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Stormy Daniels Resumes Testimony in Hush Money Case

Court sketches of Stormy Daniels as she offers unflattering testimony about sex with Trump

Artist: Jane Rosenberg

This is developing news. Check back for updates throughout the day.

Porn star Stormy Daniels will face cross-examination Thursday by lawyers for Donald Trump, after her first turn on the witness stand drew an angry reaction from the former president.

Trump’s attorneys, who began questioning Daniels on Tuesday afternoon, will likely continue their efforts to undermine her credibility and raise doubts about her account of having sex with Trump. The alleged one-night stand is a key component of the criminal hush money trial in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Judge Juan Merchan warned Trump’s attorneys Tuesday that the former president had to stop cursing and shaking his head during Daniels’ testimony, because he might intimidate her or influence the jury.

Stormy Daniels arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 09, 2024 in New York City. 

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

“I understand that your client is upset at this point, but he is cursing audibly, and he is shaking his head visually and that’s contemptuous,” Merchan said during a break in Daniels’ testimony.

“It has the potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that,” Merchan said, according to a court transcript shared Tuesday evening. “You need to speak to him. I won’t tolerate that.”

The judge delivered that warning at the bench, out of earshot from reporters in the courtroom, because he said he did not “want to embarrass” Trump.

Read more about Trump’s hush money trial

The former president’s flashes of anger came as Daniels testified — in vivid detail — about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 shortly after meeting him at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

Trump is charged with falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush-money payment made to Daniels. Prosecutors say the money was part of an unlawful scheme to benefit Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels for her silence about the alleged sex less than two weeks before that election. Trump reimbursed Cohen after becoming president.

The hush money case, while often considered the least serious of the four criminal indictments Trump faces, is increasingly likely to be the only one to make it to trial before the Nov. 5 presidential election.

On Wednesday, a Georgia appeals court potentially delayed a state-level election interference case against Trump by agreeing to take up his request to disqualify his prosecutor, District Attorney Fani Willis.

On Tuesday evening, federal Judge Aileen Cannon indefinitely postponed Trump’s trial on charges that he illegally took classified documents and then tried to conceal them from authorities.

A federal election interference case against Trump in Washington, D.C., meanwhile, is on hold while the Supreme Court considers whether Trump is immune from the charges because they he was president at the time the alleged crimes occurred.

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