United States

Know The Key People Involved In Trump Hush Money Case

The criminal trial of former President Donald Trump in New York will focus on 34 counts of falsifying business records, stemming from allegations of concealing reimbursements to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 in hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.

AP
In this courthouse sketch drawn from a divided video monitor, former President Donald Trump, lower right frame, center, confers with defense attorney Todd Blanche as Judge Juan Merchan, upper left, and prosecutor Joshua Steingless, lower left, look on during jury selection in Manhattan criminal court, Monday, April 15, 2024, in New York. Photo: AP
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When former President Donald Trump's long-awaited criminal trial commences in New York on Monday, it will mark the apex of a years-long investigation, delving into events dating back to an alleged affair in 2006. This unfolding saga intertwines elements of presidential politics, tabloid sensationalism, and the intricate details of corporate finance. As the trial unfolds, a diverse cast of characters, some familiar and others emerging into the limelight for the first time, will take center stage.

Here's a comprehensive guide to some of the key figures involved in this historic trial:

Donald Trump

As the defendant facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. The charges stem from allegations of concealing reimbursements to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 in hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election. Trump's combative stance against prosecutors and the judiciary underscores the contentious nature of the trial.

Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump Photo: AP
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Michael Cohen

Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, occupies a pivotal role in the case. The charges against Trump revolve around reimbursements to Cohen, purportedly disguised as legal expenses, for the payment made to Daniels. Cohen's cooperation with prosecutors positions him as a key witness against Trump.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen Photo: AP
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Stormy Daniels

The adult film star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, received the $130,000 payment from Cohen in October 2016 as part of a nondisclosure agreement regarding her alleged affair with Trump. Daniels' involvement in the case sheds light on the intricate web of transactions orchestrated to silence her allegations.

Stormy Daniels
Stormy Daniels Photo: AP
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Keith Davidson

Davidson, Daniels' attorney, facilitated negotiations surrounding the nondisclosure agreement and the subsequent payment. His interactions with Cohen and executives from the National Enquirer underscore the clandestine nature of the arrangements made to suppress damaging revelations.

Karen McDougal

Another woman who alleged an affair with Trump, McDougal's story was similarly buried by the National Enquirer through a practice known as "catch and kill." The involvement of McDougal and Daniels highlights a pattern of concerted efforts to mitigate potential political fallout.

David Pecker and Dylan Howard

Pecker, the CEO of the National Enquirer's parent company, and Howard, the tabloid's editor, played pivotal roles in suppressing unfavorable stories about Trump during the 2016 campaign. Their involvement underscores the intersection of media influence and political maneuvering.

Jeffrey McConney

A former controller at the Trump Organization, McConney's oversight of financial transactions forms a central aspect of the prosecution's case. Allegations of falsified records and nonexistent retainer agreements implicate McConney in the scheme.

Alvin Bragg

Elected as Manhattan district attorney in 2021, Bragg spearheads the prosecution's efforts against Trump. Under his leadership, the investigation into Trump's financial dealings gained momentum, culminating in the indictment preceding the trial.

Alvin Bragg
Alvin Bragg Photo: AP
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Susan Hoffinger, Joshua Steinglass, Christopher Conroy, Matthew Colangelo, and Rebecca Mangold

As key members of the prosecution team, these individuals bring a wealth of experience in handling complex financial crimes. Their collective expertise underscores the gravity of the charges levied against Trump.

Todd Blanche, Susan Necheles, and Emil Bove: Serving as Trump's defense attorneys, this legal team brings a formidable defense strategy to the courtroom. With a blend of federal prosecutorial experience and expertise in white-collar cases, they mount a vigorous defense on behalf of their client.

Juan Merchan

The presiding judge in the trial, Merchan's impartiality and judicial acumen are critical in ensuring a fair and transparent legal process. Despite facing criticism from Trump, Merchan's extensive legal background instills confidence in the integrity of the proceedings.

Judge Juan M. Merchan
Judge Juan M. Merchan Photo: AP
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