May 30, 2024

Trump hush money trial live updates: David Pecker details ‘catch-and-kill’ scheme as ex-president claims MAGA crowd turned away

Trump describes college pro-Palestine protests as a ‘disgrace’

Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial is now well underway, with the prosecution and defence teams laying out their cases in opening statements on Monday and the first witness taking to the stand to give testimony.

Tabloid media mogul David Pecker, who published The National Enquirer and was part of the “catch-and-kill” scheme at the heart of the case, is in the middle of testimony about how he ensured stories of an alleged Trump lovechild and an affair with Playboy model Karen McDougal were never published.

Judge Juan Merchan will soon rule on complaints raised by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg’s team about 10 instances of Mr Trump allegedly violating the terms of his gag order in posts on his Truth Social platform, having warned defence attorneys they are “losing all credibility” over the issue.

The defendant has continued to complain about the case to reporters and lashed out against the judge and prosecutors on social media, also berating New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman for debunking his claims that his supporters are being kept away from the Manhattan courthouse.

The courtroom stands dark on Wednesday but Mr Pecker will resume his testimony on Thursday.

Alex Woodward is providing live updates from the courthouse.


Key moments from Day Six of Trump’s criminal trial

The second day of trial testimony in Trump’s hush money case continued with David Pecker, the former publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer.

He walked the jury through his relationship with Trump; the arrangement concocted during the 2016 campaign to ensure unflattering stories died; and how that scheme was put into practice — including a plan to bury a bogus story of an alleged affair, which Pecker said could’ve been the magazine’s biggest story since the death of Elvis Presley.

Alex Woodward24 April 2024 16:30


Trump on hush money trial gag order: ‘Nothing like this has ever happened before’

Except it has. To him. Twice.

The former president faces a gag order in his civil fraud trial that prevents him and other parties in the case from publicly attacking court staff and their families. He also faces a gag in his federal election interference case that blocks him from attacks against witnesses, court staff and other lawyers.

Yet Trump is once again lashing out at the gag order in his criminal case in Manhattan where he is forbidden from publicly attacking witnesses and court staff and their families, which he is calling “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL” in his latest Truth Social post.

“The Gag Order imposed on me, a political candidate running for the highest office in the land, is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Nothing like this has ever happened before,” he wrote on Wednesday.

“The Conflicted Judges friends and party members can say whatever they want about me, but I am not allowed to respond,” he added. “The Trial is Rigged and should never have been allowed to take place on a charge that virtually every legal scholar and expert say is bogus, THERE IS NO CRIME. This is a Political Witch Hunt – ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”

New York Justice Juan Merchan is expected to rule at any point between now and Thursday morning on whether the former president can be held in contempt and fined for his attacks against witnesses in the case.

Alex Woodward24 April 2024 16:00


No trial on Wednesdays

Good morning from New York, where Donald Trump’s criminal trial is nearing the end of its second week.

As a reminder, there are no trial days on Wednesdays – for now.

Justice Juan Merchan has scheduled proceedings to begin at 9:30am and wrap at 4:30pm, with some exceptions, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He anticipates the trial running for five to seven weeks.

But he has mentioned that if the trial is running behind for any reason, he could put Wednesdays on the calendar.

A courtroom sketch depicts New York Justice Juan Merchan watching Donald Trump’s defence attorney Todd Blanche speak in court on 23 April. (REUTERS)

Alex Woodward24 April 2024 15:30


Jon Stewart derides hysterical TV media coverage of Trump trial and gets roasted by Jessica Williams

The Daily Show host was in fine form this week satirising the breathless TV coverage of the defendant’s daily arrival at court but got well and truly owned by a fellow correspondent over his opposition to “fun”.

Jon Stewart makes fun of Trump trial coverage in Daily Show rant

Jon Stewart made fun of coverage of Donald Trump’s criminal trial in a rant during Monday night’s Daily Show. The host criticised some media organisations for focusing on small details of the former president’s court appearances in the Stormy Daniels hush money case. Stewart showed clips of news anchors discussing elements of the trial such as Trump pursing his lips and fidgeting “If the media tries to make us feel like the most mundane bulls**t is earth-shattering, we won’t believe you when it’s really interesting,” Stewart said.

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 14:55


Marjorie Taylor Greene makes wild claim Democrats want Trump ‘murdered in jail’

Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has wildly claimed, without any evidence, that Democrats want Trump to be “murdered in jail”.

The right-wing lawmaker made the remarks during an interview with Infowars host Alex Jones, in which she suggested that the four criminal cases Trump is facing are an intentional effort by his political rivals to imprison the former president until he dies.

She added that Democrats are also attempting to strip Trump of his presidential Secret Service detail to accomplish their goal.

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 14:35


Biden trolls Trump over Bible grift as he slams Florida abortion ban

Joe Biden mocked Donald Trump for trying to sell “God Bless the USA” Bibles last month and slammed the former president and his 2024 rivel over his abortion record.

The 46th president laid into his predecessor, referring to years-old remarks Trump had made during an interview on MSNBC when he said women who have abortions should be punished and mocking him for endorsing the line of leather-bound Bibles sold by country singer Lee Greenwood.

“He said there has to be punishment for women exercising their reproductive freedom… maybe it’s coming from that Bible he’s trying to sell. I almost wanted to buy one just to see what the hell is in it,” President Biden said during a trip to Florida on Tuesday.

As Trump continues to cool his heels in a New York City courtroom, the president travelled from Washington to Tampa, Florida.

There, he headlined a campaign event focused on rallying women and supporters of reproductive rights just one week before the ban takes effect.

Andrew Feinberg and John Bowden have this report.

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 14:15


Florida classified documents case: Trump valet Walt Nauta was ‘promised pardon’, FBI papers reveal

Nauta was reportedly told he would be pardoned during a potential second Trump administration if he was charged with lying to the FBI, according to the bureau’s redacted interviews with a witness known only as “Person 16”.

The valet was charged with precisely that offence in June 2023 and for obstructing the agency’s investigation into the classified government documents Trump had stored at Mar-a-Lago after his presidency.

The former president was also charged with obstruction and with mishandling classified national defence information.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 13:55


Trump describes college pro-Palestine protests as a ‘disgrace’

The defendant took the time yesterday to blame the eruption of demonstrations on American college campuses against Israel’s actions in Gaza on, you guessed it, Joe Biden.

“He has the wrong tone,” Trump said of his opponent for the presidency.

“He’s got the wrong words. He doesn’t know who he’s backing. And it’s a mess.”

Trump describes college pro-Palestine protests as a ‘disgrace’

Donald Trump has labelled the pro-Palestine protests sweeping college campuses across the US a “disgrace”. The former president spoke on the drama as he headed into court for day six of his hush money trial in Manhattan on Tuesday 23 April. Speaking to reporters, he blamed the escalating protests across college campuses on Joe Biden, claiming the US president has been putting out the “wrong signal” on Israel’s ongoing conflict in Gaza. “He has the wrong tone. He’s got the wrong words. He doesn’t know who he’s backing. And it’s a mess,” Mr Trump said.

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 13:35


Lara Trump appears to promise election interference in November

Trump’s daughter-in-law, the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee, got called out by an expert on fascism after appearing to threaten election workers live on Newsmax – not a good look!

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 13:15


Mitt Romney doesn’t hold back when asked about Stormy Daniels

The Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did not mince his words when speaking to reporters about Trump’s hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“I think everyone has made their own assessment of President Trump’s character”, he said on Tuesday.

“And as far as I know you don’t pay someone $130,000 not to have sex with you”.

Here’s more from Michelle Del Rey.

Joe Sommerlad24 April 2024 12:55

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