Stormy Daniels to testify in Trump hush money trial, media reports say

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels attends a book signing for her memoir “Full Disclosure” at the Museum of Sex on October 8, 2018, in New York, U.S. /CFP

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels attends a book signing for her memoir “Full Disclosure” at the Museum of Sex on October 8, 2018, in New York, U.S. /CFP

Stormy Daniels will be called as a witness in Donald Trump’s criminal trial on Tuesday, two U.S. media outlets reported, setting up a long-awaited showdown between the former U.S. president and the porn star who says they had sex.

Daniels is at the center of the first criminal trial of a former president. Prosecutors say Trump covered up a $130,000 hush money payment his former lawyer Michael Cohen made to Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Cohen has previously said Trump directed him to pay Daniels to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006.

Prosecutors have not said who they will call to testify on Tuesday, the 13th day of the trial. Trump said on social media early on Tuesday that he had been told who the witness would be, but quickly took down the post.

ABC News and NBC News, citing unnamed sources, reported that Daniels will testify. A lawyer for Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office say Trump falsely labeled his reimbursement payments to Cohen in 2017 as legal expenses in his real estate company’s books to cover up what they call an illegal scheme to influence the 2016 election by buying the silence of people with potentially damaging information.

Trump, running again for president in the November 5 election, has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and denies any sexual encounter with Daniels.

Prosecutors have shown the former president’s signature was on payments at the heart of the case. Over the next two weeks they aim to demonstrate that Trump was responsible then for an illegal cover-up.

Source(s): Reuters