Testimony to resume as Trump trial enters its 4th week

The fourth week of Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York begins Monday as prosecutors look to build on emotional testimony from an ex-aide to the former president.

Hope Hicks, Trump’s top communications aide from 2015 to early 2018, testified on Friday about how she and others in Trump’s orbit handled revelations about the “hush money” payments made to two women before the election.

Hicks became choked up on the stand after acknowledging that Trump seemed concerned about how allegations related to adult film star Stormy Daniels might have affected his electability.

She recalled his reaction to news of a payout to Daniels coming out in 2018, when he was president.

He wanted to know how it was playing, and just my thoughts and opinion about this story versus having a different kind of story before the election had Mr. Cohen not made that payment,” she remembered. “I think Mr. Trump’s opinion was it was better to be dealing with it now, and it would have been bad to have that story come out before the election.”

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to reimbursements to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 to Daniels in exchange for her silence about allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump. He has pleaded not guilty and denies having sex with Daniels.

Prosecutors have not said who they’ll next call to the stand. Court reconvenes at 9:30 a.m.

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