Trump Lawyers Try to Undermine David Pecker

'I've been truthful,' former tabloid publisher responds
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2024 1:40 PM CDT
David Pecker: 'I've Been Truthful'
Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a break during his ongoing trial at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Friday, April 26, 2024.   (Curtis Means/Pool Photo via AP)

Donald Trump's lawyers sought to undermine the credibility of former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker in court on Friday, but he pushed back "defiantly," according to the New York Times. "I've been truthful to the best of my recollection," he said after a suggestion to the contrary. Friday marked Pecker's fourth day on the stand in Trump's hush-money trial.

  • Pecker has previously spelled out how his tabloid bought negative stories about Trump to suppress them, as part of a deal he worked out with Trump and Michael Cohen. Trump's lawyers suggested in court on Friday that Pecker didn't do anything out of the ordinary for Trump, reports the AP, but prosecutors refuted that.
  • "Did you suppress the stories to help a presidential candidate?" prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked him, per the Hill. "Yes I did," Pecker responded. "Is it standard operating procedure for (parent company) AMI to be consulting with a presidential candidate's fixer about amendments to a source agreement?" Steinglass asked. "No," Pecker responded.

  • Defense lawyer Emil Bove presented a statement Pecker made to federal prosecutors in 2018 in which he said Trump did not express any gratitude for burying stories. That contradicts Pecker's court testimony that the former president thanked him after the election. Asked about the discrepancy, Pecker stood by his court testimony. "I know what the truth is," he said. The AP describes this as the most confrontational moment in the trial so far.
  • Trump complained to reporters at the start of the day that the court was "freezing" and suggested it was being kept that way deliberately, without elaborating. "It's very cold in there, on purpose, I believe," he said, per the Hill. "They don't seem to be able to get the temperature up. It shouldn't be that complicated." (Reporters and others have noted how cold the courtroom is at times.) The former president also wished wife Melania a happy birthday and said he'd prefer to be with her instead of at the "rigged trial," reports Fox59.
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.