: Necheles also appeared to question Daniels' testimony Tuesday that she left the alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 feeling shaken.

  • "This was not the first time in your life that someone made a pass at you?" Necheles asked, per The Washington Post.
  • "No," Daniels said, adding that it was different because of their age and size difference, per The Post
  • State of play: During Daniels' testimony on Tuesday, she described in detail the night that she said she met Trump for dinner in 2006 that turned into a sexual encounter.

  • Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, stemming from a $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels. Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.
  • Daniels testified for more than seven hours between Tuesday and Thursday, per The New York Times. Court is not in session on Wednesday. 
  •  In the face of fierce opposition from Trump's lawyers, Daniels seemed to stand firm on the basics of her story. In fact, in its Axios PM newsletter, the outlet ran a headline that called it "Stormy's mic drop." Doherty writes:

  • Zoom in: Trump's legal team called for a mistrial on Tuesday, arguing that Daniels changed her story from 2016. Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, swiftly rejected their bid for a mistrial.

  • Merchan told prosecutors earlier on Tuesday that "the degree of detail we're going into here is just unnecessary," per CNN.
  • "When [Daniels] comes back to the stand, we can move it along more quickly," Merchan said.

The big picture: Daniels has said that she was paid $130,000 by Trump's ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, before the 2016 presidential election to remain silent about the alleged affair with Trump that she says took place a decade earlier.

  • Prosecutors have accused Trump of falsifying business records in the first degree to try to shield the payments to Cohen. Trump pleaded not guilty and has denied wrongdoing.

No comments: