Trump seeks to block Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen from testifying at NY hush money trial

Former President Trump’s lawyers in his hush-money case on Monday demanded a New York judge block key witnesses from testifying in Trump’s first criminal trial set to begin next month.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche moved to block testimony from Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-fixer, and two women he paid to stay quiet about affairs they alleged with Trump: Porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Trump’s reimbursements to Cohen are the thrust of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) prosecution of Trump, who denies the affairs and pleaded not guilty to his 34 charges of falsifying business records.

The 47-page motion attacks the witnesses’ credibility at length, casting Cohen as a “liar” and suggesting Daniels would offer “false” and “salacious” testimony.

Trump’s lawyers also took aim at how prosecutors have described the hush money payments as a “catch-and-kill” scheme to quash negative information about Trump in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

The Hill has reached out to Bragg’s office for comment.

Trump’s lawyers also asked to block the notorious 2005 Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump is caught on a hot mic disparaging women, and evidence from close confidants at the time of his alleged crime, including Rudy Giuliani and ex-Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Monday’s filing came soon after prosecutors filed their motion to block Trump from introducing certain testimony at trial, including claims he is being selectively prosecuted and Justice Department filings that would cast doubt on Cohen’s credibility.

Blanche said the state hoped to use “improper” and “inadmissible” evidence to bolster their “listless ‘zombie’ case” meant to interfere with Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

The defense attorney pointed to testimony from Cohen in Trump’s civil fraud trial, which ended last month, as a reason to exclude him from the upcoming trial. Cohen testified in the fraud trial that he and Weisselberg “reverse-engineered” Trump’s assets to reach a number the former president liked, but on cross-examination, backtracked on his remarks.

“Michael Cohen is a liar,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

“He recently committed perjury, on the stand and under oath, at a civil trial involving President Trump. If his public statements are any indication, he plans to do so again at this criminal trial. The Court should preclude Cohen’s testimony in order to protect the integrity of this Court and the process of justice.”

Cohen responded to the motion on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing, “F-U Todd Blanche.”

Trump’s hush money trial is scheduled to begin in New York on March 25, the first criminal trial he’ll face — and that any former president has ever faced.

This story was updated at 12:57 p.m. on Feb. 27.

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