Judge denies Trump's request for mistrial after Stormy Daniels' 'prejudicial' testimony

 May 8, 2024

The judge in Donald Trump's "hush money" trial rejected his request for a mistrial after Stormy Daniels shared salacious testimony with the jury about their alleged sexual encounter.

The defense cried foul over Daniels' story, which they said was full of irrelevant detail meant to embarrass Trump and turn the jury against him.

Trump seeks mistrial

During a break, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche urged Judge Juan Merchan to declare a mistrial.

Blanche blasted Daniels' comments as "extraordinarily prejudicial" and warned of a "high risk of the jury not being able to focus on the charged conduct."

"There is no remedy that we can fashion ... to unring this bell," Blanche said.

"The guardrails by this witness answering questions by the government were just thrown to the side," he added.

Judge denies....

The judge conceded that there were some things better left "unsaid" but he said the defense could remedy the issue on cross-examination.

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

Daniels changed aspects of her story, claiming she "blacked out" during what she previously described as a consensual encounter.

She went into graphic detail, and relayed alleged comments Trump made about his relationship with his wife, Melania Trump.

Trump's lawyers scored some points during cross-examination by getting Daniels to concede that she hates Trump.

"Gone too far"

Trump has accused the judge, a past Biden donor, of bias. The judge has already fined Trump for violating a gag order and has threatened to put him in jail.

The jury has heard precious little about the alleged crime, "falsifying business records," at the heart of the case.

Instead, prosecutors have spent days telling a sensational narrative about an alleged conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election by burying bad publicity.

They said Daniels' sordid story was necessary to show the jury what Trump wanted suppressed.

"Her account completes the narrative that precipitated the falsification of business records," prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said.

Daniels will return to the court Thursday after a recess.

While Merchan has said he would tell the jury to limit how they use Daniels' testimony, the fact is that they heard what they heard. The damage is already done.


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