Trump Looks to Block Key Witnesses at Hush-money Trial

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team moved Monday to prevent three primary witnesses from testifying in his hush-money trial, set to begin next month in New York.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche sought to block testimony from Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen and the two women that he is accused of paying to keep silent about alleged affairs, adult entertainer Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The motion goes after witness credibility, noting that Cohen has already perjured himself, and Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, “intends to offer false, salacious, and unduly prejudicial testimony relating to President Trump.”

The Trump legal team also seeks to ban the phrase “catch and kill” from the trial, labeling it “prejudicial” as well as the “Access Hollywood” recording, saying that it contains “inflammatory and unduly prejudicial evidence that has no place at this trial about documents and accounting practices.”

“Catch and kill” is the practice of buying and suppressing a negative story from running in the tabloids.

The Trump hush money case centers on allegations that Trump had his then-lawyer Cohen make payments to Daniels and McDougal on the condition they refrain from discussing affairs which Trump has denied. Trump has been accused of falsifying business records to conceal the payments.

Monday’s most recent filing comes on the heels of the request for a gag order filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on the grounds that “the need for such protection is compelling,” adding that the “Defendant has a long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings against him, including jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and court staff.”

Judge Juan Merchan has said that jury selection is to begin on March 25.

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