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Trump Posts — Then Deletes — Rant About Stormy Daniels Testifying

The former president seemingly remembered that violating his gag order by commenting on witnesses could land him in jail

Stormy Daniels took the stand at Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal hush-money trial on Tuesday, and even the former president seemed caught off guard by the news. 

Trump posted — then quickly deleted — a furious rant about the prosecution’s plan to call Daniels shortly before The Associated Press reported on it ahead of Tuesday’s proceedings.

“I have just recently been told who the witness is today. This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare,” the former president wrote. “No Judge has ever run a trial in such a biased and partisan way. He is CROOKED & HIGHLY CONFLICTED, even taking away my First Amendment Rights. Now he’s threatening me with JAIL, & THEY HAVE NO CASE.” 

This is the first face-to-face encounter Trump and Daniels have had since news of the former president’s affair and attempted payoff of the porn star first went public in 2018.

Merchan ruled as court began that Daniels can testify about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump and “how she felt about it,” but that he didn’t want to hear any of the nitty-gritty regarding the alleged affair with Daniels. We don’t need to know the details of intercourse,” Merchan said. Prosecutors assured the court that Daniels would not be describing “genitalia” in her testimony, ensuring the jury would not be subjected to another mushroom-comparison session.

Trump — who’s made a habit of closing his eyes and maybe falling asleep during the trial — was reportedly irked throughout Daniels’ testimony, especially as she described the circumstances around their alleged sexual encounter. According to CNN, the former president “scowled” at the witness stand and frequently whispered to his attorneys. 

Merchan admonished the prosecution and Daniels at one point for giving way too much information about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. “The degree of detail you are going into here is just unnecessary,” Merchan told the prosecuting attorneys questioning Daniels, after repeatedly sustaining objections from Trump’s defense team regarding graphic lines of questioning — including what position the pair were in and Daniels’ claim that Trump didn’t use a condom. 

“Just listen to the question and answer the question,” the judge told Daniels directly.

During a break in the proceedings, Trump took to Truth Social to demand that his case be declared a mistrial. 

Trump’s attorneys echoed the demand when the court returned from its lunch hour. “A lot of the testimony this witness talked about today is way different than the story she was peddling in 2016,” Todd Blanche told Merchan.

Trump may have deleted his post about Daniels’ forthcoming testimony Tuesday morning because he is explicitly barred from attacking or commenting on witnesses in the case through a limited gag order imposed by Judge Juan Merchan. On Monday, Merchan ruled for the second time that Trump had violated the order through his public statements and social media posts, finding him in contempt of court and threatening him with jail time if he violates the order again. 

“It appears that the $1,000 fines are not serving as a deterrent,” Merchan told Trump on Monday. “The last thing I want to do is to put you in jail. You are the former president of the United States, and possibly the next president as well. There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for you.” 

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