Breaking: Emergency Medical Situation Rocks Trump Trial

Judge Juan Merchan presided over the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump on Monday morning at around 9:30. The prosecution’s opening statement was anticipated to be significantly longer than the defense’s, as reported by NBC News. The trial was projected to conclude in just over an hour. The final alternate juror, number six, experienced a dental emergency last week and had initially scheduled an appointment for 3:00 PM. However, the appointment was rescheduled to 1:20 PM. In light of this change, Judge Merchan decided to adjourn court at 12:30 PM to ensure the juror could make it to her appointment on time.

“An alternate juror has an emergency dental appointment this afternoon. Tomorrow, Judge Merchan plans to end at 2 p.m. for the Passover holiday. Most jurors looked straight ahead as they passed the defense table on the way out of the courtroom,” the AP reported.

The court had scheduled a brief meeting today, Tuesday, to conclude at 2:00 p.m. in observance of Passover. Donald Trump is currently facing trial in New York City on felony charges related to a payment made in 2016 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence.

In April of last year, Trump pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment that accused him of falsifying business records in connection with the hush money payment to Daniels, which was arranged by his former attorney Michael Cohen in an effort to boost Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied both meeting Daniels and any involvement of the payment in his campaign, asserting that it was for personal purposes.

Federal investigators subpoenaed David Pecker, the CEO of American Media, and his company in April 2018, and they provided prosecutors with information regarding Cohen’s payment to Daniels. As a result, Pecker was granted immunity in exchange for testifying about Trump’s knowledge of the payment.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass announced that Pecker would also testify about the tabloid’s publication of stories in support of Trump’s 2016 campaign. According to an individual familiar with the matter, Pecker testified before the Manhattan grand jury investigating Trump on two occasions in January and March of 2023.

In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the payoff and was subsequently sentenced to prison for various offenses, including violations of campaign finance laws.

That same year, American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer at the time, admitted to providing $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to ensure her silence about an alleged affair with Trump prior to the 2016 election. Trump, who maintains his innocence in the New York criminal case, has consistently criticized it as a politically motivated witch hunt.

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