Hope Hicks caps another dramatic week of testimony in hush money trial

Welcome again, Deadline: Legal Newsletter readers. It was a historic week in the first-ever legal trial of a former U.S. president, with Donald Trump being held in legal contempt. Judge Juan Merchan hasn’t jailed him but over his repeated gag order violations — and prosecutors haven’t asked him to yet — however the menace of incarceration looms as we enter the third week of testimony.

This second week made progress on the state’s election-interference concept. Two of the largest witnesses this week have been former Trump aide Hope Hicks and Keith Davidson, a lawyer who represented alleged hush money recipients Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. Both Davidson and Hicks testified to, amongst different issues, the affect of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, which is taking by itself starring function in the prosecution even when the recording itself doesn’t come into proof.

A “damaging development” is how Hicks described the tape that was launched simply forward of the 2016 election. The recording confirmed Trump a decade earlier bragging about with the ability to seize girls by their genitals. “It wasn’t until ‘Access Hollywood’ that interest sort of reached a crescendo,” Davidson testified, explaining how the deal went all the way down to safe Daniels’ silence as Trump efficiently sought the White House. Expect to maintain listening to concerning the tape because the case goes on.

Trump additionally broke new floor this week by incomes the legal contempt discovering from Merchan. The choose stated in a ruling Tuesday that Trump violated the gag order nine times. Merchan imposed the utmost fines obtainable of $9,000 whole and warned the defendant that jail could also be subsequent. The choose held but another listening to over extra potential violations Thursday, however prosecutors nonetheless didn’t press for jail “yet,” they stated, to keep away from disrupting the continuing.

One wonders how for much longer they — and in the end, Merchan — can delay the seeming inevitable incarceration of a defendant who prosecutors allege retains violating the courtroom order.

The Supreme Court is completed with oral arguments after final week’s immunity listening to in Trump’s case. But the justices issued orders in pending appeals, blocking former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro’s bid to get out of jail, turning away Elon Musk’s appeal towards the SEC, and declining a free speech challenge to a Texas legislation requiring age verification for pornography websites, which makes adults submit personal information.

The justices are set to situation opinions this coming week, on Thursday. Will we see the Trump immunity resolution then? That would shock me, partly as a result of they’ve much else to decide as well.

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