CNN Legal Analysts Say Trump Defense’s ‘Searing Cross-Examination’ Of Stormy Daniels Could Turn Jury Against Her


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Former President Donald Trump’s trial defense’s cross-examination of porn star Stormy Daniels could lead to the jury having a negative opinion of her, CNN legal analysts said on Tuesday.

Daniels testified on Tuesday in the trial about a $130,000 payment to the porn star for her silence about an alleged affair before the 2016 election, acknowledging her hatred for the former president under cross-examination. CNN legal analysts Elie Honig and Elliot Williams said the cross-examination exposing Daniels’ strong bias against Trump will impact the jury’s perception of her negatively. (RELATED: Alvin Bragg’s Team Finally Produced Docs At Center Of Case Against Trump — There Was Just One Catch)

“This is some searing cross-examination so far. It’s quite effective … They got her to admit right up front, she hates the defendant,” Honig said. “I mean, you almost never see that. I had a case where, one time, the witness had sent a sort of negative letter to the defendant and that went boy, that was used. Here, she says, at least she’s honest. At least she says straight up, I hate him. Am I correct that you hate President Trump? Answer, yes. Later, they moved into her financial motive. They said you want to make money and she said, again, candidly, yes, I want to make money. People want to make money.”


“She also admitted that … she said that if he is jailed, she would dance, and she laughed. And I don’t think the jury’s going to like that. I don’t think they see this as a laughing matter or matter for a personal vengeance and retribution,” Honig added.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the trial, denied defense attorney Todd Blanche’s motion for a mistrial Tuesday after the prosecution’s examination of Daniels. Blanche alleged Daniels was “unduly prejudicial” and that she discussed irrelevant details to the case.

Merchan did indicate he will instruct the jury only to take into account a limited portion of her testimony.

“Cross examination is always an important opportunity for the defense to attack the credibility of the witness,” Williams said. “And this is common, and quite frankly, we could have anticipated that this is how a cross against frankly, any witness, but particularly Stormy Daniels, would have gone. So I’m not that stunned that they’re sort of going after her in this way … Now, look, he’s a public figure and we’ve been talking about this for quite some time and a lot of people were tweeting things about the former president.”

“However, when you‘re a witness in a criminal trial against him, it’s going to come back to haunt you,” Williams added. “Do you hate him and so on and something there was this back-and-forth over even Stormy Daniels laughing. She was chuckling in court. And this Sunday, we were talking about a little bit earlier in this program, how that will play before the jury. Now look, some human beings are nervous laughers, right? Frankly, I am too, but I’m also not testifying in front of a jury. And I think what the part of that cross-examination was, was saying that, why are you laughing? Like, do you find this funny? And I think that’s the kind of thing that can get in the jury’s head, thinking that number one, this person has a bias, but also number two, this person isn’t taking this testimony seriously.”

Merchan in March denied Trump’s request to block Daniels, as well as the former president’s previous attorney Michael Cohen, from testifying in the trial.

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