Trump hush money trial: What we've learned from the Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen testimony so far

Former President Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial is set to resume Thursday in Manhattan, where Michael Cohen, his so-called fixer-turned-foe and the prosecution's key witness, is expected back on the witness stand to give more testimony.

Cohen has already testified for nearly 10 hours about his role in facilitating the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election to silence her about her alleged sexual affair with Trump — a story that, coming on the heels of the “Access Hollywood” tape, threatened to torpedo his bid for the White House. Daniels testified last week.

The proceedings also featured a bulletproof vest, some TikTok spats and plenty of strong feelings.

Here are some of the key highlights, revelations and dramatic moments from their testimony.

What we learned from Daniels

Under direct questioning from prosecutors, the adult film actress recounted her claim of having sex with former President Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Calif., in 2006.

"I had my clothes and my shoes off. I removed my bra. We were in missionary position," Daniels told the court.

Daniels also testified about her efforts to try to sell her story of the affair and being paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep quiet about it.

Trump isfacing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to conceal the hush money payment to Daniels. The prosecution sought to use Daniels's testimony to bolster their claim that Trump broke the law when he falsified those records to keep a story about his infidelity with the porn actress from coming to light.

During cross-examination, the defense tried to cast Daniels as a vindictive liar who concocted the story to make money.

“Am I correct that you hate President Trump?” Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked Daniels.

“Yes,” Daniels replied.

“And you want him to go to jail?” Necheles asked.

“I want him to be held accountable,” Daniels said.

“You made all this up, right?” Necheles asked during a heated exchange.

“No!” Daniels said.

During her two days on the witness stand, Daniels spoke fast at times and was repeatedly instructed by Judge Juan Merchan to slow down to allow the court’s stenographer time to transcribe her testimony.

According to her lawyer, Clark Brewster, Daniels wore a bulletproof vest underneath her clothes while traveling to and from the courthouse.

“She was concerned about the security coming into New York,” Brewster told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “She was paralyzed with fear — not of taking the stand or telling her story, but what some nut might do to her.”

What we learned from Cohen

Cohen testified for nearly five hours on Monday about the hush money agreement he struck with Daniels on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.

Under direct questioning, Cohen told the court that Trump directed him to pay Daniels and approved a scheme to conceal his reimbursement.

Cohen portrayed Trump as highly attuned to negative press, extremely wary about leaving a paper trail (Trump never had an email address, Cohen testified) and intimately aware of the missions his employees were carrying out on his behalf, such as the hush money agreements with Daniels and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who also alleged she had an affair with Trump.

Cohen acknowledged in court that he would sometimes “bully” people for Trump and occasionally lie for him.

“I did,” Cohen said when asked if he ever lied for Trump. “It was what was needed to accomplish the task.”

He also testified about the aftermath of an April 2018 FBI raid of his apartment, office and hotel room and recalled the last conversation he had with Trump, who reassured him that everything would be “OK.”

The defense sought to portray Cohen as someone whose obsession with Trump turned vengeful when it became clear the former president was not interested in giving him a meaningful White House job.

Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche began his cross-examination of Cohen by reading aloud some of the disparaging comments Cohen made about him and Trump.

“Mr. Cohen, my name is Todd Blanche, and you and I have never met. You went on TikTok and called me a ‘crying little shit,’” Blanche said.

“That sounds like something I would say,” Cohen replied.

“You referred to Trump as a ‘dictator douchebag’?” Blanche asked Cohen.

“Sounds like something I said,” Cohen replied.

“You said he should go back to ‘where he belongs, in a fucking cage like a fucking animal.’ You recall saying that?” Blanche asked.

“I recall saying that,” Cohen testified.

The trial is not being televised and still cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom during testimony. But according to multiple reporters covering the trial, Trump appeared to doze off for several minutes during the defense cross-examination and had to be roused awake by lawyer Susan Necheles.

Politico described Trump as “motionless, his head hanging down.”

According to CNN, Necheles stared at Trump for a few seconds and tried getting his attention before moving into a seat next to him. She then whispered in his ear and went back to her seat.

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