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March 19, 2024

Trump Loses Motion to Block Witness Testimony

Donald Trump was just given an extra 30 days for his defense team to go over additional materials provided by the DOJ.

While Trump’s attorneys wanted 90 days, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg did not object to a 30-day extension, which the judge granted.

Trump tried to throw an extra wrench into the system by blocking the testimony of his former fixer, Michael Cohen, and his alleged former mistress, Stormy Daniels.

Block Them

Trump’s legal team had filed two motions in an effort to block the aforementioned testimony, but Judge Merchan was not willing to bend that far.

The motion to have Cohen and Daniels blocked from testifying was denied by Merchan, handing Bragg yet another win.

Merchan’s ruling stated, “Unless the People provide a satisfactory offer of proof, the testimony by or about Sajudin and McDougal, will be limited to ‘the fact of’ and may not explore the underlying details of what allegedly transpired between those individuals and the defendant.”

Merchan said he would go into further detail when the trial started regarding the limitations of the witnesses mentioned in his ruling.

Donald Trump’s attorneys have been all over Cohen since he admitted that he had lied under oath in previous testimony.

Merchan also stated that testimony attacking Cohen regarding his past guilty plea would not be entertained, stating, “There are countless reasons why the FEC and DOJ could have decided not to pursue enforcement against Defendant, all having nothing to do with whether he is guilty of the charges here against him.”

Trump’s attorneys were also given strict rules on how they could use a “presence of counsel” defense.

He stated, “To allow said defense in this matter would effectively permit the defendant to invoke the very defense he has declared he will not rely upon, without the concomitant obligations that come with it.

“The result would undoubtedly be to confuse and mislead the jury. This Court can not endorse such a tactic.”

Finally, Merchan instructed the defense team that efforts to present motions against issues that have already been settled would not be entertained in this trial, a tactic Trump had used in previous trials.

The next hearing for this case is scheduled for March 25, which was initially the start date of the trial, but that was delayed as noted above.

We expect Merchan to decide on a formal trial date at this time, except for any other outstanding developments that would require the case to be pushed back again.

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