Attorney Says Stormy Daniels Testimony Put Defense in ‘Tough Spot’

Former adult film star Stormy Daniels provided graphic evidence during testimony in the hush payments trial against former President Donald Trump this week, which could put the defense team in “a tough spot,” according to a senior litigation lawyer.

David Ring, who’s a partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Taylor & Ring, shared that opinion with Newsweek recently as Trump’s criminal trial in New York continues.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal charges that he falsified business records. Many times, he has said that this state-level case — and the three other criminal cases he’s facing — were brought against him based on politics.

Ring said that the evidence Daniels provided at trial was “graphic at times and tabloid-like,” leaving the legal team representing Trump in a difficult position. They have to choose, he said, whether they should have objected at points while she was giving testimony.

As Ring commented:

“Trump’s lawyers tried to block much of Stormy Daniels’ testimony about the sexual encounter by raising that issue with the judge before she took the witness stand. The judge overruled Trump on that issue.

“Then, once Daniels took the stand, she really laid out a lot of graphic details about the encounter. This put the defense in a tough spot; if they repeatedly object, the jurors will think, ‘What is Trump trying to hide by all the objections?’

“So, the lawyers sat on their hands, and let her testify. It was a strategic decision.”

Ring further commented that the “only thing that truly matters” in the case is whether Daniels and Trump had a sexual encounter in 2006 and, “10 years later, he paid her off to keep her silent about that encounter.”

The lawyer questioned what other reason could Trump possibly have paid Daniels $130,000 10 years after the alleged encounter.

The former president has denied all of what Daniels has alleged.

John J. Perlstein, another litigator based in Los Angeles, also told Newsweek that he didn’t believe the legal team representing Trump was letting Daniels “ramble on” so that they could ultimately find a reason to appeal.

As he commented:

“It is unlikely that they were letting someone like Stormy Daniels ramble on and answer the way she did in the hopes of an appeal. Witnesses who are unruly and go outside question parameters during testimony are usually shutdown by attorneys. I can’t imagine that attorneys would allow a witness to run on, hoping that a basis for an appeal would be developed.

“The judge would generally rely on the attorneys to object and handle a witness. However, if it goes too far like it did in this instance, the judge can interrupt for the purposes of expediting the testimony and proceedings.”

Daniels took the stand this week as the trial against Trump is proceeding.

It’s the only of the four criminal cases that has begun. The other three have thus far been delayed indefinitely.