Key players in Trump’s hush money trial

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This composite photo shows former President Donald Trump (center), Stormy Daniels (top left), Michael Cohen (center left), David Pecker (bottom left), Hope Hicks (top right), Alvin Bragg (center right) and Judge Juan Merchan . (bottom right).


Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York It starts on Mondayafter more than a year The former president has been indicted In this case.

The trial, which will begin with jury selection, is expected to include several high-profile witnesses, including those who were in Trump’s inner circle in the 2016 election, sources told CNN.

Here are the notable people in this case.

The former president has been accused of participating in an illegal conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election and an illegal scheme to suppress negative information, which included paying an adult movie star to conceal an affair. Trump has denied this issue.

Get the latest updates on Trump’s criminal trial

Prosecutors allege that Trump disguised the deal as a legal payment and falsified business records multiple times to “promote his candidacy.”

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records. He pleaded not guilty.

Porn star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, was paid $130,000 just days before the 2016 presidential election.

She said in a documentary released last month that she accepted the payment to prevent her one-night stand with Trump in 2006 from going public to protect her husband and daughter.

Trump’s lawyers later used the release of the documentary to try to prevent Daniels from testifying, and argued that it should be grounds for dismissing the indictment or delaying the trial — both failed challenges, although the judge delayed the trial for separate reasons.

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Daniels was paid $130,000 by Cohen, Trump’s then-personal attorney, who landed in federal prison over that deal for violating campaign finance laws. Cohen, now a crucial witness, said Trump ordered him to pay Daniels.

Trump and his legal team tried to prevent Cohen from testifying, arguing that he had committed perjury more than once in other cases, but reques has been rejected Last month.

As then-president of American Media Inc., which publishes the National Inquirer magazine, David Becker He was involved in several “catch and kill” schemes he orchestrated on behalf of Trump and allegedly helped broker the deal with Daniels.

According to court documents, Daniels’ agent contacted AMI in October 2016 and said she was willing to disclose her allegations of an affair with Trump. Baker then allegedly contacted Cohen, who later negotiated the deal Court filings from Cohen’s plea agreement.

In a separate incident, AMI agreed to pay model and actress Karen McDougal $150,000 months before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump. While this payment is not part of the charges against Trump, prosecutors are expected to use it to establish a pattern of such payments.

It was Baker Immunity was granted In exchange for his testimony, AMI signed a Non-prosecution agreement With prosecutors.

The day after the “Access Hollywood” tape was released in which Trump can be heard making lewd comments about his treatment of women, Hope HicksCohen, who then served as Trump campaign press secretary, according to court documents, called to prevent additional allegations of an overtly sexual nature from surfacing.

From there, Cohen, acting as an intermediary, participated in at least 10 phone calls that day, some involving Trump and Hicks and others involving Baker and another AMI executive.

CNN previously reported that Hicks is expected to be called to testify, according to a source familiar with the case.

As Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg He led the investigation into the former president’s involvement in hush money payments, a years-long investigation that he inherited from his predecessor, who began the investigation while Trump was still in the White House.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Bragg since the charges were brought against him, trying to portray the investigation as politically motivated.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchanknown for his control of the courtroom even when his cases attract a great deal of attention, will preside over this case.

He has previously been involved in other cases involving Trump and his allies, including the Trump Organization tax fraud trial, the criminal fraud case of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, and the sentencing of longtime Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg.

Trump filed two requests to remove Merchan from the case, while launching attacks against the judge and his daughter for her political work for Democratic politicians. Merchan rejected the first proposal last year. A separate emergency relief request by Trump was to halt the trial so he could appeal a lower court’s ruling on presidential immunity and the judge’s removal from the case. He refused last week.

Merchan has also Imposing a gag order The former president was prohibited from making statements about attorneys, court employees, family members of prosecutors, attorneys, members of the court, or the Manhattan District Attorney.

CNN’s Sidney Kashiwagi and Devan Cole, Kara Scannell, Lauren del Valle, Jeremy Herb, Marshall Cohen and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.

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