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CNN Panel Shocked By Effective Questioning of Prosecution Witness By Trump Lawyer

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A CNN panel of experts and pundits expressed some shock at how “effective” they found the questioning of a witness for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecutors by a lawyer for former President Donald Trump in his hush-money case on Friday.

CNN anchor Erin Burnett and chief legal analyst Paula Reid were stunned by the “incredibly effective” cross-examination of prosecution witness Keith Davidson by former President Donald Trump’s legal team, labeling it an “OMG” moment.

“We are tracking minute-by-minute updates as Trump’s defense attorney just finished cross-examining a key lawyer. Talking about Keith Davidson, he represented both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who were both paid to keep quiet about alleged affairs with Trump. Erin?” co-anchor Wolf Blitzer said, bringing in Burnett.

“And the prosecution requested a five-minute break here to decide whether they’re going to try to do re-direct examination. And Davidson’s testimony so far, some really crucial moments both on direct and in these recent moments in cross. He says these deals were crafted in the weeks before the 2016 election and he said that he never had any interaction with Trump directly,” she said before addressing Reid.

“So, Paula, as I said, they just asked for a five-minute break, and you said this is a five-minute break where you sit down and go, OMG, we need to clean up on aisle five,” Burnett said.

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“Yes, they do. I mean, this was incredibly effective cross-examination largely because the prosecution did not themselves bring up a lot of Davidson’s other dealings. Deals that he brokered from clients – for clients who got money from, for example, Charlie Sheen or going to try to get money from Hulk Hogan in exchange for a sex tape, something where some of his interactions were monitored by the authorities,” Reid said.

“They did incredibly damaging things that raised questions about whether Davidson was indeed in the business of extortion,” Reid added.

The panel then noted that Bragg himself has kept a low profile in the case and has not made many court appearances, but he did after the brutal cross-examination.

“So the fact that he’s in court today, that’s really interesting, especially because they just think they got killed on cross, so this is fascinating that he’s –” Reid said before Burnett jumped in.

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“They got killed, so it means he’s not far away. Maybe he was in that room waiting and saying, I’m going to oversee the cleanup,” she said.

WATCH:

Earlier in the week, a CNN panel discussing the trial noted that despite Trump’s gag order, the judge in the case, Juan Merchan, informed defense attorneys that the former president can respond to comments about the trial if they are made by his political rival, President Joe Biden.

The panel noted that Biden happened to mention the trial for the first time during the White House Correspondents Dinner earlier when he made a joke about “stormy weather,” a reference to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whom Trump made hush-money payments before the 2016 election to cover up an alleged affair they had a decade earlier.

“I just also want to go back as we look for new updates to what [Todd] Blanche, Trump‘s attorney, said about Joe Biden. It was noteworthy that President Biden, really for the first time, he did it cloaked in humor because it was at the White House Correspondents Dinner for the first time he went there on the trial” host Dana Bash said.

“And he talked about ‘stormy weather,’ and that was clearly what Blanche was referring to when he said that the current president referred to a potential witness. Also noteworthy is that we just heard from the judge explicitly that when it comes to the campaign trail, if Joe Biden does that again, Trump can respond. I mean, it maybe seems obvious, but when you have a former president and somebody who is on trial saying that he can‘t speak, and the judge explicitly saying you can when it‘s on the campaign trail and when at your political opponent. That‘s on the record now,” she added.

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