Trump’s lawyer presses Stormy Daniels on day 14 of hush money trial

Donald Trump’s defence team has finished its cross-examination of adult film star Stormy Daniels, the most high-profile witness to testify so far in the former United States president’s New York criminal trial.

Daniels’s account of an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 riveted jurors this week and served as a reminder of the more lurid aspects of the trial, which takes place as Trump, a real estate developer-turned-politician, campaigns for reelection.

On Thursday, Trump lawyer Susan Necheles grilled Daniels on the transaction at the centre of Trump’s hush money trial.

Necheles pressed Daniels on why she accepted a $130,000 payment to keep quiet about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump instead of going public.

“Why didn’t you do that?” Necheles asked, questioning why Daniels didn’t hold a news conference in 2016, as she had initially planned, to tell reporters about her alleged encounter with Trump.

“Because we were running out of time,” Daniels said.

Trump has denied any sexual relations with Daniels. But the alleged deal to buy her silence happened in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, a critical point in the case because prosecutors have argued that Trump and his allies buried potentially damaging stories to influence the election results.


The former president faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records pertaining to the alleged hush-money payment made to silence Daniels.

Trump, the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee in November’s election, denies any wrongdoing.

Daniels’s testimony marked an extraordinary moment in what could be the only criminal case against Trump to go to trial before voters decide whether to send him back to the White House.

He faces three other criminal indictments, including two that relate to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to President Joe Biden. The trial date in one of those cases — over Trump’s handling of classified documents — was postponed indefinitely earlier this week.