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Judge rejects Trump bid to block Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels from testifying

Last week, Merchan delayed the trial, which was originally slated for March 25, by 30 days.

Published: March 18, 2024 8:34pm

Judge Juan Merchan on Monday rejected a bid from former President Donald Trump to prevent the testimony of his former attorney, Michael Cohen, and adult film actress Stormy Daniels as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's case against him.

Trump's legal team in late February petitioned Merchan to block their testimony. In the filing, they claimed that Cohen "recently committed perjury, on the stand and under oath, at a civil trial involving President Trump" and appeared poised to do so in the current case. Of Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, they said she "has made clear through public statements that she intends to offer false, salacious, and unduly prejudicial testimony."

Merchan's Monday orders came as part of a series of decisions he made about what materials and evidence may be presented in the upcoming trial, The Hill reported.

Bragg has charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a 2016 payment Cohen made to Daniels. Trump has pleaded not guilty and contends that the case is part of a broader political witch hunt designed to derail his 2024 presidential campaign.

Last week, Merchan delayed the trial, which was originally slated for March 25, by 30 days. 

The case marks the first criminal prosecution of a former president in U.S. history, though special counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis have both since brought criminal charges against Trump in unrelated cases.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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