New York judge scolds Trump attorney over not objecting to Stormy Daniels testimony

New York judge scolds Trump attorney over not objecting to Stormy Daniels testimony

Judge Juan Merchan, who oversees former President Trump’s hush money trial, scolded his defense team Thursday for not objecting more during porn actor Stormy Daniels’s most salacious testimony.

On the stand this week, Daniels went into graphic detail about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump at a 2006 golf tournament, which he denies happened. Citing those comments, Trump’s lawyers at the end of proceedings Thursday renewed their demand for a mistrial.

Merchan again denied the motion, sympathizing with the defense’s concerns but chastising Trump attorney Susan Necheles for not objecting when prosecutors asked Daniels whether Trump had used a condom during their alleged encounter.

“I agree, that shouldn’t have come out. I wish those questions hadn’t been asked, and I wish those answers hadn’t been given,” Merchan said.

“But for the life of me, I don’t know why Ms. Necheles didn’t object,” the judge continued. “Why on earth she wouldn’t object to a mention of a condom, I don’t understand.”

Daniels testified that Trump did not use a condom and that she “blacked out.” The former president’s attorneys argued those comments suggested to the New York jury that their alleged encounter didn’t appear consensual and that Daniels was changing her story.

“This is extremely prejudicial testimony,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the judge. “This isn’t a case about sex. This isn’t a case about whether this took place or didn’t take place. We completely deny it.”

The court transcript shows that Necheles objected multiple times as Daniels walked jurors through her alleged encounter with Trump, including just before she was asked about condom use. Necheles, however, did not object to that specific question.

Though he did not agree to grant a mistrial, the judge has agreed to provide the jury an instruction that limits how they can use some of Daniels’s testimony.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records when he repaid his then-fixer, Michael Cohen, after he made a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels in October 2016 to stay quiet about her story. Trump pleaded not guilty to his 34 counts and insists the records are truthful.

Ella Lee and Lauren Sforza contributed.

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