Trump trial live updates: Jurors hear secret phone call between Daniels’ attorney and Cohen

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(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City, where he is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been tried on criminal charges.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

Here’s how the news is developing:

May 09, 10:17 AM
Defense asks Daniels about her 2018 denial

Defense attorney Susan Necheles asked Stormy Daniels about her January 2018 denial of the sexual encounter with Trump, showing her the statement she signed that has been prepared by her then-attorney.

“To be clear, I did not write this statement,” Daniels said. “I was told I had to sign it.”

“I signed it, but I did not write it,” Daniels continued. “It was given to me and I was told I had to sign it.”

Necheles then asked Daniels a series of questions about legal language in her nondisclosure agreement.

Jurors appeared to remain engaged — but not to the extent that they were previously, when the testimony was more riveting.

One juror was sipping a glass of water, another was rubbing his eyes. Most were still jotting down notes or looking toward the witness stand.

May 09, 10:08 AM
Daniels says lawyer on call referenced someone else

Stormy Daniels testified that she didn’t recall the conversation her then-attorney Davidson referenced in the secretly recorded phone call the jury just heard.

She added that Davidson referenced what someone else — her agent Gina Rodriguez’s boyfriend — might say about the call, not her recollection of it.

“I never yelled at Keith Davidson over the phone,” Daniels said. “It sounds like a threat from Keith Davidson.”

May 09, 10:01 AM
Jurors hear secretly recorded call between Daniels’ attorney and Cohen

Jurors heard a surreptitiously recorded phone call between then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels’ then-attorney, Keith Davidson.

“I just didn’t want you to get caught off guard, and I wanted to let you know what was going on behind the scenes,” Davidson says on the recording. “And I would not be the least bit surprised if, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you see in the next couple of days that Gina Rodriguez’s boyfriend goes out in the media and tells the story that Stormy Daniels, you know, in the weeks prior to the election was basically yelling and screaming, and calling me a p—-.”

“Can I, can I ask you a question? Right,” says Cohen.

“No, hold on one second,” says Davidson. “I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he comes out and says, you know what, Stormy Daniels, she wanted this money more than you can ever imagine. I remember hearing her on the phone saying, you f—— Keith Davidson. You better settle this goddamn story. Because if he loses this election, and he’s going to lose, if he loses this election we lose all f—— leverage this case is worth zero. And if that happens, I’m going to sue you because you lost this opportunity. So settle this f—— case. That’s a far cry, that’s a far cry from far cry from being, you know, bullied and pushed into settling a case.”

Trump, sitting at the defense table, appeared highly pleased with this testimony — he hunched forward over the table in leaned into the monitor on his table that displayed the transcript of the call, firmly nodding is head yes in agreement repeatedly when the tape said “we lose all f—— leverage.”

Trump then looked directly at the witness stand when Daniels responded to the tape, saying she never yelled at Davison.

May 09, 9:52 AM
Daniels said she wanted a ‘paper trail’

Stormy Daniels told defense attorney Necheles that despite the nondisclosure agreement effectively killing her story, the deal resulted in a “paper trail” that made her feel safe.

“I wanted the truth to be printed with some paper trail,” Daniels said. “With a target on my back on my family’s — it was the perfect solution.”

Necheles, who suggested on Tuesday that Daniels had been attempting to extort Trump, then resumed those efforts.

“You were threatening that you would try to hurt Trump politically if he didn’t give you money?” Necheles said.

“False,” Daniels retorted.

May 09, 9:48 AM
Daniels says she chose nondisclosure for her safety

Defense attorney Susan Necheles resumed her cross-examination of Stormy Daniels by focusing on Daniels’ motivation for selling her story ahead of the 2016 election.

Daniels previously testified that she wanted to get her story out but was afraid for her safety, so she opted instead to sign the nondisclosure with Trump and receive $130,000.

Pressed on the topic, Daniels said she initially wanted to get her story out.

“I was asking to sell my story to publications to get the truth out,” Daniels. “I wanted to do a press conference.”

Daniels added that she thought she was “running out of time” to get the story out.

“You were running out of time to get money?” Necheles asked.

“No, to get the story out,” Daniels responded.

Daniels said she opted to sign a nondisclosure agreement to prioritize her safety.

“I choose to be safe,” Daniels said.

“You choose to make money, right?” Necheles said.

“I choose to take a nondisclosure,” Daniels replied.

May 09, 9:40 AM
Stormy Daniels retakes the stand

“Good morning, Mr. Trump,” Judge Merchan said as he opened the day’s proceedings.

The judge began the morning by precluding defense lawyers from questioning Daniels about a past arrest that never resulted in a conviction.

“Anybody can be arrested,” Merchan said. “That does not prove a thing.”

Stormy Daniels entered the courtroom and took her seat on the witness stand for the defense to resume its cross-examination. Judge Merchan reminded her that she is still under oath.

Trump appeared to glance at her as she passed his counsel table.

May 09, 9:32 AM
Court is back in session

Judge Juan Merchan has taken the bench and court is back in session for Day 14 of Donald Trump’s criminal trial.

Defense attorney Susan Necheles is sitting on Trump’s right at the defense table, Todd Blanche is to his immediate left, and Emil Bove occupies the seat over.

A packed row of Trump’s supporters, including Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, occupy the first row of the gallery directly behind Trump.

May 09, 9:28 AM
Trump enters courtroom

Former President Donald Trump has entered the courtroom.

As he made his way down the isle to his seat at the defense table, a man seated on the right side of the court room stood up — something that is not allowed — and gave Trump a thumbs-up as he passed.

May 09, 9:20 AM
Prosecutors arrive in courtroom

Prosecutors have entered the courtroom.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was not with them when they came in.

May 09, 9:15 AM
Five members of public are in court after waiting overnight

Members of the public lined up as early as 12:30 a.m. to get a spot in the courtroom to see Stormy Daniels’ testimony this morning.

Two friends who live in Brooklyn, who identified themselves as Shmuel and Levi, said their first attempt to watch the trial from the courtroom on Tuesday failed. They said they arrived at 3:30 a.m. but could only secure a spot in the overflow room, so they changed their approach this morning.

“We went back home last night … and decided to come at like 12:30 a.m.,” Shmuel told ABC News. “We figured that it would be safe.”

Both said they stayed awake while waiting overnight and appreciated the weather cooperating.

“It was really a beautiful night,” Levi said.

A total of five members of the public made it into the courtroom this morning.

May 09, 8:18 AM
Stormy Daniels arrives at courthouse

Stormy Daniels has arrived at the lower Manhattan courthouse ahead of her second day of testimony.

Proceedings are scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. ET.

May 09, 7:54 AM
Judge said defense’s concerns can be address on cross

On Stormy Daniels’ first day on the stand on Tuesday, her graphic testimony about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump — which Trump denies took place — prompted attorneys for the defense to seek a mistrial.

Daniels told the jury about noticing an “imbalance of power” with Trump, how she was “blacking out” and found herself nearly naked on the bed of Trump’s hotel suite, and how the two engaged in unprotected sex.

Defense attorneys for Trump argued that the testimony did enough damage to merit tossing the trial entirely on the grounds that it was prejudicial in the eyes of the jury.

Judge Juan Merchan denied the bid, saying the defense will have its say during their cross-examination — which began Tuesday and is scheduled to continue today.

May 09, 7:33 AM
Stormy Daniels to return to the witness stand

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress whose allegations of a 2006 sexual encounter with Donald Trump prompted the hush money payment that lies at the center of the Manhattan DA’s criminal case against Trump, is scheduled to return to the witness stand this morning.

On Daniels’ first day on the stand on Tuesday, she testified that first met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, and that he invited her to his hotel suite. Daniels told the jury that when she came out of the bathroom, she found Trump on the bed dressed in only his underwear and a T-shirt.

“The next thing I know, I was on the bed,” said Daniels, who then described how they had sex. Trump has denied that the two ever had a sexual encounter.

Daniels told jurors that she became afraid to go public with her story of the encounter after she was threatened by an unknown man in a Las Vegas parking lot in June 2011. She said that the 2016 offer from then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen to buy her silence for $130,000 on the eve of the 2016 election allowed her to keep the allegations private while profiting from the deal.

“They were interested in paying for the story, which was the best thing that could happen because then my husband wouldn’t find out, but there was still documentation of a money exchange and a paperwork exchange, so that I would be safe and the story wouldn’t come out,” Daniels said.

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