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Former National Enquirer publisher testifies before Trump grand jury

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Monday was the first time in a week that the grand jury heard evidence in the Trump case. The panel was called off Wednesday and then examined an unrelated matter Thursday. The delay prompted a fiery response from Trump, leading some Democrats to rally around Bragg on Monday morning.

Bragg’s investigation is centered on a $130,000 payment facilitated by Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, and made to the porn star, Stormy Daniels. The adult entertainer alleged she had an affair with Trump and considered selling her story to the National Enquirer, at a time when Pecker was the tabloid’s publisher, according to federal prosecutors. Instead, Cohen paid Daniels directly, a step he told a court he took “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump.

Trump has denied the affair and any wrongdoing with the payment.

Pecker previously testified before the Manhattan grand jury examining the Trump investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter. It wasn’t clear why he was called back to provide further testimony. Before the publisher, the grand jury heard from Robert Costello, a former legal adviser to Cohen, who is the prosecution’s central witness in the case.

Costello said at a press conference after his testimony that he sought to discredit Cohen while speaking to the grand jury.

A Manhattan DA spokesperson declined to comment.

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( With inputs from : www.politico.com )

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