Judge Again Denies Motion For Mistrial Over Stormy Daniels Testimony

Judge Juan Merchan denied a renewed motion for a mistrial raised by former President Donald Trump’s defense on Thursday in response to Stormy Daniels’ testimony.

Merchan denied Trump’s request for a mistrial Tuesday over testimony, though he noted many of the details Daniels included would have been better left “unsaid.” He said on Thursday the defense’s claim during opening statements that the sexual encounter never happened puts the jury in a position of having to decide.

“Right off the bat, that pits your client’s word against Ms. Daniel’s word,” he said, noting this allows prosecutors to rehabilitate her as a witness and try to corroborate her story.

Merchan again questioned why the defense did not raise more objections during Daniels’ testimony.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche objected Thursday to a number of questions asked by the prosecution, including about Daniels’ story of “spanking” Trump, details about the inside of the bathroom, whether she was drugged, about the respective height difference, about whether she felt threatened and whether Trump was wearing a condom.

“We didn’t know these questions were coming,” Blanche said. “We were sitting there hearing that for the first time.”

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said a lot of what Blanche claimed was “flat out untrue,” adding that the claim of ambush is “just nonsense.”

“We went out of our way to eliminate the most salacious details in order to avoid embarrassing the defendant,” Steinglass said. He said there was not a lot of detail about the actual sexual encounter, even though the details would corroborate her story.

On cross examination, defense attorney Susan Necheles pushed to show Daniels was motivated by money and a hatred of Trump. She also sought to draw out inconsistencies between the story Daniels’ told on the stand and how she has previously told it, including in a 2011 interview with In Touch magazine.

Daniels denied she had been inconsistent and again affirmed the story was true. She also denied being motivated by money. However, when asked directly whether she hated Trump, she gave a clear answer: “Yes.”

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