Stormy Daniels’ prominence overshadows Donald Trump in the trial for paying a bribe to the porn actress | USA Elections

Stormy Daniels’ prominence overshadows Donald Trump in the trial for paying a bribe to the porn actress | USA Elections
Stormy Daniels’ prominence overshadows Donald Trump in the trial for paying a bribe to the porn actress | USA Elections

The statement of Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress and screenwriter who in 2016 received $130,000 in exchange for not telling about an affair with Donald Trump, has been this week the dramatic summit of the first criminal trial, of the four she faces, against the former president of the United States; also the first in the history of the country with a former president sitting on the bench. Although the private life of the Republican candidate is not judged, only the irregular payment record, the expectation generated by the presence of Daniels, sitting two inches from Trump, has put the focus on the most morbid details of the story.

But nothing could be further from the truth, even though Judge Juan Merchan asked the woman to omit the details because there was no need for so much explicitness. However salacious they were—his corpulence; the fact that he did not use a condom and her dizziness and confusion when leaving the room—, Daniels’ comments project in retrospect the all-embracing figure of the one who aspires to be re-elected president in November: the sure winner—his favorite insult is loserloser—who today finds himself humiliated in the dock by 34 criminal charges and a gag order, in addition to being overshadowed by the absolute prominence of Daniels.

The images of Trump have followed one another these three weeks as if in a kaleidoscope: the tycoon he was in 2006, when that meeting took place in a hotel in Nevada, which he has always denied; the presidential candidate who in 2016, in the final stretch of the campaign, decided to silence the woman so that the scandal would not harm his options at the polls, or, finally, the president who from the White House issued the checks—from his personal account—to return to his lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, the money he had advanced to Daniels, plus interest and a bonus: $420,000 in total, recorded by the Trump Organization as “legal expenses.” . That accounting irregularity is the crux of the 34 charges against Trump, not infidelity to his wife, Melania. Cohen, who later turned against his boss and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for illicit campaign financing as a result of bribery, could testify this Monday. He Stormy Daniels case It is a derivative of yours.

“If this story were not true, I would have written it much better,” the witness responded Thursday to Trump’s lawyers when asked if her account of the sexual encounter was one of those “fictional stories” that she concocted as an adult film scriptwriter. . But it’s hard to believe that there is a better, more convoluted story: the one starring a “pompous” and “arrogant” tycoon – in Daniels’ own words – who, thanks to her popularity as a reality television star, with her show The newbie and his furious slogan: “You’re fired!”, made the leap into politics and the White House. The fame of the successful businessman who cajoled Daniels despite the age difference: 60 years for him, 27 for her. And the physical corpulence, in addition to the power, of the man when it comes to achieving his goals. A sum of elements typical of a series television film btoday in prime time.

Trump’s metamorphosis

The judicial offensive against Trump, of which the Manhattan trial is only the prologue, also allows us to contemplate the metamorphosis of the character: the development of the magnate’s political adventure (Stormy Daniels case), the acting president capable of even instigating an insurrection, the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to reverse the result of the 2020 elections (the cases of Washington and Georgia), and the example of a sore loser that departure of the White House with mountains of classified documents, to avoid the normal transfer of functions to the incoming Administration (the Mar-a-Lago papers).

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The stage name of Stephanie Clifford, which is the name of the porn actress and screenwriter in real life, converted into Ghostbusters in paranormal television programs, has been this week the resource most used by the local media to graphically describe what was happening in the trial: with little imagination, all the headlines have been to a greater or lesser extent stormy (in Englishstormy). Just as was the ferocious attack by the defense, which did not make the woman tremble one bit in the almost eight hours of testimony, spread over two days, even though the Republican’s lawyers insisted that the story had been invented to to take money out.

Stormy Daniels leaves the Manhattan courthouse on Thursday.JUSTIN LANE (EFE)

Judge Merchan this week warned the defense about the excessive mimicry, snorting and potentially intimidating audible comments Trump made during Daniels’ deposition. Not content with having declared him in contempt on two occasions during the trial—and condemned him to pay $10,000, one thousand for each violation of the silence order—the judge also threatened him with jail if he continues to criticize witnesses and judges. In anticipation of such an eventuality, the infamous Rikers Island prison, New York’s Guantánamo, is taking all necessary measures to guarantee his placement in a single cell. The fact that he has no criminal record could leave him on probation if he were convicted, with a sentence of up to four years in prison. A conviction would not prevent him from being president again, but since this is a state case, he would not be able to pardon himself if he is convicted. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Apart from the panoramic view that the New York trial offers about Trump, his defense strategy is one step ahead and is managing to score important goals, such as the indefinite postponement of the trial due to the classified Mar-a-Lago documents. A hypothetical victory for the Republican in November could neutralize the three pending cases. And in the only one that will be judged before the elections, the one in Manhattan, Trump has made a virtue of adversity: with his improvised rallies—often lasting more than five or seven minutes—before journalists when he enters and leaves the court, he can continue campaigning, even if it is in a hallway, and repeat that he is the victim of political persecution by his Democratic rivals to harm him in the race for the White House.

Among the witnesses who have taken the stand, the testimony of David Pecker, former CEO of the company that publishes the tabloid National Enquirer, was the juiciest, revealing the existence of a plot, hatched with Trump and Cohen, to buy unfavorable stories for the Republican with a checkbook and put them in a drawer. Pecker and Trump’s communications are key to understanding the former president’s motive and intention in paying Daniels and another model, Karen McDougal, which prosecutors consider constitutes a criminal scheme aimed at keeping voters in the dark about the candidate. According to them, Trump committed crimes to influence the 2016 elections that he ended up, against all odds, winning. Knowing now, in detail, how the Republican candidate spends his money, voters may have an even easier time.

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