Trump trial recap: Trump demands mistrial after damaging Stormy Daniels testimony

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Editor's note: This page reflects the news from Donald Trump's trial on Tuesday, May 7. For the latest news on the hush money case, follow our live updates from the courtroom for Thursday, May 9.

NEW YORK — Porn star Stormy Daniels withstood hours of questioning by the defense on the 13th day of Donald Trump's hush money trial, as lawyers for the former president accused her of trying to blackmail Trump ahead of the 2016 election with her story of a tawdry sexual encounter.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money deal with Daniels.

Daniels' testimony began with her telling prosecutors of an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, including details such as the reality TV star's silky pajamas and the gold tweezers she saw in his hotel suite bathroom. Daniels testified about the heart of the case against Trump − a $130,000 payment she received to remain silent before the 2016 election.

Just before Trump's team began cross-examining Daniels, the judge denied their request for a mistrial. Trump lawyer Todd Blanche argued Daniels said things that were only meant to embarrass Trump and "to inflame this jury," and it was "impossible to come back from" it.

Judge Juan Merchan agreed some of her testimony went too far, but he didn't think it reached the point of a mistrial.

Here are USA TODAY's highlights from inside and outside the Manhattan courtroom:

Trump demands mistrial in angry posts

In a series of posts to his own social media site, Truth Social, Donald Trump again denounced the hush money trial after a day of detailed, embarrassing and potentially damaging testimony from Stormy Daniels.

"THE PROSECUTION, WHICH HAS NO CASE, HAS GONE TOO FAR. MISTRIAL!" he wrote. Judge Juan Merchan earlier on Tuesday denied a defense request for a mistrial before beginning its cross examination of Daniels.

"This Witch Hunt is FALSE ANCIENT HISTORY that was fully adjudicated by the Voters in the 2016 Presidential Election," he wrote, blaming the prosecution on a Democratic cabal.

−Dan Morrison

More: Would cameras in the courtroom change Donald Trump's New York hush money trial?

Trump calls Stormy Daniels’ testimony ‘revealing’

Former President Donald Trump didn’t mention porn actress Stormy Daniels outside the courtroom, but he said the day of her testimony in his New York hush money trial was “revealing.”

“This was a very big day, a very revealing day,” Trump said. “As you can see, their case is falling apart.”

Trump didn’t detail what he thought went wrong for the prosecution, but he urged television viewers to listen to academics he said have called the case a “disgrace.”

Daniels testified about having sex with Trump in 2006, while he was married, and then receiving $130,000 from Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, not to talk about it in 2016 before the presidential election.

More: Freezing temps and colorful characters: Trump's hush money trial from the inside

Trump is charged with falsifying business records to reimburse Cohen. But he's denied having sex with Daniels, and said he didn’t know about the payment.

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked Daniels whether she extorted Trump and whether she'd spent years making money off her claims.

Daniels denied blackmailing Trump, but she acknowledged seeking money for her story. She also said she hopes to avoid paying Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars in court-ordered legal fees after losing a defamation suit against him. Daniels said she wanted to see Trump held accountable.

--Bart Jansen

Tuesday testimony ends with Daniels still on the witness stand

Judge Juan Merchan announced an end to the day's proceedings just before the normal 4:30 p.m. EDT end time. Stormy Daniels was still being cross-examined by Trump lawyer Susan Necheles. Wednesday is an off day in the trial, so that cross-examination is expected to resume on Thursday.

– Aysha Bagchi

More: Judge Juan Merchan threatens Donald Trump with jail time if he keeps violating gag order

Daniels denies wanting to blackmail Trump in 2016

Daniels described wanting her story of a sexual encounter with Trump to be told in 2016.

"I didn't care for how much, I just wanted the story out there," Daniels said. Daniels added that was why she held a press conference where she gave the press her account for free.

Necheles asked Daniels to confirm she wanted to extort Trump. "False," Daniels said with emotion.

"Well, that's what you did, right?" Necheles asked. "False," Daniels said again, putting emphasis on the word.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels says she didn't authorize her lawyer to deny Trump encounter to gossip site

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles suggested that Daniels had authorized her former lawyer Keith Davidson to deny that she and Trump had a sexual encounter to "" in 2011, when the now-defunct gossip site had posted about it.

Daniels said she never spoke to site, that she absolutely wanted the post removed, and Davidson simply told the site to take the story down.

– Aysha Bagchi

More: 'What have we done?' Stormy Daniels' attorney thought hush money aided Trump in 2016 election

Daniels says she felt Gloria Allred wanted her to accuse Trump of 'basically rape'

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked Stormy Daniels about a conversation Daniels had with Gloria Allred, a famed lawyer for many sexual assault victims. Necheles suggested Daniels didn't tell Allred about having had sex with Trump. Daniels at one point said on the stand that she had told Allred, but later she suggested she didn't because she felt pressured to accuse Trump of forcing her.

"She wanted me to accuse him of forced – basically rape," Daniels said. "She wanted to force me into saying things that were not true," Daniels added. For that reason, Daniels left out the sex, she testified.

Diana Florence, a former prosecutor at the Manhattan district attorney's office, said Daniels may have helped her standing with the jury by showing she was unwilling to lie about Trump for the high-powered lawyer Allred.

"The fact that she was not willing to go there is good for her credibility," Florence told USA TODAY. The harder Trump's defense team pushed Daniels, she said, "the more sympathetic she became."

– Aysha Bagchi and Dan Morrison

Trump lawyer suggests Daniels claimed sex with Trump to make money

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles is suggesting to the jury through her line of questioning that Daniels' story of sex with Trump is about money.

"You've been making money by claiming to have had sex with President Trump for more than a decade, right?" Necheles asked Daniels.

Daniels responded that she's been making money by telling the story of what happened to her.

Necheles shot back with a question again on the story making Daniels a lot of money.

"It has also cost me a lot of money," Daniels replied.

– Aysha Bagchi

'I hope I don't have to pay him no matter what happens': Daniels

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles continued cross-examining Daniels about her failure to pay Trump legal fees that a California court determined Daniels owed. Necheles indicated Daniels failed to fill out bank account information on a form related to the issue. "Do you have bank accounts?" Necheles asked. "Yes," Daniels responded. "I didn't fill out this form."

"I hope I don't have to pay him no matter what happens," Daniels added.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump lawyer raises voice as she questions Daniels

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles raised her voice in an angry tone as she asked Daniels about not wanting to take any money out of her own pocket to pay Trump the legal fees a California court ordered Daniels to pay. Those fees were described in earlier testimony. Trump has sued in Florida to collect them, Daniels said earlier.

The judge sustained an objection from the prosecution when Necheles raised her voice, and Necheles asked again in a calmer tone.

– Aysha Bagchi

'Am I correct that you hate President Trump?' 'Yes.'

"Am I correct that you hate President Trump?" Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked Daniels early into the cross-examination. "Yes" was Daniels' simple reply.

Necheles also asked Daniels to confirm she wants Trump to go to jail. "If he is found guilty, absolutely," Daniels said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Cross-examination of Stormy Daniels has begun

Donald Trump's defense lawyer Susan Necheles has begun cross-examining Daniels.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels shown Trump social media post calling her 'horse face'

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger showed Stormy Daniels a Truth Social post by Trump that was dated March 15, 2023 and referred to Daniels as "horse face" and "sleaze bag," while also denying he has seen or spoken to her since they met on a golf course. Hoffinger noted that meant he was effectively denying all of Daniels' story about what happened between them after that golf course meeting. Daniels agreed.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels participated in Michael Cohen podcast

Daniels testified that she went on Michael Cohen's podcast "because I wanted him to apologize to me." She said he did apologize, and she ended up joining him on the podcast a second time.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes defamation case in which Trump won legal fees

Daniels said her former lawyer, Michael Avenatti, filed a defamation case against Trump on her behalf. She said she didn't want Avenatti to do that because it seemed "risky" and "not worth it."

Avenatti released a sketch later of the man Daniels described earlier today having encountered in 2011 in a parking lot. Trump tweeted that sketch was a con job, Daniels testified. The defamation claim only had to do with that tweet about whether the sketch was a con job, Daniels said. She confirmed in response to a question from Hoffinger that the defamation claim didn't have to do with whether or not she was paid before the election, or whether she had a sexual encounter with Trump, or whether she had any other interactions with Trump.

Asked by Hoffinger if the court in that case made any findings about Daniels' credibility, Daniels responded: "There were none."

That court called Trump's "con job" statement rhetorical hyperbole, or something suggesting it was just an exaggeration, Daniels confirmed to Hoffinger. The court awarded Trump legal fees that Daniels said she still hasn't paid both because of the cost and because she didn't think it was fair. Trump has now sued Daniels for those legal fees, but Daniels said nothing in Trump's New York criminal case will affect the legal fees lawsuit.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels says she was freed from non-disclosure agreement

Stormy Daniels testified that she has been freed from the non-disclosure agreement that formed part of the $130,000 hush money deal that was closed ahead of the 2016 election. She confirmed to prosecutor Susan Hoffinger that a California court awarded her legal fees based on finding she was free from the non-disclosure agreement.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes hiring Avenatti and seeking to tell her story

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger and Stormy Daniels are moving through a series of events quickly. Daniels described hiring Michael Avenatti, who is now in prison on various crimes including embezzlement, as a lawyer. She eventually sought to tell her own story, she said.

– Aysha Bagchi

2018 story on Daniels payment caused 'chaos' in her life: testimony

Stormy Daniels has resumed her testimony. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger showed a photo of a Jan. 12, 2018 Wall Street Journal article describing the hush money deal designed to keep her quiet about the alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. Hoffinger asked Daniels how the story affected her life. "Chaos," Daniels replied.

"Suddenly I was front and foremost everywhere," Daniels added. The article "blew my cover," for lack of another way of saying it, she said. Daniels mentioned that she and her daughter were ostracized from things in their life. Judge Merchan sustained an objection to that last line of testimony.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge willing to provide 'limiting instruction' about Daniels parking lot story

Judge Merchan said after the lunch break that he is willing to provide a "limiting instruction" to the jurors at some point, if Trump's defense team wants it. A limiting instruction is typically an instruction to only consider evidence for certain purposes, and not for others. For instance, a judge might tell jurors not to consider testimony that a man shouted "Fire!" in a crowded theater when it comes to assessing whether there was a fire, but to instead just consider how the exclamation affected people in the audience.

Merchan was asking about giving an instruction on Daniels' story that a man came up to her and threatened her in a parking lot in 2011. The incident was after Daniels gave an interview about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump to In Touch Weekly magazine, although the interview wasn't published until 2018. She said the man "threatened" her not to keeping telling her story about the encounter with Trump.

– Aysha Bagchi

Where is the Trump trial?

Trump’s hush money trial is happening at the New York County Supreme Court in New York state, according to a media advisory. The location is 100 Centre St., Criminal Term, Part 59, Room 1530.

The proceedings normally start at 9:30 a.m. EDT, and the trial typically includes an off day on Wednesdays.

Sudiksha Kochi

Judge denies Trump motion for mistrial

Judge Juan Merchan denied Trump lawyer Todd Blanche's request for a mistrial. Merchan said as a "threshold" matter, some of the things Daniels testified to probably would have been "better left unsaid," but he does think there were "guardrails in place." He noted he had instructed the prosecution that there were certain details that they did not need to get into.

Merchan added that he was "not dismissing" what Blanche was saying, and repeated some things would have been better left unsaid. But, Merchan said, he doesn't think we're at the point of a mistrial, noting that, where there were objections, they were often sustained.

"I will also note," Merchan added, "I was surprised" there were not more objections. He noted he at one point raised an issue himself to curtail Daniels' testimony.

"The court has done everything that I can possibly do to protect both sides and to ensure fairness," Merchan said. Whether these are new stories or not, the remedy is to cross-examine Daniels on that, he added.

Before Merchan denied the request, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said a mistrial wasn't called for. Hoffinger disputed some of Blanche's claims about what was new in Daniels' testimony, in particular her description that Trump didn't wear a condom.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump lawyer calls for mistrial based on Stormy Daniels testimony

After the lunch break, Todd Blanche said "there should be a mistrial" based on Stormy Daniels' testimony.

He said her story was "way different" from the story she was "peddling" in 2016 – the information she was "supposedly" kept from the voters.

Blanche also raised concerns about aspects of Daniels' testimony that he said raised issues about consent with the alleged sexual encounter, including that she blacked out and that Trump didn't wear a condom after testimony from her employer that condoms were required at her workplace.

Aside from "pure embarrassment," the only purpose of the testimony given "is to inflame this jury to not look at the evidence that matters," Blanche said. He noted Judge Merchan sustained objections from the defense, but said the jury still heard it. He said that just over lunch, everyone's reporting "that she's suggesting consent."

He added that she said she only had water on the evening of the alleged sexual encounter but she doesn't remember anything.

This is the kind of testimony that makes it "impossible to come back from," Blanche said.

Daniels testified earlier to a power imbalance between her and Trump when she allegedly came out of bathroom and saw him poised on a bed in his underwear, but she also said she didn't feel physically threatened. She said she laughed nervously and at first tried to make a joke and step around to leave.

– Aysha Bagchi

Court breaks for lunch

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger suggested she was at a good spot in her questions for Daniels to take a break, and Judge Juan Merchan announced the lunch break. Proceedings will start up again at 2 p.m. EDT.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes hush money deal

Daniels described the hush money deal that is at the heart of this case: the $130,000 Michael Cohen ultimately paid to keep her quiet ahead of the 2016 election about her alleged affair with Trump. She said she understood Michael Cohen to be representing Trump. She said she didn't negotiate the dollar figure and cared some but not much about the money. She said her financial outlook at the time was "the best" it had ever been. She said she was directing 10 movies a year at that time and no longer lived in expensive California.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels gives In Touch interview on encounter and receives threat: testimony

Daniels described giving an interview to In Touch Weekly magazine in 2011, which was eventually published in 2018. Daniels discussed her alleged sexual encounter with Trump in the interview. Daniels testified that, later in 2011, she was in a parking lot with her infant daughter on the way to a workout class when she was approached by a man who threatened her not to continue to tell her story about her encounter with Trump.

Daniels said she didn't tell police at the time because the man told her not to say anything and she was scared. She said she also didn't tell her boyfriend at the time because he was struggling with other things, and also she hadn't told him previously about sex with Trump, so to tell him then when his world was already "exploding" wouldn't have been good.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump tells Daniels he couldn't get her on The Apprentice: testimony

Daniels said Trump later told her he hadn't been able to get her on one of his "The Apprentice" brand shows. He referenced how another adult film actress was going to be on the show. Daniels said that woman made a guest appearance when her husband was on the show. Trump thought Daniels would be mad, Daniels testified, seeming to be referring to the other actress who had an appearance. But Daniels testified she didn't care.

Daniels said that was the last time she talked to Trump. She said she sometimes got calls from a blocked New York number, but didn't take them.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes more sexual advances by Trump

Daniels described meeting Trump later at a bungalow. He kept trying to make sexual advances, but she told him she was on her period. They had some discussion about "The Apprentice," but a lot less of it than she thought there would be, she said. There was no real update about getting her on the show. She stayed between one. and two hours, she said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels said she met other hush money recipient, Karen McDougal

Daniels described meeting former Playboy model Karen McDougal at an event that Trump was at, although Daniels didn't know who McDougal was at the time. McDougal also received a hush money payment before the 2016 election to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes meeting Trump and Ben Roethlisberger at nightclub

Stormy Daniels said she later met Trump at a nightclub, after his bodyguard Keith reached out asking if she would be willing to meet Trump. Daniels said when she arrived he was sitting at a booth. He wasn't drinking but there was a bar, and he was with his friend: former NFL Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Trump later gave Daniels the phone number of someone named "Rhona," saying Daniels could get in touch with Trump again through Rhona. That appears to be a reference to Rhona Graff, Trump's former executive assistant, who has already testified in the trial. Graff described creating a contact information entry on Daniels for Trump, and seeing Daniels in a reception area for an appointment at one time.

– Aysha Bagchi

'Fantastic together': Trump after hotel encounter, per Daniels

Daniels testified that, after she and Trump had sex and she was going to leave his hotel suite, he said they are "fantastic together" and that she should be on his show.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes having sexual encounter with Trump

Daniels said she laughed nervously when she came out of the bathroom and saw Trump on the bed in his underwear. She said she at first tried to make a joke and step around to leave.

She said she didn't feel physically threatened by him, although she knew there was a bodyguard right outside. She said there was a power imbalance but she wasn't threatened. She made a reference to their sexual position when they allegedly had sex and the defense raised an objection to that testimony, which the judge sustained.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked whether Trump wore a condom and Daniels said no. Hoffinger asked if Daniels said anything about it – appearing to refer to not wearing a condom – and Daniels replied: "I didn't say anything at all."

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump on bed in underwear after Daniels leaves bathroom: testimony

Daniels described at one point asking to use the restroom. She and Trump were drinking water, and she had consumed a lot of water, she said. He told her to go through the living room and bedroom and help herself to the facility.

Daniels said she looked at toiletry items in the bathroom and noticed Old Spice and manicure items that appeared to made of gold, such as gold tweezers.

When she came out of the bathroom, Trump was on the bed posing in underwear, as if waiting for her, she described. She said she thought in her head, "Oh my God," and asked herself what she had misread.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge tells prosecution to reduce amount of detail from Daniels

After asking Trump lawyer Todd Blanche if he had spoken with his client, Judge Merchan told prosecutor Susan Hoffinger that we don't need so much detail from Daniels. He referenced a description of detailing the floor, things like that. He instructed Hoffinger to move more quickly when Daniels comes back to the witness stand. He then asked for Daniels to be brought back in.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge appears to have given warning to Trump

After a short morning break, Judge Merchan said to Trump lawyer Todd Blanche: "Did you speak to your client?" Blanche replied that he had. It's unclear what that was about, and whether Merchan had complained about some aspect of Trump's behavior just before the break.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump said he might be able to get Daniels on The Apprentice: testimony

Daniels said Trump raised an idea that she should go on his show, The Apprentice. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked if it was The Celebrity Apprentice and Daniels said she doesn't know, she assumes so, but it was some version of The Apprentice.

Trump said to Daniels that she reminded him of his daughter, who is smart and beautiful, Daniels described. He talked to her about public relations things with his show, saying Daniels would really shake things up. He said she could go on the show and prove she's not a dumb bimbo, that she's more than people think, according to her testimony.

She said she told him she was never going to be on his show, that even he didn't have that much power.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels swatted Trump's bottom in hotel suite, she says

Daniels said at one point in his hotel suite she started complaining to Trump that he was being rude. She told him someone should spank him, and he gave her a look as if he was daring her to do it. She took an item from him, instructed him to turn around, and swatted his behind with it, she testified. They then continued to talk "and he was much more polite." They talked about his golf course in Scotland and about traveling, she said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump said he and Melania didn't sleep in same room: testimony

Daniels described seeing a photo of Melania Trump when she was talking with Donald Trump in his hotel suite. She said to Trump: "She's very beautiful – What about your wife?" Trump told Daniels not to worry about that, that he and Melania Trump didn't sleep in the same room, according to Daniels' testimony.

– Aysha Bagchi

'You do not have the head designed to be without hair'

Daniels described Trump telling her about a contest in which the loser would have to shave their head. "You do not have the head designed to be without hair," she says she responded. He agreed, according to her testimony. He said all that stuff was pre-determined in the script, he knew the outcome in advance, and that wouldn't happen to him.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels told Trump she never tested positive for a sexually-transmitted disease: testimony

Daniels described Trump asking her if she had ever had a bad test, referring to a test for a sexually-transmitted disease. She told Trump "nope," she possessed every test she had ever done for the last "X" amount of years (Daniels used the letter "X" in her testimony), and never had a bad test, never tested positive "for anything."

Daniels also described from the witness stand having worked at a company that required condoms during work. She said that was a reason she worked there.

Outside of court, Daniels has previously described having sex with Trump on the evening she is continuing to describe inside the courtroom. In out-of-court statements, she has said the pair didn't use protection.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump asked about business of adult film industry, Daniels says

Daniels described talking with Trump about get-to-know-you things. She said he asked if she had a boyfriend and she said no, she didn't at the time.

She also said he asked questions she doesn't normally receive when people ask about her work in the adult film industry, including whether there was a union, whether there was testing for sexually-transmitted diseases, and how she got paid.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump came out wearing Hugh Hefner-like pajamas: testimony

Daniels said when she arrived at Trump's hotel suite, she said hello and he came out wearing silk or satin pajamas. She made a joke by asking if Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, knew Trump was wearing Hefner's pajamas. She told Trump to go change and he obliged politely, she said. He put on a dress shirt and dress pants.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels describes meeting Trump at hotel suite for dinner

Daniels described meeting Trump at his hotel, which was different from hers, for dinner. She went up to his hotel suite, which was "very nice." The suite was three times the size of her apartment, she testified.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels said Trump bodyguard approached about dinner

A Trump bodyguard named Keith approached Daniels at the July, 2006 golf tournament, saying Trump would like to know if she would like to have dinner with him, Daniels testified. She ultimately gave the bodyguard her phone number, she said. Daniels described receiving advice that day about going to the dinner, which could open up professional opportunities.

– Aysha Bagchi

Jurors see photo of Daniels with Trump

Jurors were shown a photo of Stormy Daniels and Trump together. Trump was wearing a yellow polo shirt with what Daniels described as a golf logo. He was wearing a red cap.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels identifies Trump, points at him in courtroom

In a question-and-answer that's typical in courtrooms between a lawyer and a witness, Daniels was asked whether she sees Trump in the courtroom and can identify him. She pointed at Trump at his defense table as she described him wearing a navy blue suit jacket.

– Aysha Bagchi

Daniels testimony moving into meeting Trump in 2006

After describing various aspects of her life, including exploring running for office as a Republican at one point, Daniels has begun testifying about how she met Trump.

Daniels described working at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July of 2006 while she was under contract as an adult film director, writer, and actress. Daniels was 27 years old, she said. She didn't know Trump's age, but she knew he was probably as old or older than her father.

– Aysha Bagchi

Stormy Daniels begins testifying

Adult film star Stormy Daniels has begun testifying. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger is asking Daniels introductory questions. Daniels described growing up in Louisiana with a single mom after Daniels' parents split up when she was four years old.

– Aysha Bagchi

Read Trump's gag order text

Franklin testimony concludes; Stormy Daniels expected next

The prosecution and defense finished questioning publishing executive Sally Franklin. Lawyers are now speaking with the judge at his bench. Trump lawyer Susan Necheles indicated earlier that porn star Stormy Daniels is expected to be the second witness today.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump lawyer and prosecutor wrangle over ghostwriting

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold ended her initial questioning of Franklin. Trump defense lawyer Todd Blanche had brief cross-examination for Franklin that focused on how Trump used a ghostwriter for books. A ghostwriter is someone hired to write a piece that is credited at least in part to another person.

Mangold then asked Franklin further questions designed to undermine the suggestion that Trump wasn't very involved in writing the books Franklin has been reading from today. Trump described in one excerpt working closely with a ghostwriter, whom he said "has heard everything." He also acknowledged many people who worked at the publisher in an acknowledgments section.

– Aysha Bagchi

'I always sign my checks': Trump book excerpt

"I always sign my checks," Trump said in a book excerpt that was read aloud by Sally Franklin. Trump explained that signing his checks is how he knows where his money is going. He said there is human and now computer error everywhere.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump described not letting 50 cents go: Trump book excerpt

Publisher Sally Franklin read aloud a portion of a book in which Trump said a magazine ran an experiment once to see who was a cheap rich person by sending a check for 50 cents to a number of wealthy people. The Trump Organization deposited it, Trump said. He added that the magazine may call the organization cheap, but he called it watching the bottom line.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump told financial controller he was doing a 'lousy job' by not questioning invoices: Trump book

Trump said in a book that he once told Jeffrey McConney, the former financial controller at the Trump Organization, that McConney was doing a "lousy job" managing Trump's cash. That's according to a portion of the book read aloud by Sally Franklin in the courtroom.

Even though various payments need to be made, "always question invoices" and never accept a contractor's first bid, Trump said he told McConney, according to the book excerpt. McConney got the message and has been with Trump for a long time and is doing a terrific job, Trump added.

McConney testified yesterday that he is now retired from the Trump Organization.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump book advice: Ask to see all invoices

Sally Franklin read aloud a portion of a Trump book that advised the reader to make sure to ask to see all the invoices when working with a decorator. Trump added, according to the testimony, that decorators are generally honest, but you should be checking regardless.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump book: As it says in the Bible, 'an eye for an eye'

Sally Franklin read aloud a portion of a Trump book in which Trump described having said for many years that if someone screws you, screw them back. Like it says in the Bible, "an eye for an eye," Trump added, according to what Franklin read.

– Aysha Bagchi

Random House publishing executive testifying on Trump books

The prosecution called Sally Franklin, who is a senior vice president and executive managing editor in publishing at Penguin Random House. She is reading portions of books by Trump, prompted by questions from prosecutor Rebecca Mangold.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge will allow Stormy Daniels to testify about alleged sex

Judge Merchan said he was satisfied about the representations prosecutor Susan Hoffinger made about the limits on what kind of testimony prosecutors will seek from Stormy Daniels about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Hoffinger then repeated to the judge that the desired details about the sex act will be "very brief."

"That's fine," Merchan said. He added he agrees Daniels has credibility issues, and so it's important for the prosecution to establish her credibility by eliciting certain things around the alleged encounter. For that reason, he will allow the testimony.

– Aysha Bagchi

Stormy Daniels testimony on sexual encounter important for credibility: Prosecutor

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger defended the importance of asking porn star Stormy Daniels for some description of her alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump. Hoffinger agreed that really salacious details weren't necessary, but she said the general details, including the sex act, are significant to the story and "very important" to the prosecution in terms of establishing Daniels' credibility.

Hoffinger specifically described wanting to elicit testimony about how Daniels ended up allegedly having sex with Trump, including their alleged conversation in a hotel room. The full conversation, Hoffinger said, "is very, very important." In terms of the actual sexual act, the desired testimony would be "very basic," with no description of genitalia or anything of that nature, Hoffinger said.

Hoffinger added it's important to elicit how Daniels and Trump had sex and how Daniels felt about it.

Trump defense lawyer Susan Necheles repeated her objection, saying there's just "no need' for those kinds of details. Necheles said there's a real question of Daniels' credibility. Necheles added this case is about books and records and the parties shouldn't be getting into how Daniels felt about the alleged encounter.

– Aysha Bagchi

Who has already testified in Trump's criminal trial?

The prosecution wrapped questioning with its 11th witness on Monday afternoon. Here is a look back at who has already taken the stand:

  • David Pecker, former CEO and president of AMI, the parent company of tabloid National Enquirer

  • Rhona Graff, Trump's former executive assistant

  • Gary Farro, Michael Cohen's former banker

  • Robert Browning, an executive director at C-SPAN

  • Phillip Thompson who works for a deposition company

  • Keith Davidson, a lawyer who represented former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels

  • Douglas Daus a computer forensic analyst for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

  • Georgia Longstreet, a paralegal with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office

  • Hope Hicks, a former Trump aide who was the campaign press secretary in 2016

  • Jeffrey McConney, the former controller at the Trump Organization

  • Deborah Tarasoff, an accounts payable supervisor at the Trump Organization

Judge arrives in courtroom

Judge Juan Merchan just arrived at 9:28 a.m. EDT for the thirteenth day of this trial. As he does normally, he said a general "Good morning" to the lawyers and a specific "Good morning, Mr. Trump" to Donald Trump.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump contends reimbursement to Cohen was ‘legal expense’

Former President Donald Trump didn’t mention porn actress Stormy Daniels as he entered the courtroom Tuesday, but again defended his payments to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, as legal expenses.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records for allegedly trying to hide his reimbursement to Cohen for a $130,000 to Daniels to remain quiet before the 2016 election. But Trump contends he was paying Cohen a legal fee rather than paying hush money to Daniels, to prevent her from claiming they once had sex while was married.

“We didn’t put it down as construction costs,” Trump said. “The legal expense that we paid was put down as legal expense. There’s nothing else you could say. You don’t have to put down anything, I guess.”

During his three-minute hallway statement to reporters, Trump asked his lawyer, Todd Blanche, whether that was the correct thing to do. Blanche nodded.

--Bart Jansen

Trump team arrives in courtroom

Trump and his lawyers entered the courtroom at about 9:24 a.m. EDT. Eric Trump is here today, as he was yesterday. Alina Habba, who represented Trump in his two recent civil fraud and E. Jean Carroll trials and is a big personality defending Trump in media appearances, is also here today.

– Aysha Bagchi

Stormy Daniels to testify about payment at heart of Trump trial

After all the dreary testimony about ledgers and bookkeeping, Stormy Daniels is expected to testify Tuesday about the heart of Donald Trump’s hush money trial: a $130,000 payment to her to remain silent before the 2016 election.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had sex with Trump in 2006 and that his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged the payment to prevent her from spreading disparaging information about Trump in the closing days of the campaign.

Prosecutors contend the payment represented an unlawful campaign violation, as an in-kind contribution to influence the election.

But Trump denies they had sex and argues he was unaware of the payment by arguing his reimbursements to Cohen were for a legal retainer. Trump has also insulted Daniels' appearance, calling her “Horseface” in a tweet.

--Bart Jansen

Who is Stormy Daniels and what is her real name?

Stormy Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, is an adult film star.

Daniels says she had an affair with Trump in 2006, months after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron Trump. Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to stay quiet about the alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's lawyers tried to block Daniels from being called to the witness stand, but New York Judge Juan Merchan ruled that Daniels can testify because her allegations are "inextricably intertwined" with the criminal allegations.

-Kinsey Crowley, Bart Jansen

Prosecutors arrive in the courtroom

The prosecution arrived in the courtroom at about 9:13 a.m. EDT. We are still waiting on the Trump team, the judge, and the jury.

– Aysha Bagchi

Why Stormy Daniels' testimony could get under Trump's skin

Porn star Stormy Daniels' story is both salacious and embarrassing for the former president. Daniels alleges she and Trump had sex in 2006, at a time when Trump was dangling the possibility of having her on one of his "The Apprentice" brand shows. Their alleged encounter, which Trump denies, would have happened within months of Melania Trump giving birth to Barron Trump.

That's not just an embarrassing story to be heard around the world. It could also be embarrassing when Trump is thinking about his family.

Former top Trump aide Hope Hicks testified last week that, after The Wall Street Journal reported on a hush money deal involving former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Trump wanted to ensure newspapers weren't delivered to his and Melania Trump's residence the day the article ran.

– Aysha Bagchi

What have we heard about Stormy Daniels so far in trial?

Multiple witnesses have testified to aspects of the alleged $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels less than two weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. Daniels' former lawyer, Keith Davidson, said he believed Daniels was going to go public after the Trump team initially failed to pay the agreed-upon settlement.

Whether the Daniels and Trump actually had sex – which Trump denies – is beside the point in the prosecution's case. Prosecutors allege Trump falsified business records tied to the hush money Daniels was paid in order to conceal or commit another crime. Having an affair isn't a crime.

Still, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche made a big point of denying Daniels' allegation in his opening statement in the trial. He told jurors that paying Daniels to not spread "false – false – claims" about Trump isn't a crime, repeating and emphasizing "false."

Earlier in the trial, Trump's former executive assistant Rhona Graff testified to seeing Daniels in the reception area of a Trump building for an appointment. Graff also said she created a contact information entry on Daniels for Trump, and recalled some discussion about potentially casting Daniels on one of "The Apprentice" brand shows.

– Aysha Bagchi

Stormy Daniels likely to testify Tuesday: reports

Porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is likely to take the witness stand Tuesday, multiple outlets reported.

Clark Brewster, a lawyer for Daniels, told the Associated Press she is "likely" to be called to testify. The New York Times reported shortly after 8:30 a.m. she has arrived at the courthouse.

Trump complained on Truth Social Tuesday morning, saying he was recently told who today's witness is and it gave "no time for lawyers to prepare." The post has since been deleted.

Why did Merchan issue a gag order?

Judge Juan Merchan gagged Trump based on what the judge described as a history of "inflammatory" statements about people tied to Trump's legal cases.

In one post prosecutors noted in their request for a gag order, Trump shared photo to his millions of Truth Social followers in which he was holding a baseball bat to the back of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's head.

Merchan wrote that Trump's past statements made people tied to his cases fearful and increased security needs.

– Aysha Bagchi

What did prosecutors try to prove Monday?

Prosecutors introduced testimony on checks to Michael Cohen in 2017 that were allegedly falsified in order to conceal a reimbursement for an unlawful hush money payment ahead of the 2016 election. The checks form a portion of the 34 counts Trump faces of falsifying business records.

While the checks were actually mostly reimbursing hush money, they were labeled as monthly payments for legal expenses totaling $420,000 across 2017, according to prosecutors. A lawyer for Trump denied that claim at the start of the trial.

Many of the checks were cut from Donald Trump's personal bank account and therefore required his signature, according to Deborah Tarasoff, who is the Trump Organization's accounts payable supervisor. She testified yesterday that she recognized Trump's signature on those checks.

– Aysha Bagchi

Why was Michael Cohen paid $420,000?

The series of checks Cohen received in 2017 – which were labeled as legal expense payments – totaled $420,000. Why was Cohen paid that amount? According to Cohen's Feb. 2019 testimony to Congress, the $420,000 included:

  • A $180,000 reimbursement for the $130,000 hush money he paid to to Stormy Daniels and for $50,000 he claimed he was owed for campaign-related "tech services";

  • Another $180,000 based on the idea that he would pay 50% taxes on the reimbursement money, and should still be left with the full $180,000; and

  • A $60,000 bonus.

Trump's defense team seems poised to tell a different story. Trump lawyer Todd Blanche said during opening statements that a series of payments from Trump to Cohen weren't payback for Cohen paying porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. Trump denies Daniels' claim.

– Aysha Bagchi

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump trial recap: Stormy Daniels testifies about Trump tryst