During a tense cross-examination on Thursday, former President Donald Trump’s legal team, led by attorney Susan Necheles, thoroughly questioned adult film star Stormy Daniels, demonstrating Necheles’s meticulous preparation. Despite the defense’s objections to Daniels’ earlier testimony, Judge Juan Merchan rejected their request to delay the trial, allowing Daniels to proceed with her statements.

Stormy Daniels is a key witness for the prosecution, bolstering allegations that could pave the way for testimony from Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. Necheles capitalized on the opportunity to cross-examine Daniels by highlighting inconsistencies in Daniels’ past statements, particularly from a 2011 interview with a gossip magazine. Necheles pointed out discrepancies in Daniels’ account of an alleged dinner at Trump’s penthouse that year.

All of it impressed George Grasso, a former Queens County Supreme Court judge, who analyzed the cross-examination and praised Necheles’ strategic approach. “Well, what stood out to me is that Donald Trump’s defense attorney cross-examining Stormy Daniels, Susan Necheles, really did her homework,” Grasso said in an interview with CNN. “She did exactly what a good defense attorney is supposed to do. She looked at prior statements, she searched for inconsistencies, and she had some.”

One particular inconsistency in Daniels’ account revolves around whether dinner occurred during her alleged encounter with Trump. According to Grasso, “She testified very clearly Tuesday, on direct examination, that there was no dinner, there were hours of conversation and no dinner. So you know a defense attorney’s job is to try and expose inconsistencies like that to get the juries to start to think or possibly doubt.”

Necheles aimed to challenge Daniels’ credibility by highlighting discrepancies between her trial testimony and prior statements. Grasso explained, “If you can’t trust her on that kind of a detail, what about the other details?”

The Trump lawyer, aiming to underscore discrepancies, questioned Daniels on how Trump’s alleged hotel room propositions caused her to feel faint and her hands to go numb, as she had previously testified. Daniels explained that encountering an older man lying on a bed in his boxers, especially when unexpected and not her husband, was startling. Necheles then referenced Daniels’ book, in which the adult film actress claimed she was assertive enough to “make [Trump] my b*tch,” contrasting this assertion with the vulnerability Daniels described in her testimony.

Necheles also highlighted that Daniels did not refuse Trump’s advances, which Daniels confirmed. Daniels added that this wasn’t the first time someone had made a pass at her, but it was the first instance where a bodyguard was stationed outside the room.

“You told In Touch a completely different story,” Necheles said according to Fox News. Daniels disagreed, stating, “No,” and that “there were parts in the middle I didn’t remember.” The adult film star defended herself by saying she wasn’t trying to profit in 2011 and that the In Touch article was a condensed version that “left out a lot because they couldn’t fact-check it.”

“You made it up,” Necheles pressed. “No,” Daniels claimed.

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