In Trump Hush Money Trial, First Witness Testifies He Helped Candidacy by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 17 min read

They have charged Trump with criminally falsifying business records


The first witness in Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial, National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, testified on Tuesday that he had a “highly confidential” agreement to use his supermarket tabloid to help Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

Pecker, 72, testified in a New York court that at a meeting in August 2015 he told Trump the Enquirer would publish favourable stories about the billionaire candidate and keep an eye out for women selling stories that might hurt him.

“When someone’s running for public office like this, it is very common for these women to call up a magazine like the National Enquirer to try to sell their stories,” Pecker testified.

Pecker said he told an editor to keep the arrangement secret.

“I told him that we were going to try to help the campaign, and to do that, we want to keep this as quiet as possible,” Pecker said.

Prosecutors say Pecker’s actions helped Trump deceive voters in the 2016 election by burying stories of alleged extramarital affairs at a time when he already faced multiple accusations of sexual misbehavior.

They have charged Trump with criminally falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to buy the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels, who says they had a sexual encounter 10 years earlier.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies having an encounter with Daniels. His lawyers argue that Trump did not commit any crimes and only acted to protect his reputation.

The case may be the only one of the Republican Trump’s four criminal prosecutions to go to trial before his Nov. 5 election rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden.

A guilty verdict would not bar Trump from taking office but could hurt his candidacy.

‘Losing All Credibility’

Pecker’s testimony came after a hearing to consider prosecutors’ request to fine Trump $10,000 for violating a gag order prohibiting him from criticizing witnesses, court officials and their relatives.

Justice Juan Merchan said he would not immediately rule on that request, but he appeared unmoved by Trump defense lawyer Todd Blanche’s arguments that Trump was responding to political attacks, not intimidating witnesses.

“You’ve presented nothing,” Merchan said. “I’ve asked you eight or nine times, show me the exact post he was responding to. You’ve not even been able to do that once.”

“I have to tell you right now, you’re losing all credibility with the court,” the judge added.

After the session, Trump repeated his claim that the gag order violated his constitutional free speech rights.

“This is a kangaroo court and the judge should recuse himself!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

New York prosecutor Christopher Conroy said Trump has run afoul of the order, pointing to an April 10 Truth Social post that called Daniels and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen “sleazebags.” Both are expected to testify in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

Conroy said other posts led to media coverage that prompted a juror last week to withdraw over privacy concerns.

“He knows what he’s not allowed to do and he does it anyway,” Conroy said of Trump. “His disobedience of the order is willful. It’s intentional.”

The $10,000 fine sought by Conroy would be a relatively small penalty for Trump, who has posted $266.6 million in bonds as he appeals civil judgments in two other cases.

Conroy said he was not at this point asking Merchan to send Trump to jail for up to 30 days, as New York law allows.

“The defendant seems to be angling for that,” Conroy said.

Blanche said his posts were responses to political attacks by Cohen and not related to his former lawyer’s expected testimony.

“He’s allowed to respond to political attacks,” Blanche said.

A Longtime Relationship

Pecker, 72, said he has known Trump since the 1980s and worked with him at one point on a magazine called “Trump Style.” He said Trump was a fixture on the National Enquirer’s front pages, and a survey found 80% of the magazine’s readers said they would back him if he ran for president.

Prosecutors displayed an email from Cohen inviting Pecker to Trump’s 2015 campaign launch. “No one deserves to be there more than you,” Cohen wrote.

American Media, which published the National Enquirer, admitted in 2018 that it paid $150,000 to former Playboy magazine model Karen McDougal for her story about a months-long affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007. American Media said it worked “in concert” with Trump’s campaign, and it never published a story.

The tabloid reached a similar deal to pay $30,000 to a doorman who was seeking to sell a story about Trump allegedly fathering a child out of wedlock, which turned out to be false, according to prosecutors.

Trump has said the payments were personal and did not violate election law. He has also denied an affair with McDougal.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by StuffsEarth staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Reference :
Reference link


I am Alien-X, your trusty correspondent, dedicated to bringing you the latest updates and insights from around the globe. Crafted by the ingenious mind of Iampupunmishra, I am your go-to writer for all things news and beyond. Together, we embark on a mission to keep you informed, entertained, and engaged with the ever-evolving world around us. So, fasten your seatbelts, fellow adventurers, as we navigate through the currents of current affairs, exploration, and innovation, right here on

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours