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Why Hush Money Judge Banned Testimony Of Melania Trump Being Pregnant During Husband's ‘Affair’

Home / News / Why Hush Money Judge Banned Testimony Of Melania Trump Being Pregnant During Husband's ‘Affair’

By Favour Adegoke on April 15, 2024 at 11:15 PM EDT
Updated on April 16, 2024 at 9:46 AM EDT

Former president Donald Trump's hush money trial began on Monday, with jury selection underway.

According to reports from the courtroom, while prosecutors have been allowed to bring up evidence of an alleged affair between Trump and Playboy model Karen McDougal, they have been barred from linking it to the period Melania Trump was pregnant with their son Barron.

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The Prosecution Claimed Melania Trump's Pregnancy During The 'Affair' Was Vital To The Case

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The former first lady's pregnancy has been barred from being brought up in court, with Trump's lawyer branding it as a "salacious" detail.

Per the DailyMail, one of the prosecutors, Joshua Steinglass, said in court: "We intend to elicit evidence Karen McDougal was a former Playboy model who claims to have had a romantic and sexual relations with Mr Trump including while Mr Trump's wife Melania was pregnant with their child."

Steinglass further noted that they have "no intention of describing sexual acts or locales" where the alleged incident happened.

However, he stated that the fact it "occurred while Melania was pregnant and after the birth of his son speaks directly to the extent to which the defendant [Trump] believes the story could be damaging to his campaign."

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The Defense Argued That Bringing Up Melania's Pregnancy Is 'Salacious With No Value'

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Trump's lawyers slammed the prosecution's claims that Melania being pregnant during the period of the alleged affair with McDougal was vital to the case.

The former president's lawyer, Todd Blanche, argued that the "only value is to embarrass President Trump."

Blanche then branded the claims "salacious with no value." Seemingly siding with the defense, Judge Marchan stated that the evidence should be allowed in, but they can not bring up "that the defendant's wife was pregnant, and this went on and even after she gave birth."

He added, "At this moment, the prejudicial value excuses the probative value."

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What Is Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial About?

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The historic criminal trial stems from allegations from the prosecution that Trump committed election interference when he allegedly paid $130,000 in hush money to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to hide his affair with her.

They claimed that his actions violated campaign finance law because they were intended to keep valuable information away from US voters right before the 2016 election. The hush money was reportedly paid via Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the records were then falsified as legal fees.

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The 77-year-old has since denied paying Daniels the money and pleaded not guilty to the 32 charges brought against him. This has remained his stance, despite Daniels going on several interviews alleging that she indeed received the amount from the billionaire mogul to keep mum about their one-night stand.

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The Trial Kicked Off On Monday With Jury Selection

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The billionaire mogul was in court for the first day of his Stormy Daniels trial, where he will be tried on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Trump, dressed in a blue suit and red tie, was seen arriving with his team of lawyers led by Blanche. His campaign adviser, Steven Cheung, also arrived in tow.

Judge Juan Merchan, who previously expanded a gag order placed on Trump, is overseeing the case. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his colleagues Susan Hoffinger, Joshua Steinglass, and Matthew Colangelo are on the prosecution side.

Today's court session centered on the jury selection, the 12-member panel that will determine whether Trump is guilty of the accusations.

During the trial, 96 prospective jurors were reportedly brought in for questioning, and 50 were excused after they admitted to being unable to be impartial in the trial.

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Donald Trump Brands Trial An 'Assault On America'

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Just before heading to his seat in the defense section, Trump spoke briefly to reporters outside the court, going on an angry rant about how the trial is an act of persecution by his political opponents.

"Nobody has ever seen anything like it," Trump said, per The Guardian. "This is political persecution ... it's a case that should have never been brought."

Although the Republican presidential hopeful refrained from naming names, he claimed that the trial is also "an assault on America."

Trump continued, "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 who'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."

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