Trump trial continues with testimony from Michael Cohen's former banker

Trump trial continues with testimony from Michael Cohen’s former banker

The third week of former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial resumed Tuesday with continued testimony from its third witness and a pair of rulings from the judge on outstanding issues related to the case.

Before testimony resumed, Judge Juan Merchan found Trump in contempt of court for violating a gag order limiting what Trump can say about those involved in the case. The judge fined him $1,000 for each violation. 

Merchan also ruled that Trump can attend his son Barron’s high school graduation on May 17, rather than attend the trial. Eric Trump, another one of the former president’s sons, is in the courtroom for Tuesday’s proceedings, the first time one of Trump’s family members has accompanied him to court.

testified that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, was his client when Cohen wired $130,000 in “hush money” to Stormy Daniels’ lawyer days before the 2016 election.

Farro worked at First Republic Bank when Cohen paid Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. Prosecutors say the arrangement was intended to protect Trump’s campaign, and that Trump falsified records when repaying Cohen to hide the alleged scheme.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony falsification of business records counts in the case and has denied all allegations, including that he had an extramarital sexual encounter.

On Friday, Farro testified about Cohen’s “sense of urgency” on Oct. 26, 2016, when he opened a bank account for a new corporation registered in Delaware called Essential Consultants LLC. 

The company was used to wire Daniels’ attorney $130,000 for the rights to her story, alleging she and Trump had sex in 2006. The trial’s first witness, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, testified that Cohen and Trump were determined to suppress the story, because they believed it would harm Trump’s chances of winning the presidency.

Another witness, Trump’s former executive assistant Rhona Graff, testified that she maintained a list of Trump’s contacts, and it included one labeled “Stormy.”