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By Mae Slater on
 May 14, 2024

Stormy Daniels' Testimony Sparks Debate Over Judge's Decisions, Legal Experts Claim Judge Made Big Mistake

Stormy Daniels’ testimony regarding her alleged affair with former President Donald Trump has sparked controversy and legal debate.

Fox News reported that Trump's defense team’s motions for a mistrial were denied by Judge Juan Merchan, leading to criticism from legal experts who argue that his decisions could be grounds for overturning a potential guilty verdict on appeal.

Daniels' testimony became a focal point in the trial against Donald Trump, where he faces 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records. Daniels took the stand to testify about her alleged affair with Trump, which the defense argued was irrelevant to the case.

They filed two motions for a mistrial last week, claiming that the questions posed to Daniels were designed to prejudice the jury.

Judge Juan Merchan denied both mistrial motions, stating that the defense could have objected more during Daniels' testimony. He had previously rejected a request by Trump's attorneys in March to prevent Daniels from testifying altogether. Merchan acknowledged that some details recounted by Daniels might have been better left "unsaid."

Allegations of Bias and Political Motivation

Legal experts have voiced concerns about Merchan’s decisions. Joseph Moreno, a former federal prosecutor, criticized Merchan for initially allowing Daniels' testimony and later denying the mistrial motions. Moreno suggested that the judge's actions might be an attempt to protect himself from appellate scrutiny.

Hans von Spakovsky, another legal expert, argued that Daniels' testimony was irrelevant to the core issue of whether the payment to Daniels was a campaign-related expense or a legal expense.

He described the judge as biased and accused him of making numerous mistakes that could allow an appeals court to overturn any verdict against Trump.

Former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes echoed these sentiments, describing the court as a "kangaroo court." Hakes criticized the court for not operating on any familiar legal principles and expressed concern that the jury would be unfairly swayed by the character attacks on Trump.

Trump is facing charges for allegedly falsifying business records to reimburse his former attorney, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment made to Daniels to keep her quiet about the alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. District Attorney Alvin Bragg's team aims to prove that the payment was part of a broader conspiracy to influence the election.

Daniels admitted during her testimony that she had no direct knowledge of Trump's involvement in the payment.

Despite this, prosecutors believe her testimony supports their case that the payment was intended to influence the election.

Legal Experts Criticize Inclusion of Testimony

Legal experts have questioned the inclusion of Daniels' testimony in the trial. Hans von Spakovsky emphasized that the details of Daniels' alleged affair with Trump have no bearing on whether the payment was a campaign-related expense. He argued that the testimony was used to tarnish Trump's character and influence the jury.

Joseph Moreno added that the prosecution's theory fails to identify the specific crime at the heart of the case.

He suggested that the lurid details of the alleged affair were used to distract from the weaknesses in the prosecution's case.

The decision to deny the mistrial motions has raised concerns about the future of the trial. Legal experts believe that Merchan's rulings could be grounds for an appeal if Trump is found guilty.

Francey Hakes noted that the Court of Appeals might view Daniels' entire testimony as having been objected to by the defense, which could impact the outcome of an appeal.


The inclusion of Stormy Daniels' testimony in Donald Trump's trial has sparked significant legal debate. Judge Juan Merchan's decisions to deny motions for a mistrial have been criticized by legal experts, who argue that the testimony was irrelevant and prejudicial. As the trial continues, these decisions could play a crucial role in any potential appeals, highlighting the contentious nature of the case.

In summary:

  • Stormy Daniels' testimony about her alleged affair with Trump led to motions for a mistrial.
  • Judge Juan Merchan denied the motions, prompting criticism from legal experts.
  • Legal experts argue that the testimony was irrelevant and used to prejudice the jury.
  • Trump's trial involves 34 felony counts related to alleged falsification of business records.
  • The case could see significant implications on appeal due to the judge's decisions.
Written By:
Mae Slater

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