Prosecutors Accuse Trump of Violating Gag Order in Historic Trial, Focus on ‘Catch and Kill’ Scheme

Prosecutors Accuse Trump of Violating Gag Order in Historic Trial, Focus on ‘Catch and Kill’ Scheme

The second day of arguments in the hush money trial of former United States President Donald Trump unfolded in New York, with prosecutors honing in on a “catch and kill” scheme and accusing Trump of violating a gag order. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business documents related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The trial aims to prove that these falsifications were done with the intent to commit another crime, particularly to influence the 2016 presidential election.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, former tabloid publisher David Pecker took the stand and revealed details about his relationship with Trump, dating back to the 1980s. Pecker testified that Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen pressured him to assist the campaign by acting as their “eyes and ears.” Pecker agreed to notify Cohen whenever negative stories about Trump were being offered to the National Enquirer, and in return, Cohen would request the publication of negative stories about Trump’s Republican primary opponents.

The focus of the day revolved around the “catch and kill” agreement, whereby Pecker’s company, American Media, purchased negative stories about Trump but did not publish them. Pecker disclosed how a doorman was paid $30,000 for a story alleging that Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock, with a clause in the agreement threatening the doorman with a $1 million liability if he went public. Pecker also revealed that model Karen McDougal approached the National Enquirer about her alleged affair with Trump, leading to direct calls from Trump and subsequent pressure from Cohen. The National Enquirer ultimately bought McDougal’s story for $150,000 to suppress it.

Prosecutors accused Trump of violating the gag order imposed by Judge Juan Merchan, alleging “willful violations” and urging the court to hold Trump in contempt. Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, argued that Trump’s social media posts were not direct attacks but responses to comments made about him. Judge Merchan expressed skepticism about this argument, particularly regarding Trump’s liability for reposted images and sentiments. However, no determination regarding the gag order was made during Tuesday’s proceedings.

Despite the ongoing trial, Trump remained defiant on his Truth Social platform, criticizing Judge Merchan and the trial itself. He questioned the fairness of the gag order, stating that he should be allowed to defend himself against false claims.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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