Judge rules evidence related to ‘Access Hollywood’ tape admissible in Trump hush money trial

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By journalsofus.com

Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels will also be able to testify.

The judge overseeing former President Trump’s criminal trial in New York has denied Trump’s attempts to exclude evidence related to the Access Hollywood tapes and key witness testimonies of his upcoming criminal trial, but prosecutors will not be allowed to play the infamous tape for jurors.

The defense argued that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, should not be allowed to testify because he has a history of lying, arguing that calling him as a witness would amount to bribery and perjury.

Judge Juan Merchán rejected the argument.

“This Court has been unable to locate any treaty, statute or ruling from the courts of this jurisdiction or others that supports the defendant’s logic that a particular witness should be kept off the stand because his or her credibility has previously been questioned,” Merchan said.

He will also allow Stormy Daniel testify since she is the recipient of the $130,000 payment for her silence at the center of the case, and wrote: “The probative value of the evidence is evident.”

Merchan also ruled that prosecutors will not be allowed to play the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump is heard bragging about his approach to women, to the jury or present it as evidence. However, prosecutors may obtain testimony about the tape and how it made Trump fear its impact on his presidential aspirations.

“Therefore, the tape helps establish defendant’s intent and motive in making the payment to Daniels and then attempting to conceal it,” the ruling says.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.

In court documents unsealed on April 4, prosecutors alleged that Trump engaged in a “scheme” to boost his chances during the 2016 presidential election through a series of hush money payments made by others and falsifying New York business records to cover up such alleged criminal conduct.

In a statement of facts accompanying the indictment, Manhattan prosecutors allege that Trump made payments to his lawyer to reimburse him for a payment the lawyer made to a woman.

Trump, who has denied wrongdoing, pleaded not guilty to 34 charges.

Trump’s criminal trial in New York has been delayed until at least mid-April.

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