Trump hush money trial: Tabloid publisher David Pecker continues testimony

Litigation Reports

As Donald Trump was running for president in 2016, his old friend at the National Enquirer was scooping up potentially damaging stories about the candidate and paying out tens of thousands of dollars to keep them from the public eye.

But when it came to the seamy claims by porn performer Stormy Daniels, David Pecker, the tabloid’s longtime publisher, said he put his foot down.

“I am not paying for this story,” he told jurors Thursday at Trump’s hush money trial, recounting his version of a conversation with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen about the catch-and-kill scheme that prosecutors alleged amounted to interference in the race. Pecker was already $180,000 in the hole on other Trump-related stories by the time Daniels came along, at which point, he said, “I didn’t want to be involved in this.”

Pecker’s testimony was a critical building block for the prosecution’s theory that their partnership was a way to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election. The Manhattan district attorney is seeking to elevate the gravity of the history-making first trial of a former American president and the first of four criminal cases against Trump to reach a jury.

Trump’s lawyers also began their cross-examination of Pecker, using the time to question his memory of years-old events and to suggest his account had evolved over time.

But the hush money trial was just one of the consequential legal matters facing the Republican presidential candidate on Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court also heard arguments over whether Trump should be immune from criminal prosecution while he was the president, stemming from federal charges over his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden. The high court justices appeared likely to reject his claims of absolute immunity, though it seemed very possible that trial could be delayed beyond November’s election.

Trump’s many legal problems collided this week. The hush money case includes a looming decision on whether he violated a gag order and should be held in contempt. His former lawyers and associates were indicted in a 2020 election-related scheme in Arizona. And a New York judge rejected a request for a new trial in a defamation case that found Trump liable for $83.3 million in damages.

But the former president has a long history of emerging unscathed from sticky situations — if not becoming even more popular.

The Supreme Court’s decision will have lasting implications for future presidents, because the justices were seeking to answer the never-before-asked question of whether and to what extent does a former president enjoy immunity from prosecution for conduct during his time in office. But it may not impact the New York City case, which hinges mostly on Trump’s conduct as a presidential candidate in 2016 — not as a president.

Related listings

  • Supreme Court will weigh banning homeless people from sleeping outside

    Supreme Court will weigh banning homeless people from sleeping outside

    Litigation Reports 04/22/2024

    The Supreme Court will consider Monday whether banning homeless people from sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.The case is considered the most significant to come before the high court in decades on...

  • What to know about abortion in Arizona under the near-total 1864 ban

    What to know about abortion in Arizona under the near-total 1864 ban

    Litigation Reports 04/12/2024

    The Arizona Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Tuesday to prepare to enforce a long-dormant law that bans nearly all abortions, drastically altering the legal landscape for terminating pregnancies in a state likely to have a key role in the presidential...

  • The Man Charged in an Illinois Attack That Left 4 Dead Is Due Back in Court

    The Man Charged in an Illinois Attack That Left 4 Dead Is Due Back in Court

    Litigation Reports 04/01/2024

    A northern Illinois man charged with killing four people and injuring seven others by stabbing, beating and driving over them is expected back in court on Tuesday.A judge in the city of Rockford is expected to consider prosecutors' request that Chris...

Any contracts or any transactions can go awry at any time

We know your business means a lot to you and want to understand all the aspects of your business so that we can help you in the best ways possible. We don’t discriminate depending on the size of your company. Our mission statement is to represent all business owners and entrepreneurs by navigating them through the rough waters of business litigation and guiding them to success.

We are attorneys who want to make sure we understand your business objectives and goals before we start providing you with legal counsel individualized to your business. We know what it means to be dedicated to your business. After all, we are a business as well. And just like you, we want to provide the best service we can to our clients.

Any contracts or any transactions can go awry at any time. Sometimes, making important business decisions without legal help from business attorneys could cost you your business.We don’t want you or your business to be misconstrued by anyone. Our attorneys make sure that we communicate with you often to make sure we are giving you the legal guidance you need at all times. We make sure we are responsive in a timely-manner with every single one of our clients to help them identify risks and prevent legal battles before they arise.