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Legal Analyst Notes Stormy Daniels’ ‘Wild’ Testimony At Trump Trial

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


A legal analyst for MSNBC broke down adult film star Stormy Daniels’ testimony during former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial on Tuesday while speculating what impact it may have had on the jury.

Legal analyst Harry Litman, reporting from the Manhattan courtroom, noted that Daniels might have caused some confusion among the jury with her “wild” testimony.

After the prosecution questioned Daniels in court before a lunch break, Litman, a former U.S. attorney, spoke with MSNBC about his observations. He suggested that Daniels’ testimony, which he described as perhaps too “colorful,” might have elicited mixed reactions from the jury.

“There was a lot to see as far as the jury. We’re talking about a very, very colorful witness who detailed kinds of events and just efforts and ways of being that I think for the jury were fairly foreign. She spoke very quickly, nervously, she told a lot of jokes, but not all of them landed,” he said.

During her testimony, Judge Juan Merchan agreed with several objections from Trump’s defense team, which included overly detailed descriptions of their encounters, such as the clothing Trump wore and mentions of products like Old Spice.

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The judge said at one point that Daniels was providing “unnecessary” details during her testimony, including a description of a sexual position she claimed she and Trump were in. Litman noted that he had never seen Merchan as “irritated” as he was by the level of detail in the testimony. Previously, the judge had to warn Trump of possible jail time after he was found in criminal contempt for the tenth time for violating a gag order.

Litman characterized the testimony as “wild” and “hyper-colorful.” Daniels recounted a moment when she humorously asked Trump if Hugh Hefner was aware that he had taken his pajamas after Trump allegedly greeted her at a hotel suite door dressed in “silk or satin” pajamas. According to Daniels, Trump “politely” changed his attire at her request.

Litman noted that during Daniels’ testimony, the jury’s attention was primarily focused on her, not the former president.

Trump, he said, had a “general impassiveness” as the alleged details were being revealed. “My general feeling is, like, wow, this is a colorful, maybe hyper-colorful witness,” Litman added.

Trump signaled this week that he is willing to be locked up for violating Merchan’s restrictive gag order in remarks to reporters.

On Monday, Merchan, a known donor to Democratic candidates, cited new examples of Trump violating the order after he fined the 45th president $9,000 last week for similar violations. “Merchan warned Trump that continued violations of the order could result in incarceration—a threat he made again on Monday after fining him the maximum of $1,000 for the most recent violation,” NBC News reported.

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“It appears that the $1,000 fines are not serving as a deterrent,” Merchan said during early proceedings on Monday.

“The last thing I want to do is to put you in jail. You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president as well. There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for you,” he continued, adding that taking that step would be “disruptive to the proceedings.”

However, Merchan warned Trump that “his continued willful violations of this court’s orders threaten the administration of justice and constitute a direct attack on the rule of law. I cannot allow that to continue.”

Merchan noted that the offending statement was posted to Trump’s Truth Social account and that it must be removed by 2:15 p.m. on Monday.

Later, Trump was critical of the gag order to reporters, vowing that he may have to be jailed over the issue.

“I tell you people, you ask me a question, a simple question, I’d like to give it, but I can’t talk about it because this judge has given me a gag order and said you’ll go to jail if you violate it,” he said.

“And frankly, you know what? Our Constitution is much more important than jail. It’s not even close. I’ll do that sacrifice any day,” he added.

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