Trump’s attorneys renew request for mistrial after Stormy Daniels concludes testimony

Donald Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, stated Wednesday that the defense will again request a mistrial of the New York criminal case against the former president, according to live updates from the courthouse.

On Tuesday, Trump’s defense team requested a mistrial over porn actress Stormy Daniels’ testimony, Blaze News previously reported. During the prosecution’s direct examination, Daniels stated that she “blacked out” during her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. She also mentioned that his comparably larger stature created an “imbalance of power.”

“It almost defies belief that we’re here about a records case. … This is not a case about sex,” Blanche remarked.

Blanche argued that Daniels’ Tuesday testimony on the witness stand differed from previous public comments she had made about the alleged affair with Trump. He further claimed that Daniels provided details about the alleged encounter that were not relevant to the indictment.

Trump was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records concerning payments made to his former attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen claimed that he received payment from Trump as reimbursement for a $130,000 so-called hush money payment to Daniels to keep quiet about the alleged affair.

The former president has denied the affair allegations and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Blanche told acting Justice Juan Merchan on Tuesday, “We move for a mistrial based on the testimony of this witness. … A lot of the testimony that this witness talked about today is way different than the story she was peddling in 2016.”

“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?”

Merchan denied the defense’s request for a mistrial and blamed Trump’s attorneys for not objecting more during Daniels’ testimony.

On Thursday morning, the defense’s cross-examination of Daniels continued. After the conclusion of her testimony, Blanche stated that the defense planned to renew its motion for a mistrial over Daniels’ statements. The attorney also said they would reintroduce a motion to block testimony from former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claimed she received so-called hush money to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.

The prosecution informed Blanche that they do not plan to call McDougal as a witness.

“She was on our witness list, but we have never indicated an actual intention to call her,” prosecutor Joshua Steinglass stated.

Blanche also said the defense would like to raise an issue regarding the judge’s gag order against Trump. Blanche requested that Trump “be allowed to respond publicly” to Daniels’ testimony. He noted that the former president will be “asked repeatedly over the next week or two about these new accusations of consent and of what happened that night.”

“He is not allowed to say, ‘I did not do that,'” Blanche told Merchan.

“The press reporting over the last 24 hours about the current version of the story that we believe is completely false … is completely different in kind than the denials and stories that have come forth since as far back as 2011 and 2014,” Blanche continued. “As we’ve said repeatedly, he needs an opportunity to respond to the American people. The reasons for the gag order as they relate to Ms. Daniels are over. She’s no longer a witness.”

Prosecutor Chris Conroy claimed that Trump should be replying to Daniels’ testimony in court and not to the media.

“If somebody wants to respond to something said in this room, that can happen in this room. It’s not supposed to happen out there,” Conroy stated. He claimed that lifting the gag order would have “very real consequences for witnesses.”

Merchan denied Blanche’s request to modify the gag order.

“My concern is not just with protecting Ms. Daniels or a witness who has already testified. My concern is with protecting the integrity of these proceedings as a whole,” Merchan told Blanche. “Other people will see you doing it. … Other witnesses, including not only Michael Cohen, other witnesses will see your client doing whatever it is he intends to do.”

“The nature, the vitriol … your client’s track record speaks for itself here. I can’t take your word for it that he says I’m just going to speak the facts,” Merchan added.

Blanche then renewed his request for a mistrial over Daniels’ testimony, stating that she presented a new account of her story. He claimed her statements on the witness stand insinuated that the “completely made-up encounter with President Trump may not have been consensual.”

“It almost defies belief that we’re here about a records case and the government is asking about an incident that happened in 2006,” Blanche argued. “This is not a case about sex.”

Blanche said Daniels’ “out of control” testimony was a “dog whistle for rape.”

Merchan denied the defense team’s request for a mistrial.

“The more specificity Ms. Daniels can provide about the encounter, the more the jury can weigh whether the encounter did occur and if so whether they choose to credit Ms. Daniels’ story,” the judge remarked.

Merchan again blamed the defense for not objecting to each statement made by Daniels that the attorneys cited in their request for a mistrial.

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