Today’s (Tuesday April 30) Wrap Up Of The Trump Criminal Trial

3 min readApr 30, 2024

Today’s testimony was highlighted by a strong ruling by the judge finding Trump in contempt of court and testimony from Keith Davidson, the lawyer who represented both Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels when negotiating their hush money payments.

-Judge agrees with nine of ten claims made by prosecution that Trump violated the gag order. Trump is fined the statutory max of $1,000 each for $9,000. Another hearing is set for Thursday on four more claims of gag order violations. The judge indicated he felt stronger fines were appropriate but that the court lacked the discretion to do so.

-Trump was also ordered to remove the offending posts from his Truth Social account and campaign website by 2:15 today. It’s stunning to me that these posts were still up. They were removed about 30 minutes before the deadline.

-You can read the contempt decision here:

-The judge warned Trump jail is an option. Quote: “Defendant is hereby warned that the Court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment.”

-Trump quickly began fund raising of the contempt order complaining, “I was fined $9,000 for 9 gag order violations. THEY WANT TO SILENCE ME! They think they can BLEED ME DRY and SHUT ME UP, but I’ll NEVER stop fighting for YOU.”

-In a concession to Trump the judge stated that court will not be held on May 17 to allow Trump to attend his son’s (Barron) high school graduation.

-Trump slept for extended periods during testimony.

-Robert Downing, the Executive Director of C-Span Archives testified to introduce video of Trump attacking women who made allegations of sexual misconduct against him. In another clip Trump called Michael Cohen “a very talented lawyer.”

-Another witness, Phillip Thompson, works for a company that records depositions and was used to introduce video clips of Trump’s deposition in the E. Jean Carroll case.

-The next witness was Keith Davidson, the attorney who negotiated the Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels hush money deals for those two women. Davidson testified that he understood the National Enquirer was buying the stories to kill them in order to help the Trump Campaign. This understanding was so strong that Davidson joked with the National Enquirer Chief Editor that maybe Trump would give him an ambassadorship.

-Of the $150,000 hush money the Enquirer paid to Karen McDougal, 45% of it went to Davidson.

-Davidson testified that after negotiating the McDougal deal he came to also represent Stormy Daniels. When the Enquirer refused to pay for the Daniels story they referred him to Michael Cohen. He and Cohen got off to a hostile start, but eventually negotiated the hush money payment to Daniels.

-You may recall that Trump signed the Daniels deal under the pseudonym “David Dennison” (while Daniels signed as “Peggy Peterson”). Davidson testified he came up with the names, borrowing Trump’s from a guy on his high school hockey team, who is “very upset” about that now.

-Davidson’s relationship with Cohen got testy again when, after signing the deal, the payment was not promptly made. Davidson said he believed Trump was trying to “kick the can” until after the election so he wouldn’t have to make the payment. Only after Davidson threatened to go public with the story before the election did Stormy Daniels receive the agreed upon payment.

-Davidson testified that while he knew the money came from Cohen that he always believed Trump or one of his companies would ultimately source the payment.

-On election night, realizing Trump was likely going to win after all, Davidson texted National Enquirer Chief Editor Dylan Howard, “What have we done?” Howard responded, “Oh my God.”

-An awkward moment for the prosecution as the judge sustained a series of objections from Trump’s attorneys when prosecutors tried to ask him about his grand jury testimony to flesh out their claims that Davidson believed Trump would ultimately source what Cohen paid Daniels.

-Trial is set to start again at 10 Thursday, and will likely quickly get to cross examination of Davidson. At 9:30 there will be a second contempt hearing regarding four additional alleged gag order violations.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80