Trump attorney blights Stormy Daniels’s credibility in tempestuous cross-exam

NEW YORK Former President Trump’s attorney attempted to blight Stormy Daniels’s credibility to Trump’s trial jury by portraying her as money-driven, suggesting Daniels’s career as a porn actor made her experienced in selling fictional stories about sex.

In some of the testiest cross-examination yet of prosecution witnesses, the defense accused Daniels of changing her story about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump that sparked a hush money payment at the center of his ongoing criminal trial.

Attempting to paint the adult film actor as not only an irrelevant witness but also an unreliable one, Trump attorney Susan Necheles — the only woman defending Trump at trial — tore into Daniels over the profit she’s made since alleging an affair with Trump, which he has denied happened.

Across three hours of questioning over two days, the defense attorney insinuated Daniels’s work in porn made her ready to cash in.

“You have a lot of experience in making phony stories about sex appear to be real, correct?” Necheles asked Thursday.

With an indignant laugh, Daniels said that’s not how she would put it.

“I have experience memorizing dialogue, not how to have sex. … Pretty sure we all know how to do that,” she retorted.

Circling back moments later to her accusations about Trump, Daniels quipped, “And if that story was untrue, I would’ve written it to be a lot better.”

Daniels claims she met Trump in 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament, where he — through his bodyguard — asked her to have dinner with him. But when she got up to the suite, no dinner was had and they instead had sex, she alleged.

Necheles pushed back on that story, claiming Daniels previously told a gossip magazine and “60 Minutes” that she did have dinner with Trump. Daniels maintained that although it was “dinner time,” they did not eat.

“All these interviews, I would’ve talked about the food,” Daniels pushed back. “I’m very food-motivated.”

The first day of her cross-examination, Daniels appeared disheveled and was easily baited by Necheles. She spoke quickly Tuesday — asked to slow down several times — and grew frustrated more easily by defense efforts to trip her up.

But by Thursday morning, Daniels appeared more collected, pushing back against defense assertions she disagreed with but maintaining composure.

Necheles repeatedly tried to trap Daniels into saying that her alleged encounter with the former president was fabricated. The attorney grilled her over details of what Daniels said during previous interviews and what she said happened in the Nevada hotel suite.

“Your story has completely changed, hasn’t it?” Necheles asked at one point.

“No, not at all. You’re trying to make me say it’s changed but it hasn’t,” Daniels replied.

Necheles also portrayed Daniels as having an axe to grind against Trump, to whom she now owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees after losing a defamation lawsuit against him.

The jury saw Daniels’s repost in late March of someone calling her a “human toilet.”

“Exactly! Making me the best person to flush the orange turd down,” she responded on social platform X, in an apparent reference to the trial.

On Tuesday, when asked whether she hates Trump, Daniels responded “yes” to Necheles.

And when questioned over whether she wants him to go to jail, the porn actor replied: “I want him to be held accountable.

Jurors appeared more engaged with the cross-examination Thursday than when it began Tuesday, sometimes exchanging looks when a heated exchange occurred or an objection was raised.

Trump is standing trial on 34 felony charges of falsifying business records that accuse him of unlawfully concealing a hush money payment his then-fixer, Michael Cohen, made in the final days of the 2016 campaign to keep Daniels quiet about her story. Trump pleaded not guilty.

It was only in the final moments of cross-examination that Necheles brought up the actual documents that correspond to Trump’s criminal counts. The defense has attempted to convince jurors that Daniels’s testimony, while salacious, is legally irrelevant.

Daniels conceded she never spoke to Trump about her hush money and has no personal involvement in the repayment scheme that the former president is charged over. Trump nodded his head affirmatively as she remarked on her lack of knowledge about his role in the hush money deal.

“I’m just here to answer questions about me,” Daniels told Necheles.

“You don’t know about this indictment,” she asked moments later.

“There’s a lot of indictments,” Daniels replied.

After Daniels left the stand, prosecutors called a Trump Organization bookkeeper, again shifting the storyline away from the salacious hush money deal underpinning the case.

As prosecutors approach the end of their case in chief, they are soon expected to call Cohen, their star witness who paid Daniels the $130,000.

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