The hush-money trial against Donald Trump resumes on Friday at the end of a dramatic week which saw almost two days of testimony from adult film actor Stormy Daniels.

The hush-money trial against Donald Trump resumes on Friday at the end of a dramatic week which saw almost two days of testimony from adult film actor Stormy Daniels.

The relationship between Trump and Daniels is central to origins of the case because Trump’s then lawyer and personal fixer, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about their alleged sexual encounter during the 2016 election campaign.

Daniels’ testimony described their relationship in graphic detail and over lengthy periods of court time, despite the alleged criminal behavior at the heart of the charges being due to the way the payments were accounted for as prosecutors have claimed they were an election expense.

Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with the payments and had pleaded not guilty.

After weeks of the trial, Trump’s position in the 2024 election race does not appear to have been impacted much by his almost daily attendance at a courtroom in Manhattan or the salacious details that have emerged.

Trump remains the all-but-certain pick for the Republican party’s presidential nominee to face Joe Biden in the race for the White House. He has continued to perform well in the polls, often having a narrow lead over Biden in head-to-head surveys and performing well in crucial swing states.

The hush-money case is the first of four criminal cases to reach a jury against Trump. The other three have hit serious delays, which could perhaps prevent them from starting before November’s presidential election.

They involve Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia, his keeping of sensitive documents at his Florida resort and his conduct during the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

In two of those cases – in Georgia and in Florida – other legal developments this week pushed back any likely start dates even further in what many experts see as wins for Trump’s legal team and its strategy of delaying trials until the fight for the Oval Office is finished.

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The judge in Donald Trump’s hush money trial rejected a request Thursday afternoon from the former president’s attorneys to declare a mistrial. The attorneys had said Stormy Daniels’s testimony in the case, in which she alleged a 2006 sexual encounter that sounded nonconsensual, would bias the jury against Trump.

Daniels finished testifying earlier Thursday. Trump’s attorneys also unsuccessfully sought to have Daniels excised from the gag order preventing him from discussing witnesses and jurors in the case, but the judge turned down that request as well.

Stormy Daniels and Trump lawyer Susan Necheles engaged in a heated back-and-forth for over two hours on Thursday, concluding her testimony.

In response to the Trump team’s push for a mistrial, New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan criticized Trump lawyer Susan Necheles for not objecting more during Stormy Daniels’s testimony.

He said there were “many times when Ms. Necheles could have objected” but didn’t, and said there was “no objection to certain testimony” that the defense later used for a motion for a mistrial.

Merchan cited as an example testimony from the adult-film actress that Trump did not use a condom during their purported 2006 sexual encounter, which Trump says did not happen.

“I wish those questions hadn’t been asked,” Merchan said. “But for the life of me I don’t know why Ms. Necheles didn’t object.”

“Why on earth she wouldn’t object to the mention of a condom I don’t understand,” he added.