Trial Judge Overrides A Series Of Objections From Trump’s Defense Team To Case Evidence

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Amid former President Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York City on allegations of falsifying business records in connection to hush money from before the 2016 presidential election, Judge Juan Merchan — handling the proceedings — reportedly overruled a series of objections from the Trump defense team during trial proceedings on Monday. The objections related to adding certain materials to evidence.

“After a sidebar conference, the judge overrules a defense objection and accepts more exhibits into evidence. They are emails,” reported legal journalist Adam Klasfeld early Monday. “Sidebar conference” means a discussion with the judge generally out of earshot of others in court, like members of the jury. The emails added to the case’s evidentiary record seemed to relate to the logistics of repaying former Trump ally Michael Cohen after he provided hush money for Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Daniels allegedly had an affair with Trump.

“More emails. Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove has the same objection as before,” added Klasfeld shortly thereafter. “Prosecutors have the same response. Same result: Overruled. The emails are entered into evidence.”

Actually testifying was Jeff McConney, a former financial executive at the Trump Organization whose testimony the Trump defense team unsuccessfully tried to avert on Monday, claiming that they were unprepared. Former prosecutor and legal analyst Andrew Weissmann deemed the Trump team’s move “lame,” noting McConney’s extensive service in Trump’s employ, his past participation in other recent court proceedings related to the ex-president’s business, and the earlier availability of discovery materials related to McConney.

Discovery, in this context, refers to a pre-trial period in which case participants share materials relevant to the unfolding dispute. The idea is to help with fair and effective prep for trial.

Trump was also found in contempt — again — on Monday, with Merchan reiterating to Trump a threat of detention for future violations of the gag order from this judge that provided the backdrop for the dispute.