Stormy Tuesday: 5 takeaways from a dramatic day at the Trump trial

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Tuesday was the most dramatic day yet at former President Trump’s criminal trial as Stormy Daniels took to the stand.

The porn actor is at the heart of the case because of her claim that she and Trump had sex at a celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe in 2006.

Daniels would eventually be paid $130,000 in the closing stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, with the intent of stopping her from telling this story publicly.

She was paid by Trump’s then-attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who was later reimbursed by Trump and a Trump-related trust.

The prosecution’s case is that the reimbursements to Cohen were falsely categorized as legal expenses to conceal their true purpose — silencing Daniels to help Trump prevail over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the election.

Trump denies having sex with Daniels. He also denies any criminal wrongdoing, arguing the money paid to Cohen was indeed for legal services.

Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. If he were convicted, he could face imprisonment, though a sentence of incarceration would be unusual for a first-time offender.

Here are the main takeaways from Tuesday’s proceedings.

Stormy Daniels gets to tell her story

The biggest news of the day was the most obvious: Stormy Daniels got to tell her story.

It was an extraordinary — and sometimes surreal — occasion, with Daniels detailing everything from her difficult upbringing and early days in the adult industry to the eventual alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Trump is almost 33 years older than Daniels. In 2006, he was a businessman and reality TV star, a decade away from being elected president.

Daniels laid out her story in considerable detail and with vivid asides. She said she earned more when she began stripping than she had done “shoveling manure.” Years later, in regard to her fateful encounter with Trump, she recalled highly specific details such as seeing a toiletry bag, apparently belonging to him, containing Old Spice.

Daniels underscored that she was not coerced into sex with Trump, though she suggested he held out the possibility of a slot on NBC’s “The Apprentice” to get her into bed.

She also said she had not seen Trump since June 2007 — until Tuesday, when she identified him in the courtroom.

Cross-examination of Stormy Daniels grows testy during Trump trial

Team Trump tries to get a mistrial declared — and fails

New York’s proceeding is the first criminal trial of a former president. It could have ended prematurely Tuesday.

Lawyers for the former president pushed Judge Juan Merchan to declare a mistrial amid Daniels’s testimony.

The defense’s argument was that Daniels had gone into gratuitous detail that was “extremely prejudicial” to Trump and was geared to “pure embarrassment” rather than a legitimate legal purpose. One of the details at issue appears to have been the adult actress’s claim that Trump had not worn a condom during their purported encounter.

Merchan denied the request for a mistrial, saying such a move was not “warranted.”

The judge also expressed surprise that there had not been more objections from the defense during Daniels’s evidence — an observation unlikely to endear Trump’s lawyers to the pugnacious former president.

Merchan seemed uncomfortable with some elements of Daniels’s testimony. He encouraged her to keep her answers to the questions asked, and also ordered her remarks on the position in which she and Trump allegedly had sex to be struck from the official record.

Trump gets mocked

One of the most notable elements of Daniels’s testimony was her willingness to mock Trump.

The adult actress said when she went to Trump’s suite in 2006, he was wearing pajamas made of satin or silk.

“Does Mr. Hefner know you stole his pajamas?,” Daniels said she teased Trump. He changed into a suit after her reference to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, she said.

She also said that after their encounter, Trump called her “honeybunch.”

There was more awkwardness for Trump when Daniels testified that, after asking Trump about his wife Melania, he said they did not sleep in the same room.

According to the Associated Press, at this point Trump “shook his head at the defense table and appeared to say something under his breath.”

‘You hate President Trump?’ — Defense hits at motives

The cross-examination of Daniels was predictably aggressive, with Trump’s lawyers seeking to portray the porn actor as motivated by a desire for personal revenge and financial gain.

One striking moment came when Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked Daniels, “Am I correct that you hate President Trump?”

“Yes,” Daniels replied.

The Trump team also focused on a later case, in which Daniels sued Trump for defamation and lost. She has refused to pay the money she owes him.

Necheles sought to make a key point toward the end of the day when she starkly accused Daniels of “looking to extort money” from Trump.

Daniels responded that the charge was “false.”

Much could depend on the jury’s gut reaction to Daniels on the stand. Wednesday is a day off in the trial schedule, but she will be back on Thursday.

NYC mayor says Rikers Island is ready for Trump if needed

The day was dominated by Daniels, but she wasn’t the only news.

At a separate press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said the city’s jail commissioner was “prepared for whatever comes” in terms of a possible incarceration for Trump.

Merchan on Monday held out the possibility of jailing Trump if he continues to violate a gag order. Trump has broken the order 10 times so far, resulting in total fines of $10,000.

“They’re professionals, they’ll be ready,” Adams said, apparently referring to prison officials.

Rikers Island is home to New York’s largest jail, which opened almost 100 years ago.

The New York Times noted Rikers is “a notoriously violent, dilapidated facility.”

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