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MSNBC Panel Says Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Was ‘Difficult’ Witness For Prosecution And ‘Helpful’ To Trump

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


Panelists on MSNBC claimed that former attorney Keith Davidson, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels, was a difficult witness for the prosecution and helped the case of former President Donald Trump.

Testifying on Thursday, Davidson—who also served as Karen McDougal’s attorney—confirmed that Trump had committed 34 felonies in connection with his purportedly falsified business records to reimburse Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, for the $130,000 that Daniels had received before the 2016 election. Adam Pollock, a former deputy attorney general of New York, described his testimony as “difficult” for the prosecution.

Still, MSNBC legal analyst Catherine Christian called it “helpful” for the defense because it would give Trump’s lawyers more evidence to claim that Daniels’ lawyer took advantage of the then-candidate.

“I think Davidson is one in a line of difficult witnesses that already came before and are going to be coming in this trial,” Pollock said in response to host Katy Tur asking about how his testimony impacted the prosecution’s case.

“This is a messy trial, and sort of gives us all an insight, a crack into what this sordid world is about between the National Enquirer and selling stories. It’s not pretty to watch,” Pollock added.

“He was helpful in that he established that there was a payoff and he negotiated with Michael Cohen, but he was helpful to the defense because he has, particularly since the prosecution didn’t bring out some of his bad acts on their direct examination, he appears to be in the defense view, just a lawyer who shakes down people, whether it was Hulk Hogan or other people,” Christian said in response to the same question.

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“That’s what he did and maybe that’s what happened here. That’s what the defense will say. This was a shakedown of Donald Trump. This wasn’t about paying someone as an illegal campaign contribution. This was a shakedown, and Michael Cohen, it’s an understatement to say how difficult of a witness he is for the prosecution,” Christian added.

In December 2016, Davidson testified that he received a call from Cohen, whom he believed was planning to “kill himself” because Trump had not appointed him to a cabinet position.

A CNN panel agreed on Thursday that there isn’t enough evidence to support Trump’s allegation of “direct involvement” in the payments; they noted that the witness testimony has only produced “tidbits” of information and that there aren’t many “receipts” supporting the claim.

WATCH:

Alina Habba, one of Trump’s lawyers, said that the former president can’t get a fair trial in the hush money case because the jury seems to be biased about politics.

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Habba, who is not representing Trump in the falsifying business records trial in New York, said during an interview on Fox News that she is worried that “politicized judges and blue juries” will work against him.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is in charge of the hush money trial, fined Trump $9,000 and told him he could go to jail for breaking a gag order that said he couldn’t talk about possible witnesses in public.

Trump, the likely Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has said many times that Merchan is biased against him. He also tried to get the trial moved from Manhattan, which is a stronghold for Democrats, to Staten Island, which is a stronghold for Republicans, to improve his chances of getting an impartial jury.

Habba told Fox News that she doesn’t care if the trial proves Trump guilty or not because “the facts are on our side” to suggest he didn’t. What worries her is how the jury will see him no matter what.

“The issue [is] that we have politicized judges and blue juries coming in, and they’re supposed to be impartial, but you have a judge tweaking, reprimanding, putting down counsel on the other side, being harder on one side than the other, that affects the jury,” Habba said. “And that’s not fair. It’s not right.”

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“Now, if President Trump is given a fair jury, a fair trial like anybody else in this country would be—because his name is Trump, he doesn’t—that’s where my concern is, not the facts. The facts are on our side,” Habba added.

In response to allegations that he arranged for adult film star Stormy Daniels to receive “hush money” from his former attorney Michael Cohen to conceal an alleged affair between Daniels and Trump before the 2016 election, Trump entered a not-guilty plea on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

According to Trump’s corporate records, the funds were declared “legal fees,” which prosecutors claim was a part of a criminal effort to sway the results of the 2016 presidential contest.

While acknowledging that he paid Cohen $130,000 back, Trump insists that he never had an affair with Daniels.

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