Key Moments of Trump's Trial: Insider Details from last Reporters

Discover the key moments from Donald Trump's hush money trial. Get insider details on witness testimonies, courtroom dynamics, and Trump's reactions in this historic case.

Key Moments of Trump's Trial: Insider Details from last Reporters

In the high-stakes trial of former President Donald Trump, significant moments unfolded in the Manhattan Criminal Court, where Trump faced 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. This marked the first of his criminal cases to go to trial, with CNN’s Kara Scannell, Lauren del Valle, and Jeremy Herb providing real-time coverage from inside the courtroom.

Witness Testimonies and Reactions

  1. Stormy Daniels' Testimony

    • Daniels vividly described her alleged encounter with Trump, including an anecdote about smacking him with a magazine. Her testimony provided dramatic and, at times, sensational details that drew audible reactions in the courtroom.
  2. Michael Cohen's Testimony

    • Trump attorney Todd Blanche attempted to discredit Cohen by suggesting he fabricated a call involving Trump. The exchange became heated, highlighting the tension and drama in the courtroom.

Judge's Actions and Courtroom Dynamics

  1. Robert Costello's Testimony

    • During Costello's testimony, repeated objections led to a dramatic moment where Judge Juan Merchan cleared the courtroom to admonish the witness for his conduct. This rare move underscored the high stakes and intensity of the trial.
  2. Trump's Reactions

    • Throughout the trial, Trump was a visible presence, often reacting to testimonies and interacting with his legal team. His demeanor and expressions were closely observed, adding to the trial's dramatic atmosphere.

Interactions with Former Allies

  1. David Pecker

    • Pecker, a longtime friend of Trump, testified about their relationship, hinting at a continued personal connection despite the legal turmoil. His positive remarks about Trump suggested a lingering loyalty.
  2. Hope Hicks

    • Hicks, visibly emotional during her testimony, emphasized her independence from Trump by mentioning she paid for her own attorney. Her candidness and emotional state captured Trump's attention and added a human element to the proceedings.
  3. Madeleine Westerhout

    • Westerhout's tearful testimony and expressions of regret were met with empathy from Trump, who appeared to acknowledge her with a smile and a nod as she left the stand.

Logistics and Coverage Challenges

  • CNN's reporters navigated the complexities of covering a trial without cameras, relying on descriptive language and real-time updates via a Slack channel. This method aimed to bring the courtroom's atmosphere to the public as accurately as possible.
  • The press corps faced strict security measures, including multiple levels of security and regulated access, reflecting the trial's unprecedented nature.

Memorable Moments

  • Jaden Jarmel-Schneider's Testimony
    • A humorous exchange occurred when Jarmel-Schneider, a paralegal for the district attorney's office, expressed enjoyment in his detailed work, eliciting laughter from the courtroom, including the jurors.


Covering Trump's trial required constant focus and effort to ensure accurate and timely reporting of every significant moment. CNN’s team aimed to provide comprehensive coverage of this historic event, capturing both the dramatic and mundane aspects of the proceedings.

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