Trump trial moves to cross-examination of David Pecker on 4th day of testimony


David Pecker will end his week where he began: on the stand in former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial.

The former National Enquirer publisher was the first witness called to the stand after opening statements Monday. Over hours of testimony over three days, Pecker described a scheme in which he agreed to spend tens of thousands of dollars to purchase the rights to stories that might embarrass Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign in order to keep them from being made public, a process known as “catch and kill.”

On Thursday, Pecker said that arrangement led him to pay $150,000 to the model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump in 2006. Trump denies that relationship.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The charges relate to reimbursements to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid adult film star Stormy Daniels to suppress her claim of a sexual encounter with Trump days before the 2016 election.

Pecker said he remembered speaking to Cohen about Daniels and refusing to buy her story. Pecker said he told Cohen, “I am not a bank,” and suggested he buy Daniels’ story himself. Pecker had already spent $180,000 on the prior two “catch and kill” stories.

Pecker said that after Trump won the election, the president-elect expressed gratitude for his work to secure the rights to those two “embarrassing” stories.

“I want to thank you for handling the McDougal situation” and the “doorman situation,” Pecker recalled Trump saying.

Pecker ended the day under cross-examination by defense attorney Emil Bove, who asked if Pecker ever “caught” and “killed” stories about other famous people.

Pecker described instances in which he allegedly did so for actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, professional golfer Tiger Woods, actor Mark Wahlberg and Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff and later the mayor of Chicago.

The former media executive will return to the stand on Friday. Court resumes at 9:30 a.m.

Source link

Leave a comment