Judge Rules “Access Hollywood” Tape Excluded from Trump’s Hush-Money Trial

Judge Rules “Access Hollywood” Tape Excluded from Trump’s Hush-Money Trial

In a recent ruling, Judge Juan M. Merchan has decided that the infamous “Access Hollywood” video, in which former President Donald Trump made explicit comments about grabbing women without consent, will not be shown to jurors during his hush-money criminal trial. The judge stated that while prosecutors can still question witnesses about the tape, it is not necessary for the tape itself to be introduced as evidence or played for the jury.

This decision comes after the trial was postponed until mid-April due to a last-minute evidence dump that Trump’s lawyers claimed hindered their defense preparation. Trump’s legal team has requested a three-month delay and for the case to be dismissed, citing the recent receipt of over 100,000 pages of documents from a previous federal investigation.

The hush-money case revolves around allegations that Trump falsified his company’s records to conceal payments made to his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. Cohen had paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep quiet about her claims of a past extramarital encounter with Trump. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and has consistently denied any sexual encounter with Daniels. His defense argues that the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal expenses and not part of a cover-up.

Judge Merchan also denied the defense’s request to bar key prosecution witnesses, including Cohen and Daniels, from testifying. Additionally, he rejected the defense’s motion to prevent prosecutors from arguing that Trump sought to influence the 2016 election through the alleged hush-money scheme or that the National Enquirer participated in suppressing negative stories about him through “catch and kill” practices.

Prosecutors contend that the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” footage, followed by numerous women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault against Trump, prompted his efforts to prevent negative stories from reaching the press, leading to the hush-money arrangement with Daniels.

While Trump’s lawyers argued that the “Access Hollywood” video contains prejudicial evidence unrelated to the trial’s focus on documents and accounting practices, Judge Merchan stated that he would reconsider allowing the tape to be shown if the defense “opens the door” during the trial. The judge will also rule later on the prosecution’s request to present evidence regarding the sexual assault allegations that emerged after the tape’s release. He has asked prosecutors to provide additional arguments about the evidence’s admissibility, considering the rules governing testimony about “prior bad acts.”

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

2 Responses

  1. In a recent ruling, Judge Juan M. Pérez-Giménez of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico dismissed a lawsuit challenging Puerto Rico’s ban on same-sex marriage. The lawsuit, brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of several same-sex couples, argued that Puerto Rico’s ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

    However, Judge Pérez-Giménez dismissed the lawsuit, stating that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in

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