Trump Faces Stormy Testimony About ‘Unwanted’ Sexual Encounter.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels is a former stripper and porn actress.
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Pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels came face to face with former U.S. President Donald Trump in a courtroom on Tuesday, giving jurors at his New York trial a graphic description of an unwanted 2006 sexual encounter with him and how she was later paid $130,000 in hush-money ahead of Trump’s successful run for the presidency in 2016.

Daniels testified for hours about how she met Trump at a Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament in Nevada, how he invited her to dinner in his hotel suite, how she found him “rude and arrogant,” how they discussed a possible appearance for her on his reality show, “The Apprentice,” and then ended up on the bed and briefly had unprotected sexual intercourse that Trump denies ever occurred.

Trump’s defense lawyer Todd Blanche sought a mistrial after her at-times lurid testimony. But New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, while saying some of her account “may have been better left unsaid,” denied the request.

Hours after testimony ended for the day, a trial transcript showed that Merchan in a midday bench conference told Blanche that Trump was “cursing audibly” during Daniels’ testimony and possibly intimidating her.

“I understand that your client is upset at this point,” Merchan told the defense attorney, “but he is cursing audibly, and he is shaking his head visually, and that’s contemptuous. It has the potential to intimidate the witness, and the jury can see that.”

Blanche assured the judge he would speak to Trump to get him to stop making comments from the defense table.

Later, during a testy cross-examination, Susan Necheles, another Trump defense attorney, asked Daniels, “Am I correct that you hate President Trump?”

Daniels responded, “Yes,” followed by Necheles asking, “And you want him to go to jail?”

“I want him to be held accountable,” Daniels responded.

Her testimony was a pivotal point in New York prosecutors’ 34-count indictment accusing Trump of falsifying business records at his Trump Organization real estate conglomerate to hide a $130,000 reimbursement to his erstwhile lawyer and political fixer Michael Cohen.

Cohen paid the $130,000 to Daniels to silence her claim of sex with Trump, which Trump allegedly sought to keep from voters just days ahead of the election eight years ago. After paying her lawyer, Daniels said she ended up with $96,000.

Daniels was not asked about any of the allegedly falsified business records but was extensively questioned by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger and Necheles about her initial 2006 contact with Trump and every related thing that’s occurred since then.

Daniels took the witness stand a short distance from Trump, apparently their first encounter since 2007 when she visited him at his Trump Tower business office in New York and he introduced her to the people who happened to be there.

She said they had numerous phone conversations after her claimed 2006 sexual encounter with him at the golf resort, when she was 27 and he 60, but never again sex.

Trump, who rarely is forced to come face to face with people accusing him of impropriety, sat through her testimony, listening intently, whispering to his defense attorneys at various points, and once, according to reporters in the courtroom, seemingly mouthing a profanity in response to one of Daniels’ claims.

That came as Daniels described their conversation in his hotel suite.
She said she asked him: “Are you always this rude? Are you always this arrogant and pompous? Like you don’t even know how to have a conversation.”

“I said, ‘Someone should spank you,’” Daniels testified. “So, he rolled up the magazine and dared me to do it, so he gave me to it, and I swatted him. Right on the butt.”

After that, she said, the tone of the conversation improved.

“He was much more polite,” she said.

She said she asked about him about his wife, Melania, whom he had married the year before, and that he replied not to worry because the two did not “even sleep in the same room.”

Daniels said Trump was dressed in “silk or satin” pajamas when he first greeted her in the hotel suite. But she said that Trump changed to regular clothes at her request.

That changed again, she said, when she used the bathroom. When she returned, she found Trump wearing only a T-shirt and shorts.

Soon, they had sex, she said. Daniels said she did not remember many of the subsequent details, saying, “I think I blacked out,” but that she wasn’t drugged or drunk.

She testified that she didn’t remember how her clothes came off, only that “I was staring at the ceiling. I didn’t know how I got there. I was trying to think about anything other than how I got there.”

Daniels said Trump did not wear a condom and that they had not discussed it.

“I didn’t say anything at all.” She said the encounter was brief.

Daniels testified that she did not object in the moment, but also did not enjoy it. She said she felt there was an “imbalance” in the power dynamic between the two.

Necheles sought to portray Daniels as money hungry and a liar.

Early on, the defense lawyer asked Daniels if she turned to the pornography industry to make more money. Daniels simply observed, “Don’t we all want to make more money in our jobs?”

Daniels acknowledged she owes Trump $660,000 in legal fees from defamation lawsuits a former lawyer filed against him and lost.

“I’ve chosen not to pay,” she said.

Necheles accused Daniels of seeking to extort Trump through the hush money deal.

“False,” Daniels retorted.

“That’s what you did, right?” Necheles repeated.

“False!” Daniels said, almost yelling in the courtroom.

The defense attorney also accused Daniels of fabricating a story about an unidentified man threatening her and her young daughter in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, telling her to stop talking about her liaison with Trump.

“The whole story was made up, wasn’t it?” Necheles asked.

“No, none of it was made up,” Daniels fired back sharply. The man who Daniels said threatened her has never been identified.

With the trial recessed on Wednesdays, Necheles will continue her cross-examination of Daniels on Thursday, and Hoffinger said she also has more questions.

Trump, now the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has denied Daniels’ claim of an affair and all 34 charges he is facing. If convicted, he could be placed on probation or face up to four years in prison.

Prosecutors’ witnesses at the trial, now in its fourth week, have told the 12-member jury stories of sex and scandal, lurid tabloid journalism of fabricated stories to help Trump in the 2016 election or clandestine payoffs to Daniels and another woman, Playboy model Karen McDougal, to hide their claims of assignations with Trump. He had also denied McDougal’s claim of a 10-month affair with him in 2006 and 2007.

Source: VOA.
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