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Lawyer behind Stormy Daniels hush money payment testifies

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Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump walks, as his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 continues, at Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S., April 30, 2024. 

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

This is developing news. Check back for updates throughout the day.

The New York criminal trial of Donald Trump is set to resume Thursday with more testimony from the attorney who helped broker a hush money payment from the former president’s lawyer to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Keith Davidson, who represented Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, testified Tuesday about his involvement in selling the story rights for both women, each of whom separately claimed to have had sex with Trump while he was married.

The $130,000 payment to Daniels in particular is at the center of the historic criminal trial in Manhattan Supreme Court, where Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accuses Trump of unlawfully mislabeling those records as part of a scheme to secretly reimburse his then-lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Trump unlawfully tried to influence that election by buying and suppressing damaging information about him, Bragg alleges.

Thursday’s session marks Trump’s return to the courtroom for the first time since Judge Juan Merchan held him in criminal contempt for repeatedly violating his gag order — and warned that future violations could land him in jail.

Merchan on Thursday morning was expected to hold another hearing on whether Trump violated the gag order four more times.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, must sit in court throughout the trial, which is expected to last six weeks.

Read more about Trump’s hush money trial

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