Judge denies Donald Trump’s request to exclude testimony from Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen in hush-money trial

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NEW YORK : The judge overseeing former US President Donald Trump’s criminal prosecution in New York has denied Trump’s attempts to exclude the “Access Hollywood” tape and testimony from key witnesses, including adult film star Stormy Daniels and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen from his upcoming New York criminal hush money trial, ABC News reported.

During the court proceedings, the defence had said that Michael Cohen, should not be allowed to testify as he has a history of lying and added that calling him to the witness stand would amount to suborning perjury. However, Judge Juan Merchan rejected the defence’s argument, according to ABC News report.

Merchan said, “This Court has been unable to locate any treatise, statute or holding from courts in this jurisdiction or others that support defendant’s rational that a particular witness should be kept off the witness stand because his credibility has been previously called into question.”

The Judge will also permit Stormy Daniels to testify as she is the recipient of the USD 130,000 hush payment. Merchan wrote, “The probative value of the evidence is evident,” ABC News reported.

He refused to exclude the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump is overheard bragging about how he approaches women. The criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump in New York has been delayed until at least mid-April.

Last week, the judge overseeing former US President Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial delayed it by 30 days after new evidence was turned over to the parties, The Hill reported. Jury selection was set to begin on March 25, which would have marked Trump’s first criminal trial. However, judge Juan Merchan agreed to delay the trial after prosecutors consented to the one-month delay.

The court’s decision came after the parties told the judge that the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York turned over more than 70,000 pages of records in recent days, some of which are relevant to the case.

The judge, Juan Merchan, said he would adjourn the trial date for 30 days, adding that a hearing will be held on March 25 to discuss the schedule and the new documents, The Hill reported.

“The Court will set the new trial date, if necessary, when it rules on Defendant’s motion following the hearing,” Merchan wrote, adding, “This Court’s directive that the parties, including the Defendant, not engage or otherwise enter into any commitment pending completion of this trial remains in effect.” (ANI)

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