Trump trial live updates: Trump hit with contempt, witnesses detail Stormy Daniels deal

Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City, where he is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been tried on criminal charges.

MORE: 4 takeaways from the 1st week of testimony in Trump’s hush money trial

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

Latest Developments

Apr 30, 5:15 PM

Trump, following court, again calls case unfair

Exiting the courtroom following the day's testimony, former President Trump reiterated claims that the case is unfair and that he should be campaigning instead of sitting in court.

"I'm sitting here because that's exactly what they want," Trump said. "They don't want me on the campaign trail. But it's a real -- a real disgrace and the whole world is watching. It's a disgrace to New York."

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing for the day at his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, Apr. 30, 2024.  (Eduardo Munoz/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing for the day at his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, Apr. 30, 2024. (Eduardo Munoz/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump also railed against the limited gag order in the case, for which the judge this morning fined him $9,000 and ordered him to remove nine social media posts.

"This gag order is not only unique, it's totally unconstitutional," Trump opined, calling Judge Merchan "conflicted."

Asked by a reporter what he meant by "conflicted," Trump brusquely turned to respond.

"You can figure that one out easily," he said.

-ABC News' Mike Pappano

Apr 30, 4:39 PM

Court recessed until Thursday

Following attorney Keith Davidson's testimony about Michael Cohen providing the $130,000 payment for Stormy Daniels' hush money deal, Judge Juan Merchan recessed the proceedings for the day.

With court off on Wednesday, he told the jury to report back at at 10 a.m. ET Thursday, allowing 30 minutes for a gag order hearing scheduled for the same day.

Apr 30, 4:49 PM

Davidson tells how Cohen finally made $130K payment

On Oct. 25, 2016, National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard made a push to restart the Daniels deal after Michael Cohen failed to come up with the agreed-upon $130,000 hush money payment, Stormy Daniels' then-attorney Keith Davidson testified.

"Push for the cash. [David Pecker] and I just told [Cohen] he has to pay the 150K," Howard texted Davidson that day, according to evidence.

"It was an attempt to resurrect this deal that had fallen apart," Davidson testified. "They were encouraging Cohen to deal directly with me and that I should try to get as much as I could up to $150,000."

"The entire matter was frustrating, that it was on again, off again, that there were delays in funding and cancellations," Davidson said about the entire Daniels transaction.

According to Davidson, Cohen continued to push back on the deal despite the encouragement from Howard and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

PHOTO: Lawyer Keith Davidson, who represented former Playboy model Karen McDougal, is questioned by prosecutor Joshua Steinglass before Justice Juan Merchan during former President Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York City, Apr. 30, 2024 (Jane Rosenberg/Reuters)
PHOTO: Lawyer Keith Davidson, who represented former Playboy model Karen McDougal, is questioned by prosecutor Joshua Steinglass before Justice Juan Merchan during former President Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York City, Apr. 30, 2024 (Jane Rosenberg/Reuters)

"When I call Cohen, he says I am not paying anything. AMI is paying," a frustrated Davidson testified.

On Oct. 26, 2016, Davidson said that he resent Cohen the instructions for where to wire the payment.

Asked why he resent the instructions, Davidson cited Cohen's repeated assertion that "he didn't have my wiring instructions despite the fact that they were repeatedly sent to him previously."

"He said, 'We are sending you the money,'" Davidson recounted Cohen saying on Oct. 26, 2016.

"I told him I didn't believe him," Davidson testified.

According to Davidson, Cohen then emailed him the wire transfer confirmation from First Republic Bank to prove that the money was sent.

But Davidson said he still did not believe the money was sent, despite the email.

"It meant nothing to me," Davidson said, adding that Cohen’s email only confirmed he had the money, not that he had sent it.

Earlier testimony from Cohen's banker detailed how Cohen ultimately completed the transfer of funds on Oct. 27, 2016.

Apr 30, 4:23 PM

Davidson suggests he assumed Trump would fund Daniels' payment

When court resumed following the afternoon break, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass continued his direct examination of Stormy Daniels' attorney Keith Davidson.

Davidson testified that while Michael Cohen did not directly say he was negotiating the hush money deal on behalf of Donald Trump, it was implied throughout their negotiations.

"He leaned on his close affiliation with Donald Trump," Davidson said, adding that for Cohen, working for Trump was "part of his identity."

As a result, Davidson suggested he assumed that Donald Trump would ultimately fund the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

"It was my understanding that Mr. Trump was the beneficiary of this contract," Davidson said. He added that the beneficiary of a contract normally pays the contract -- but Judge Merchan struck that portion of his testimony.

Steinglass then attempted to get a clear answer to confirm that Davidson believed Trump would ultimately be responsible for Daniels' payment, but defense lawyer Emil Bove successfully interrupted the testimony through multiple objections and sidebars.

Davidson testified that in October 2016, National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard joked to Davidson about Trump's frugality, which Davidson said he believed was getting in the way of Daniels' contract being completed.

"I reckon that trump impersonator I hired has more cash," Howard said in a text to Davidson that was displayed for the jury.

Apr 30, 3:50 PM

Davidson says Cohen was slow to send Daniels' payment

Stormy Daniels' attorney Keith Davidson testified that he began to think Michael Cohen was beginning to come up with excuses not to send the $130,000 payment owed to Daniels for her silence regarding an alleged rendezvous with Trump.

Jurors saw an email from Cohen where he blamed the delay on the Yom Kippur holiday.

"There were other excuses," Davidson said.

On October 17, 2016, Davidson threatened to cancel the contract with Daniels after he said Cohen made a "barrage of excuses" and failed to meet the funding deadline for the contract.

"The things he was saying didn't make sense from one conversation to the next," Davidson said.

Davidson listed the excuses including, "the computer systems were all f----- up," there was increased security due to the Secret Service, and he had lost the wire instructions.

"This is a very bad situation," Davidson recounted telling Cohen. "It is making me look bad, and I don't really believe a word that you are saying."

"What do you expect me to do -- my guy is in five f------ states today," Davidson said Cohen told. "I am doing everything I can."

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump chats with his son Eric Trump during his criminal trial in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. April 30, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (Jane Rosenberg/Reuters)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump chats with his son Eric Trump during his criminal trial in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. April 30, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (Jane Rosenberg/Reuters)

Davidson testified his interpretation was that Cohen did not have the direct authorization to send the money.

"Where did you believe the money to be coming from?" prosecutor Josh Steinglass asked. "From Donald Trump or some kind of corporate entity," Davidson said.

On October 17, 2016, Davidson said he emailed Cohen to cancel the Daniels agreement and tell him that he no longer represented her.

"This is the straw that broke the camel's back," Davidson said following all the excuses from Cohen. "I said, 'Hey, this deal is over.'"

"I am out. Go in peace," Davidson summarized his email to Cohen.

"I believed Cohen was not being truthful," Davidson said. "I thought he was trying to kick the can down the road until after the election."

Cohen finally budged and said he would send the money himself, according to Davidson.

"God damn it, I will just do it myself," Cohen eventually said, according to Davidson.

Court subsequently recessed for a short afternoon break. Trump did not speak with reporters as he left the courtroom.

Apr 30, 3:34 PM

Davidson says he called Trump 'David Dennison' in contract

Stormy Daniels' attorney Keith Davidson testified that he used the pseudonym "David Dennison" to reference Donald Trump in the contract that paid Daniels for her silence regarding an alleged rendezvous with Trump.

"Who came up with those pseudonyms?" prosecutor Josh Steinglass asked Davidson.

"I did," replied Davidson, who said that the real David Dennison was on his "high school hockey team."

"How does he feel about you now?" Steinglass asked about the real David Dennison.

"He is very upset," Davidson said, prompting some smiles from the jury and laughter from the gallery.

Apr 30, 3:27 PM

Davidson walks through genesis of Stormy Daniels deal

Stormy Daniels' attorney Keith Davidson testified that National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard reached out to him in June 2016 to let him know that Stormy Daniels' agent Gina Rodriguez was attempting to shop around the Daniels' story.

"Gina is trying to hawk Stormy again," Howard texted Davidson in messages shown to the jury.

"Lol - she's trying to sell the story to you?" Davidson replied.

"Yep," wrote Howard.

Davidson testified that the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Trump was heard bragging about grabbing women, reinvigorated interest in Daniels' story.

"As far as I am aware, it had a tremendous influence," Davidson said. Before the 'Access Hollywood' tape, there was very little if any interest. It wasn't until 'Access Hollywood' that interest reached a crescendo."

"Trump is f-----," Davidson write in an Oct. 8, 2016, text message to Howard that was displayed for the jury.

Davidson also testified that the post about the alleged Daniels-Trump affair was active again, adding to Trump's problems.

"The Dirty post was bad, but it could get a lot worse," Davidson said.

According to Davidson, Howard and Rodriguez worked out a deal for AMI to buy Stormy Daniels' story for $120,000, but AMI backed out at the last moment. Howard suggested that Rodriguez reach out to Cohen to broker the deal, but she refused. Rodriguez instead asked Davidson to contact Cohen directly.

"Michael Cohen stepped into AMI's shoes" after "AMI washed their hands of the deal," Davidson said.

Davidson said he padded the Stormy Daniels' deal so he could get paid at the request of Gina Rodriguez.

"It is going to be the easiest deal you've ever done in your entire life," Davidson said to describe Rodriguez's request. Her only ask, according to Davidson, was that he would need to "talk to that a------ Cohen."

"It was the original [$120,000], plus $10,000," Davidson said about the $130,000 payment made by Cohen.

Apr 30, 3:14 PM

Davidson tells jury of 2011 call with 'jerk' Michael Cohen

Following Keith Davison's testimony about the deal between Karen McDougal and AMI, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass turned to the topic of Davidson's representation of Stormy Daniels.

Davidson recounted a conversation he had in 2011 with Cohen after a blog first posted a story about the Trump and Stormy Daniels affair allegations.

First, he said he got a call from Daniels's talent manager, Gina Rodriguez:

"The blog post had published and apparently I was informed that Gina had received a phone call from Michael Cohen," Davidson testified. "Gina called me up to tell me that some jerk called me and was very, very aggressive and threatened to sue."

"And I would like you, Keith, to call this jerk back," Davidson recounted Gina told him.

"I hate to ask it this way, but who was that jerk?" prosecutor Steinglass asked Davidson.

"Michael Cohen," Davidson said.

Davidson said he did call Cohen back, and proceeded to tell the jury about that call.

"It was to the Trump Organization. I called and was transferred to Michael Cohen," Davidson said. "I introduced myself and before I could barely get my name out, I was just met with a hostile barrage of insults and insinuations and allegations that went on for quite a while."

In the courtroom, both Trump and his attorney Todd Blanche appeared to laugh as Davidson continued with this description of Cohen.

"He was upset that the story on the had published and he believed that stormy Daniels was behind the story,"

"What did you tell him?" Steinglass asked.

"Finally, after he finished, I explained that I was calling because my client Stormy Daniels did not want the story published and I wanted to see if he had done anything to contact the to take the story down."

Davidson said he subsequently sent a cease-and-desist letter and successfully got the post taken down.

Apr 30, 3:03 PM

Davidson says Cohen was 'pleased' with McDougal deal

As Karen McDougal's attorney Keith Davidson continued his testimony, jurors were shown the final contract between McDougal and AMI that prohibited her from talking about past relationships with a "then-married man."

"Karen had ... granted her limited life rights related to the subject matter -- any affairs with any then-married man -- to AMI," Davidson testified, telling jurors that Donald Trump was the "then-married man" referenced in the contract.

Asked by prosecutor Joshua Steinglass the reasons he believed AMI would spend $150,000 on a story they didn't plan to publish, Davidson said, "I think there were two. I think one explanation that was given was that they were trying to build Karen into a brand," and didn't want to compromise her reputation, he said.

"The second was more of an unspoken understanding that there was a close affiliation between (publisher) David Pecker and Donald Trump, and that AMI would not run this story ... because it would tend to hurt Donald Trump."

"You mean, hurt Donald Trump's campaign?" Steinglass asked.

"Yes," Davidson said.

Davidson previously testified that when the deal was finalized, he called Michael Cohen.

"I called him and let him know as a professional courtesy that the deal involving his client closed," Davidson said.

"What client is that?" Steinglass asked.

"Donald Trump," Davidson said.

Steinglass asked Davidson how Cohen received the news.

"He was pleased," Davidson said.

Apr 30, 2:54 PM

Appeals court denies Trump's bid to have judge recused

An appellate court has denied former President Trump's bid to have Judge Juan Merchan recused from his hush money trial.

Trump's application sought a stay of the proceedings and Merchan's recusal.

Both were denied without explanation by the appellate judge.

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