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Best Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Leonard on David Pecker testimony in Trump case

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Firm News

Best Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Leonard on David Pecker testimony in Trump case. After preliminary legal skirmishing over whether former President Trump should be held in contempt over his alleged violations of the Court’s (Judge Merchen) “gag Order,” the prosecution called its first witness – David Pecker.

Pecker is a long-time (apparently now former) friend and ally of Trump. Pecker ran the AMI newspapers, including the National Enquirer. Pecker and Trump were social and business friends, but more importantly strategic allies. At trial, Pecker testified about his relationship with Trump. More importantly, he helped the prosecution set the table for its case by detailing a meeting that occurred between him, Michael Cohen, and Trump. According to Pecker’s testimony, Cohen told Pecker that “the Boss” (Trump) wanted to meet. At that meeting, the three agreed verbally that Pecker would assist Trump’s presidential campaign by “catching and killing” stories that women wanted to tell about Trump, which they viewed to be damaging to his campaign. More specifically, they discussed the fact that payments would be made to women, and thus their stories would be buried.

Pecker’s testimony, although not directly relevant to the charges of falsifying business records, is still extraordinarily relevant to the case as a whole. Pecker’s testimony provides the foundation for testimony to be offered by the prosecution regarding the payment made to Stormy Daniels. It was that payment that caused Trump and the Trump organization to create the false business records that are at issue in this case.

Pecker’s testimony also serves an important second purpose in that it buttresses the credibility of Cohen. Cohen is expected to testify and will of course be aggressively cross-examined regarding his credibility. Thus, it is important for the prosecution to be able to prove its case – with or without Cohen. In other words, whether the jury has questions about Cohen’s credibility. Accordingly, Pecker’s testimony is significant because it provides a second witness to the hatching of the scheme that ultimately resulted in the payments at issue. It also makes it more likely that the payments were made by Cohen to Daniels as part of that scheme, which in turn caused the false records to be created.

Michael Leonard

Matthew Chivari

Leonard Trial Lawyers

April 24, 2024