5 takeaways from Week 2 of testimony in People v. Trump

It was one other historic week in the primary felony trial in opposition to a former U.S. president. New York state prosecutors built their case, and the decide fined the defendant for (*5*). Here are 5 high takeaways from the second week of testimony in People v. (*2*):

1. Presumptive nominee held in felony contempt

One of the largest takeaways this week was one thing that occurred and not using a witness on the stand. Judge Juan Merchan ruled Tuesday that the previous president violated a gag order 9 instances. Merchan solely imposed fines somewhat than jail, however the decide threatened the latter punishment for future violations. The decide additionally held yet one more listening to Thursday on potential additional violations. No matter the end result of this trial, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee serially skirting a courtroom order in his case deserves emphasis.

2. Prosecutors construct their case

In his opening assertion last week, prosecutor Matthew Colangelo advised the jury that the case is about Trump attempting to deprave the 2016 presidential election after which protecting it up by mendacity in his New York enterprise data “over and over and over again.” Among the witnesses the state used to construct on that idea this week have been Keith Davidson, a lawyer who represented alleged hush-money recipients Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, and former Trump aide Hope Hicks. Davidson’s testimony gave an inside have a look at how the purported payoff scheme got here collectively forward of the election, whereas Hicks’ gave jurors an inside view from the Trump camp. (Trump has pleaded not responsible and denied having intercourse with the previous Playboy mannequin McDougal and grownup movie actress Daniels.)

3. The ‘Access Hollywood’ tape is essential

The notorious tape launched a month forward of the 2016 election continues to dominate all through the trial. Both Davidson and Hicks testified to the affect of the recording that contained Trump bragging about having the ability to seize girls by their genitals. “It wasn’t until ‘Access Hollywood’ that interest sort of reached a crescendo,” Davidson testified Tuesday, explaining how the deal went all the way down to safe Daniels’ silence as Trump efficiently sought the White House. Hicks said Friday that it was a “damaging development” for the marketing campaign.

4. Not each witness is ‘big,’ however they matter

Most individuals following the case are aware of Hicks and, maybe to a lesser extent, Davidson. But jurors additionally heard from lower-profile witnesses who’re nonetheless essential to proving the state’s case. For instance, the jury has now heard from Gary Farro, the banker Cohen handled to hold out the alleged hush cash payoff. Prosecutors additionally known as extra technical witnesses to the stand, similar to a forensic analyst to bring out evidence from Michael Cohen’s phones.

5. Introducing Michael Cohen

Cohen himself nonetheless hasn’t testified, however he certainly has come up — and never in a flattering means. The lawyer Davidson and the banker Farro each made clear how Cohen was tough to cope with and even misleading. At first look, one may assume prosecutors wouldn’t like that unceremonious airing of a probably essential witness but to return. But it could profit them as a result of when Cohen takes the stand, his unscrupulous character gained’t be a revelation to the jury. Indeed, Manhattan jurors might really feel like they already know him by then.

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