Trump’s Lawyers Question David Pecker as Week One of Trial Concludes

The first week of Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial capped off with the prosecution calling two new witnesses after four days of testimony from former National Enquirer publisher Dave Pecker concluded on Thursday.

Prosecutors on Friday first called former Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff. Graff was responsible for handling Trump’s schedule and phone calls at his office in Trump Tower.

In her testimony, Graff told jurors that she was responsible for keeping Trump’s list of contacts, which included Stormy Daniels and former model Karen McDougal who were both paid off during the 2016 election to keep silent about their affairs with Trump.

Following Graff’s testimony, the prosecution called former First Republic Bank executive Gary Farro.

Farro testified that Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen had been his client at the time Cohen wired the $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels’ attorney shortly before the 2016 election.

The first four days of witness testimony featured David Pecker.

In direct testimony, Pecker described the National Enquirer’s “catch and kill” method of buying the exclusive rights to stories as a way to keep them from going public. According to Pecker, this scheme was used to suppress stories that would be damaging to Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Pecker told the jury that he attended several meetings at Trump Tower before the election, including one meeting in 2015 in which he agreed to be the Trump campaign’s “eyes and ears.” He acknowledged that the tabloid paid Karen McDougal $150,000.

However, during cross-examination by Trump’s attorney Emil Bove, Pecker conceded that the National Enquirer had other motives besides helping the Trump campaign.

Pecker admitted during cross that his publishing company American Media subsequently ran dozens of stories under Karen McDougal’s byline valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gary Farro returned to the stand on Tuesday when Week Two of the trial kicked off.