Donald Trump trial LIVE: Follow updates of the Stormy Daniels hush money case as jury selection begins

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Donald Trump became the first former president to stand trial as he arrived in a Manhattan court on Monday.

In what will be a historic trial he is accused of hiding payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged affair.

A jury of 12 New York residents who will decide his fate will be selected from a pool of hundreds in a process that could take as long as two weeks.

Follow DailyMail.com’s live coverage from our reporters in the courtroom and in New York as the case gets underway.

Judge allows transcript of Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape into evidence

In another blow to Trump, Judge Merchan allowed in the transcript of his infamous Access Hollywood tape where he joked about grabbing women.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said that it was ‘incendiary’ and that it was an ‘admission, or at the very least a description of sexual assault’.

Steinglass said that the ‘reparations for the upcoming Presidential debate were ‘interrupted by the need to do damage control’.

He said that this ‘is more than just comments of a sexual nature’ .

But Merchan denied a request to introduce reports that were published after the Access Hollywood tape came out about three other women accusing Trump.

Merchan said they were ‘very, very prejudicial’ and ‘just gossip’.

But jurors will be able to see videos of Trump denying the claims, the judge ruled.

Lawyers clash over Playboy model

Rob Crilly, DailyMail.com Senior Political Reporter reports from inside the courtroom:

If you lived your life and rose to fame through tabloid headlines and stories about your sex life, it is inevitable that some of that might come back to haunt you.

The two sides have just clashed over introducing evidence about Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who claimed to have an affair with Trump. Prosecutor Josh Steinglass asked to introduce evidence about her, including details of how Trump believed her story was damaging to his campaign and was involved in securing the rights to her story in order to kill it.

But Todd Blanche pushed back, saying it included ‘unproven allegations.’ ‘It’s literally just salacious with no value.’

Judge Merchan says his previous ruling stands, allowing McDougal to testify, but he won’t permit evidence that Trump’s wide was pregnant with his child at the time.

SEE IT: First pictures of Donald Trump in criminal court

Former President Donald Trump sits in the Manhattan courtroom with a stern look on his face.

He has his hands clapsed together on the wooden desk wearing his singature blue suit with a stark red tie.

Former US President Donald Trump at Manhattan criminal court in New York, US, on Monday, April 15, 2024. Jury selection beings Monday in Trump's criminal trial where he faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to silence claims of extramarital sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign. JEENAH MOON/Pool via REUTERS
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection in New York, NY on Monday, April 15, 2024. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to silence claims of extramarital sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign. Jabin Botsford/Pool via REUTERS
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection in New York, NY on Monday, April 15, 2024. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to silence claims of extramarital sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign. Jabin Botsford/Pool via REUTERS

As jury selection begins in Donald Trump’s criminal trial related to the hush money payments, the ex-president’s most fervent supporters have already made up their minds in the case before a single piece of evidence is presented.

Trump is the first former president in U.S. history to ever stand criminal trial.

He is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up the $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump has called the trial ‘assault on America’ and ‘political persecution,’ and his supporters closely echo what he says.

‘That’s a witch hunt, total witch hunt,’ said Stacey Hawthorne, 57, who waited in line for hours to see Trump speak Saturday at a rally in Schnecksville, PA, his final political event before the trial began.

Trump supporters were more focused on the hush money payment itself rather than falsifying business records, and it didn’t bother them.

‘I’m sure there’s not one politician alive that hasn’t paid hush money to somebody to shut their mouth for something that they didn’t want,’ said Matthew Onuschak, 44.

‘Whether or not Donald Trump paid hush money to somebody doesn’t bother me. I like his policies,’ he added.

The ex-president’s fans said they’re not concerned with their candidate being criminally convicted or facing prison time.

‘I think it’s just a roadblock and they’re frivolous cases and I just think it charges up his base more, said Michael Mann, 61. ‘I don’t feel he’s going to be convicted.’

Judge allows prosecutors to introduce evidence about the National Enquirer’s coordination with the Trump campaign in 2016

Manhattan prosecutors will be allowed to enter evidence suggestion the Trump campaign coordinated with the Trump campaign before the 2016 election.

Judge Juan Merchan said the jury could see claims that the publication promoted positive stories about the Republican nominee and negative stories about his opponents, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche briefily fired back, saying: ‘This evidence would do nothing but confuse the jury about the actual crime charged for several reasons.’

He said the evidence would be a ‘side show’

Inside the courtroom: Trump is in ‘court mode’ as he listens intently in concentration letting his attorneys do the talking

Rob Crilly, DailyMail.com Senior Political Reporter reports from inside the courtroom:

Trump watchers will tell you that he assumes different personas for different occasions.

He is in court mode this morning, listening intently with his head slightly tilted, eyes narrow and his lips tightly pursed. He is a study in concentration letting his lawyers do the talking.

Only once has he appeared to let his feelings show through as the court considers complex legal arguments.

When Judge Merchan said there was no reason his daughter’s business dealings represented a conflict of interest and that he would not be recusing himself, Trump gave a furious little nod and glanced sideways at Emil Bove, his lawyer to the left.

How much has Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg made off Trump’s hush money case?

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has made over $800,000 since indicting Donald Trump last spring.

According to state campaign finance data, Bragg has scored $845,253 between March 30, 2023 and January 12, 2024.

Last year, Trump became the first-ever U.S. president to be indicted after a grand jury returned a 34-count grand jury charge.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has slammed Bragg as a corrupt attorney on a ‘witch hunt’ to take him down.

FILE - Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks to reporters during a news conference, April 18, 2023, in New York. The hush money trial of former President Donald Trump begins Monday, April 15, 2024, with jury selection. It's a singular moment for American history as the first criminal trial of a former U.S. commander-in-chief. Bragg's office has said that Trump was trying to conceal violations of federal campaign finance laws â¿
Protesters and supporters of Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump on the day of his hush money criminal trial, in New York City, U.S., April 15,

Judge says Trump might have to MISS son Barron’s high school graduation

Judge Merchan said that he was not able to rule at this stage if Trump could have a day off on May 17th to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation.

The judge said:

If everything is going according to schedule then I’m sure we’ll be able to adjourn for one or both of those days. But if we’re running behind schedule we will not be able to. It really depends on if we are on time and where we are in the trial.

Rapid progress and no unforeseen delays, he explained, would mean he might be able to adjourn hearings for the day.

As the judge spoke Trump folded his arms and looked unimpressed.

Judge Juan Merchan REFUSES to recuse himself from the case after bid from Trump’s lawyers

In a dramatic start to the first day of the Manhattan trial, Judge Juan Merchan refused to recuse himself from the case.

He rejected a bid by Donald Trump’s team to have him booted from the trial.

Merchan claimed Trump was using a ‘series of inferences, innuendos and unsupported speculation’ to argue for his recusal.

Merchan also rejected suggestions that posts on X by his daughter should cause him to recuse because it wasn’t her account, and they made no difference to his ability to oversee the proceedings.

Trump face to face with judge

Judge Juan Merchan has come into court.

The case has been called and the lawyers for both sides introduced themselves.

Judge Merchan said good morning to Trump who turned his head to acknowledge it.

A defiant Donald Trump made history as the first former president to stand in a criminal trial as he arrived in court on Monday for jury selection in the Manhattan hush-money case.

The former president, 77, is facing 34 felony charges of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair.

Each count he has strenuously denied carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, but if found guilty he could face a fine or probation as a first-time offender.

Trump walked into court wearing a dark blue suit and a red tie after telling reporters the case was ‘outrageous’ and an ‘assault on America.’

‘This is a persecution like never before. It is an assault on America and that’s why I’m very proud to be here,’ he said.

He then sat at his desk with his lawyer with his hands together on the desk.

Trump entered behind his lead attorney Todd Blanche, paused for a split second, licked his lips, then began walking up the courtroom’s center aisle.

The presumptive Republican nominee for president looked defiant as he left Trump Tower on Monday morning and waved to waiting fans and photographers as he got into his motorcade.

Before he departed he went on a rant on his social media platform, Truth Social, about the ‘rigged’ case and the ‘corrupt’ charge.

Trump calls his trial an ‘assault on America’

Trump delivered a short speech outside court before the start of the trial and called it an ‘assault on America’.

This is an assault on America. Nothing like this has ever happened before – there’s never been anything like it.

Every legal scholar says this is nonsense, it should never have been brought. It doesn’t deserve anything like this. There is no case – and they’ve said it. People that don’t necessarily follow or like Donald Trump said this is an outrage that this case was brought. This is political persecution, this is a persecution like never before.

And again, it’s a case that should have never been brought. It’s an assault on America and that’s why I’m very proud to be here. This is an assault on our country – and it’s a country that’s failing. It’s a country that’s run by an incompetent man that’s very much involved in this case. This is really an attack on a political opponent. That’s all it is, so I’m very honored to be here.

Trump sits down in court with his legal team

Trump walked into court wearing a dark blue suit and a red tie.

His lawyer Todd Blanche entered the courtroom just before him.

As he got into the room Triump paused for a split second, licked his lips, then began walking up the center aisle.

He passed nine rows of wooden benches on either side, which were all empty.

Potential jurors will sit on the benches.

Trump’s shoulders were hunched but his chin was up and his expression was stern.

It took him about 10 seconds to walk up the aisle toward the front of the largely empty courtroom.

He was followed into court by his legal team.

Trump sat at his desk with his lawyer with his hands together on the desk.

He then talked to his lawyers with his main attorney, Blanche, on his right. To his left were Emil Bove and Susan Necheles.

Donald Trump walks into courtroom

Donald Trump walked into the courtroom shortly after 9.30am.

Trump declares that he is ‘proud’ to be here and is ‘fighting for freedom’ as he arrives at court

Around the time he arrived at the court building Trump posted on his Truth Social site.

He declared: ‘when I walk into that courtroom, I know I will have the love of 200 million Americans behind me, and I will be FIGHTING for the FREEDOM of 325 MILLION AMERICANS!’

He told reporters that ‘this is a persecution like never before. It is an assault on America and that’s why I’m very proud to be here.’

Trump arrives at court

Donald Trump has arrived Monday at the New York courthouse where he is set to become the first ex-president in US history to stand criminal trial.

It marked a seismic moment in the already explosive 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump arrived after being driven by motorcade to the gritty Manhattan courthouse from his Trump Tower apartment building shortly before the start of jury selection.

Donald Trump left his Trump Tower home on Monday to prepare for the start of jury selection in his historic first criminal trial.

The former president will appear in court to face chagres he hid a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair in 2006.

Before leaving Trump Tower to make the four-mile drive downtown, Trump went on a social media rant where he accused Democrats of using the hush money case as a political weapon to keep him sitting in a courtroom and spending money instead of being out on the campaign trail.

Just hours ahead of the trial kicking-off on Monday, he took to Truth Social to rail about all aspects of the case and lamented he was stripped of his voice after he was put under a gag order.

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, April 15, 2024, in New York. The hush money trial of former President Donald Trump begins Monday with jury selection. It's a singular moment for American history as the first criminal trial of a former U.S. commander in chief. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at court

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrived at court on Monday morning, before Donald Trump and ahead of jury selection.

The former president has constantly criticized Bragg, who he says is one of the driving forces behind the politcally-motivated charges.

The Democratic DA, who came into office two years ago and has been involved in cases against the Trump Organization, will likely be in the courtroom for most of the trial.

But it will be the prosecutors in his team who will be asking the questions during testimony and leading the cross-examination.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of former US President Donald Trump's first day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, in New York City on April 15, 2024. Trump goes to court Monday as the first US ex-president ever to be criminally prosecuted, a seismic moment for the United States as the presumptive Republican nominee campaigns to re-take the White House. The scandal-plagued 77-year-old is accused of falsifying business records in a scheme to cover up an alleged sexual encounter with adult film actress Stormy Daniels to shield his 2016 election campaign from adverse publicity. (Photo by Adam Gray / AFP) (Photo by ADAM GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

The spectacle of Donald Trump’s first criminal trial has arrived.

The former president will appear in court in Manhattan on Monday, despite multiple efforts from his legal team to delay the start of the Stormy Daniels hush money case, where he is accused of trying to hide a $130,000 payment to cover up an affair he denies ever having.

His legal team have been in and out of court for months trying to get the charges tossed and claiming it should be in a different venue, because he can’t get a fair trial in Manhattan.

The presumptive Republican nominee’s attorneys will now go to battle with prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

He has picked a veteran white-collar lawyer, a criminal defense attorney and those who have worked on Trump Organization cases to fight his corner as he stares down 34 charges of falsifying business records.

Here are the key members of both the prosecution and defense teams as jury selection begins on Monday.

Heavy police presence outside the Manhattan court as Trump prepares to arrive

A heavy police presence was stationed around the Manhattan court on Monday morning awaiting Donald Trump’s arrival.

The Secret Service and NYPD have been meeting for weeks to finalize logistics as the former president’s legal circus returns to New York.

Protesters were already waiting outside and members of the media were lining up ready to enter the courthouse for jury selection.

The scene outside of 100 Centre Street as Day One of the Trump Hush Money Trial enters jury selection
The scene outside of 100 Centre Street as Day One of the Trump Hush Money Trial enters jury selection
The scene outside of 100 Centre Street as Day One of the Trump Hush Money Trial enters jury selection

When jury selection is completed, testimony in the Donald Trump hush money case will begin.

Those who could take the stand include Trump’s former aides, his disgraced ex-fixer Michael Cohen and the porn star at the heart of the case, Stormy Daniels.

While prosecutors have not released an official list of potential witnesses to take the stand, here are some of the people in Trump’s former orbit expected to testify in the trial

Donald Trump ranted about the ‘rigged trial’ and ‘crooked judge’ hours before he was due to arrive in the Manhattan court for jury selection.

The former president took to his social media platform to say the Democrats and the ‘radical left’ for ‘cheating’ in the 2024 election by keeping him in court.

He also demanded an end to the trial and insisted the statute of limitations had passed in the case.

‘I want my VOICE back. This Crooked Judge has GAGGED me,’ he wrote.

‘Unconstitutional! The other side can talk about me, but I am not allowed to talk about them! Rigged Trial!

‘The Radical Left Democrats are already cheating on the 2024 Presidential Election by bringing, or helping to bring, all of these bogus lawsuits against me, thereby forcing me to sit in courthouses, and spend money that could be used for campaigning, instead of being out in the field knocking Crooked Joe Biden, the WORST President in the History of the United States. Election Interference!’

‘As virtually every legal scholar has powerfully stated, the Biden Manhattan Witch Hunt Case is, among other things, BARRED by the Statute of Limitations. This “trial” should be ended by the highly conflicted presiding Judge.’

Prospective jurors in Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial will be asked over 42 questions ranging from their views on extremist groups Antifa and Q’Anon, to where they get their news, to whether they’ve ever attended political rallies for the former president.

The 77-year-old has pleaded not guilty to falsifying business records to help cover up an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Jury selection begins a week from Monday on April 15, and is bound to kick off at least several days of intensive questioning for the individuals who will determine Trump’s fate in the case.

Both sides of the case are under a ton of pressure to select a jury that will be perceived as fair – or else risk a mistrial down the line.

Judge Juan Merchan publicized a list of 42 questions he plans to quiz prospective jurors about to ensure an unbiased trial, including any connections they may have to the former president’s political circles.

Of the 1.4 million adults who live in Manhattan, it will be almost impossible to find one who doesn’t already have an opinion of Donald Trump.

But twelve of them will be chosen to ultimately decide his fate as the first former president to stand in a criminal trial that begins on Monday.

They will be picked from hundreds of eligible New York residents to sit for the historic case where Trump is accused of hiding a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair in 2006.

If found guilty by the group of his peers, he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison over a saga that started 18 years ago, and has seen wall-to-wall press coverage not just in the Big Apple but around the world.

Will it be impossible to find a dozen people who don’t already have prejudicial view  of the presumptive Republican nominee for president? Experts who specialize in jury selection tell DailyMail.com it could be.

What started as a chance encounter at a charity golf tournament 18 years ago has turned into one of the biggest legal dramas in history.

On Monday, Donald Trump will become the first former president to face a criminal trial over a $130,000 hush-money payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels over their alleged affair.

The trial – set to last between six and eight weeks – will be full of bombshell testimony and drama that are the results of years of scandal.

Witnesses will testify about lurid allegations of hotel suite encounters, blockbuster TV interviews and backroom deals involving the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

The case revolves around the payment made to Daniels by Trump’s then-fixer Michel Cohen ahead of the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

She claims it occurred less than four months after Melania Trump gave birth to the couple’s son , Barron.

Since then there have been legal twists and turns at every corner, while Trump has spent four years in the White House and is now in the middle of bid for another term.

Jury selection begins in the Trump hush-money trial

Welcome to DailyMail.com’s live coverage of Donald Trump’s historic Manhattan trial, the first of four criminal cases he faces.

The forrmer president will be in the court to watch as 12 New York residents are chosen to be on the jury.

The 77-year-old has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide a $130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up their alleged affair.

He has denied all the charges and strenuously rejects her claims they had a sexual encounter at a golf course in 2006.

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