Trump’s team moves for mistrial over Stormy Daniels’ testimony: ‘Way different than the story she was peddling in 2016’

On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s legal team moved for a mistrial of the New York criminal case against the former president amid testimony from porn actress Stormy Daniels, according to live updates from the courthouse.

Last year, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records concerning payment made to Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen alleged he paid Daniels a $130,000 so-called “hush money” payment to keep quiet about an alleged affair she had with the former president.

Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, argued that Daniels’ claims during the prosecution’s direct examination differed from her previous public statements.

“We move for a mistrial based on the testimony of this witness,” Blanche told acting Justice Juan Merchan on Tuesday, claiming that Daniels went over the “guardrails” set by the court.

“A lot of the testimony that this witness talked about today is way different than the story she was peddling in 2016,” Blanche said.

Daniels testified that she “blacked out” during her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. She also stated that they did not use a condom and noted that Trump was physically larger than her, which she claimed created a power dynamic.

“I just think I blacked out. I was not drugged. I was not drunk. I just don’t remember,” Daniels told the jury. “I told very few people that we had actually had sex, because I felt ashamed that I didn’t stop it.”

Blanche stated that each time Daniels mentioned during her testimony seeing Trump after the alleged encounter, “She qualified that it was in an open place, a public place.”

“She talked about a consensual encounter with President Trump that she was trying to sell … and that’s not the story she told today,” he continued. “But now we’ve heard it. And it is an issue. How can you unring the bell?”

Prosecutors argued that Daniels’ detailed testimony concerning the alleged sexual affair was “highly probative of defendant’s intent” and his “motive for paying this off.” They further contended that Daniels’ testimony was “not a new account.”

Blanche said, “This is the kind of testimony that makes it impossible to come back from — not even talking about the fact that we’re talking about somebody is going to go out and campaign this afternoon.”

“This has nothing to do with the reason why we’re here, your honor,” he added. “She testified today about consent, about danger, and that’s not the story she was peddling. Sorry, that’s not the story she was selling.”

“I don’t think anybody, anybody, can listen to what that witness said, think that has anything to do with the charges, and the entire testimony is so prejudicial that you run the very high risk of the jury not being able to focus on the evidence that actually does matter,” Blanche explained.

Merchan denied Blanche’s request for a mistrial and partly blamed the defense for not making more objections during the prosecution’s examination of Daniels.

“As a threshold matter, I agree, Mr. Blanche, that there were some things that probably would’ve been better left unsaid,” Merchan told Trump’s attorney. “Having said that, I don’t believe we’re at a point where a mistrial is warranted.”

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