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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Stormy Daniels Testifies In Trump Hush Money Trial; New Transcript Of Trump Trial Testimony Released; Stormy Daniels Testifies About Alleged Affair With Trump; Federal Judge Indefinitely Postpones Trump Classified Documents Trials. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 07, 2024 - 20:00   ET



JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORREPONDENT: Erin, that is because of the divisiveness here. He says he's a small business owner. He wants to sell apples to Republicans and Democrats alike.

The bottom line, there is no path to re-election for Biden or to election for Donald Trump without Wisconsin, both campaigns know that. Erin?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much. And we'll see you in Wisconsin tomorrow. Please join us tomorrow night. We'll be live from Wisconsin with our exclusive interview with President Biden. AC 360 starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening and welcome to our special continuing primetime coverage of the Trump hush money trial. Day 13 saw Stormy Daniels take the stand. It saw the defense move for mistrial over some of what she said and then launched into their cross-examination which is expected to continue on Thursday when the trial resumes.

But before getting into the nuts and bolts of what transpired today, it's hard not to stop and consider that this is happening at all. A former president of the United States running for president again confronted in court by the porn star whose silence he's accused of buying and covering up so that he could become president the first time around.

Tonight, we'll bring you her testimony in great detail to the relationship she says they had. The effect prosecutors hope it will have on the case and defense attempts to undermine it, which began early on with the following exchange she had with Trump attorney Susan Necheles who asked her, "Am I correct that you hate President Trump?" To which Daniels replied, "Yes."

As for the former president, he did not have a single word to say about Stormy Daniels at the end of the day, but had plenty to say about the case itself.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So this was a very big day, a very revealing day. As you see, the case is totally falling apart. They have nothing on books and records and even something that should bear very little relationship to the case. It's just a disaster for the DA, for the Soros-backed DA. It's a disaster.


COOPER: Well, just for reference, George Soros is the billionaire who backs liberal causes and is a frequent target of Republicans and the far right. According to CNN fact checker Daniel Dale, he has not donated to DA Alvin Bragg's campaign, but did give money to a political committee which did support Bragg.

I want to bring in the panel tonight, New York defense attorney, Arthur Aidala, bestselling author and former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin, my fellow CNN primetime anchors Abby Phillip, Kaitlan Collins and Laura Coates. Kaitlan was in the court today and so was CNN's Kara Scannell, who joins us as well. So let's start off with both of you.

Kara, what was it like?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I thought there were so many different moments because so many different things happened today. There was Stormy Daniels when being questioned by the prosecutors and she was almost gossiping with her friends, telling her story, looking at the jury a lot, engaging - and we - I saw a number of jurors taking notes, flipping through their pad of paper, writing down a lot of what was said, even though a lot of what she testified has nothing to do with the falsified documents in this case.

And then, there was Trump reacting to that. He was nudging his attorney repeatedly, trying to get them to object. They did. And the judge agreed with a lot of those objections because they had to do with Stormy Daniels kind of going a little beyond the bounds of what the judge had said would be an acceptable testimony.

And then, the cross-examination, Susan Necheles, came in there peppering her. So Daniels' demeanor changed. She was sitting with her arms crossed. She just was a lot more defensive in that mode. And we heard Stormy Daniels tell the story of how she met Donald Trump, how she ended up in his hotel room - suite, how she came out of the bathroom and saw him lying on the bed.

So bringing the jury into the room in that detail and then also saying both when questioned by the prosecutors and the defense that she did want to make money from this, that's why she was telling her story and at least initially looking to sell her story. And then she said she wanted to get it done before the election because essentially she thought that's when she had the most leverage, that Donald Trump wasn't going to pay her after the election.

I mean, Jeff Toobin and I were talking about this just a minute ago. Another key thing that happened today that is kind of lost in this is that the prosecution had showed a number of excerpts from Trump's books from 20 years ago.

COOPER: This was before Stormy Daniels came out.

SCANNELL: Before Stormy Daniels gets on the stand and they're reading excerpts that are going exactly at some of these issues in the case where Trump is saying, you have to challenge every invoice. I sign every one of my checks. And that is actually what this case is about.

COOPER: Kaitlan, what stood out to you?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, I think the one word that everyone who was in the room can agree is it was incredibly intense. I mean, regardless of - if you're the defense or the prosecution, just the feeling in that room, it was like - the book excerpts were interesting and they are probably really relevant to this case, but everyone knew that Stormy Daniels was coming because it was one of the first things that the prosecution and the defense addressed with the judge when they got in the room today, which are the parameters of what she could testify.

I mean, even before the cross-examination started, it was so intense in that room, listening to her answer those questions, watching Trump's reaction as he was paying more close attention than he ever has with really anything before.


At one point, grimacing. He had this scowl on his face as she was telling certain stories about what he said when she asked about his wife, Melania. The only time Melania Trump was brought up today.

COOPER: This is when she said she was in the hotel suite. This is before they had sex.

COLLINS: And she looked at the picture and she said, you have a beautiful wife. And he told her not to worry because they didn't sleep in the same room anymore. That was what she testified. But she also testified about a moment where in that same night in 2006 in Lake Tahoe, where she said - she was kind of tired of him talking about himself at dinner, that he kept interrupting her and he was showing her a magazine that had him on the cover of it.

And she said that the only thing she was interested in was swatting him with it and he kind of like dared her to do it. And she actually did it, she said, and kind of acted it out in court. At that moment, we saw Trump mouthed a word. You couldn't exactly tell what it was.

But when now when you look at the transcript, there was a really tense moment right after that when they took a break. And now when you look at the transcript, the judge asked the two sides to approach the bench.

And he said to Trump's team, I understand your client is upset at this point, but he is cursing audibly and he is shaking his head visually and that's contentious. It has potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that. And Blanche said he would talk to him.

And the judge said, "I'm speaking to you here at the bench because I don't want to embarrass him." Blanche said he would talk to him. And the judge said, "You need to speak to him. I won't tolerate that. One time I noticed when Ms. Daniels was testifying about rolling up the magazine, and presumably smacking your client, and after that point he shook his head and looked down. And later, I think he was looking at you, Mr. Blanche, when we were talking about The Apprentice, and at that point he again uttered a vulgarity and looked at you. Please talk to him at the break."

Jury is not in the room. Witness isn't in the room, but the judge is saying you need to control your client while she's telling these very salacious details.

COOPER: And Jeff, you recently interviewed Stormy Daniels. Were you surprised at the level of detail she went into?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. I have a PhD in Stormy Daniels studies. The - I was not surprised that she answered the questions, but I was surprised that the prosecution asked them. I didn't think that was necessary. And I think there is some chance that some of what she said might generate a little sympathy for Trump, because for all today was fascinating and I'm sure everybody's fascinated, as was I. Most of it is just not relevant to the case. I mean, this is a case about the money that was paid to her and it almost doesn't matter whether they actually had sex.

The argument is that Trump was so worried about the report of the sex that the underlying truth of it doesn't really matter. I understand why the defense moved for a mistrial. I think the judge was right not to grant it. But I think some of this stuff was so explicit and so salacious that it was just unnecessary and I thought the prosecution could have told this story in a somewhat more truncated way.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, this was always the risk with calling Stormy Daniels to the stand. I mean, she is a colorful person by her very nature, if you look at clips of her on late night and in other interview settings. And she really took that to another level on the witness stand.

Every normal regular person witness is going to be a little tricky on the witness stand, it seems to me, but Stormy Daniels is on a whole other level. It was - I mean, maybe it's nothing ventured, nothing gained. I don't know if maybe there's some kind of Hail Mary at play here. But it seems like a huge risk to put someone on the stand who is not necessarily the most sympathetic witness.

She has a very specific part of the story to tell. But she was asked to tell way more of it than I think even people who don't like Donald Trump would care to hear. And how that will play with the jury is anyone's guess. But it just - I'm with Jeffrey - it just seemed to me we learned way too much about the silk pajamas and whatnot of Donald Trump today. And none of that has to do with what he's ultimately charged with.

TOOBIN: Now, just to add one point ...

LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: And yes, like, there's - well, there is a point, though, you have to be - it's a difficult needle to thread. You want to show credibility and a memory. You want to make sure that the audience, as in the jury, is aware that this person remembers specific details. They're not giving the broadest of strokes to ensure that they say with precision what happens.

Now, of course, the risk of that is she has testified not in front of a court, but in other instances. So everything she's saying will be matched up against everything else she has said. But a jury wants to know that you remember this precisely. But the other fascinating thing is, of course, the star of this case is the least sexy thing of all. it's documents. There are 34 of them.

Her place in this case, to me, was out of order. Not that she shouldn't have testified, she should have, but she should have come before the actual document witnesses came to testify. Because chronologically, what you want to build is a story. You want to talk about David Pecker and the catch and kills. Then you want to move into the idea of, well, here is Karen McDougal or Stormy Daniels on these issues and what actually happened that they're alleging. Then you bring in the Keith Davidson and talk about the NDAs that are happening.


Then you talk about, all right, now here is when it gets to the meat of the matter.

Now, nobody asked my opinion. I would think they should have. But they didn't ask my opinion on how you actually do it. But the chronology is important here. And really I think it doesn't matter at all whether they believe that they actually had sex. What matters is that Donald Trump believed that she was going to go public with the allegation and that Michael Cohen believed so and that there was a structure surrounding her to ensure that they could stop that from happening. That's going to be the crux of the issue. Everything else certainly is colorful, but I don't really think the jury is that prudish.

I mean, I think anyone clutching their pearls about porn, and Donald Trump and silk pajamas - these are adults and grownups who know that sex happens. And I think that having the conversation is not going to have them recoil as much as you think.

COOPER: By the way, it wasn't so salacious.

COATES: Right.

COOPER: I mean, she said the missionary position ...

COATES: Right.

COOPER: ... and she said the word condom, so I mean, that was basically it.


COOPER: I mean, yes, she painted a picture which maybe none of us want to know of, but ...

ARTHUR AIDALA, NEW YORK CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But there are much more - there's much more salacious testimony, of course.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, Arthur, let me ask you ...


COOPER: ... because during cross-examination, the defense asked Daniels about a story where she's - I mean, she signed a public statement saying she - that there was no sexual encounter with Donald Trump. She did this with - as part of this deal. She also talked to me about that. I asked her about it during the "60 MINUTES" interview. On the stand today, she testified she was motivated to sign the non- disclosure agreement by what she said was fear, not money. This is what she told me back in 2018.


COOPER: I think some people watching this are going to doubt that you entered into this negotiation, because you fear for your safety. They're going to think that you saw an opportunity.

STORMY DANIELS, FORMER PLAYBOY MODEL: I think the fact that I didn't even negotiate, I just quickly said, yes, to this very strict contract and what most people will agree with me, extremely low number, is all the proof I need.

COOPER: You feel like if you had wanted to go public, you could have gotten paid a lot of money to go public in an interview?

DANIELS: Without a doubt. I know for a fact. I believe without a shadow of a doubt.

COOPER: So you signed and released a statement that said I'm not denying this affair because I was paid in hush money. I'm denying in because it never happened. That's a lie.


COOPER: If it was untruthful, why did you sign it?

DANIELS: Because they made it sound like I had no choice.

COOPER: I mean, no one was putting a gun to your head ...

DANIELS: Not physical violence, no.

COOPER: You thought that there would be some sort of legal repercussion if you didn't sign it.

DANIELS: Correct. As a matter of fact, the exact sentence used was they can make your life hell in many different ways.


COOPER: So, I mean, consistent then and now, do you believe ultimately it comes down to who the jury believes?

AIDALA: Well, if I am the defense attorney here, Susan Necheles, who's fantastic in the courtroom, in my opinion, you may be in this trial for real. Like, in other words, that's admissible. That statement is admissible. They have the ability to show that and show to the jury, okay, so when were you lying? Were you lying then or you're lying now?

Look, I agree kind of with everyone has said here so far, they had to call her, even though the law is material witness. So if she didn't show up, she's not a material witness. The judge could not sign a warrant for her arrest. She does not give any evidence that the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. She just gives a motive basically for Donald Trump to want to do this, but they don't have to prove motive, so they had to put her forward.

What I was surprised about was as much as they must've prepared her, Anderson, they must've prepared her for hours, and hours, and hours is how everyone describes her as being a nervous wreck when she first took the stand, how playing with her hair and talking so fast and the judge slowing her down. I was surprised about that.

I was surprised about the lack of objections from the defense. I was kind of shocked that they didn't ...

COOPER: Well, it seems like president - former President Trump was also as well, because ...

AIDALA: Yes, yes ...

COOPER: ... and Kara was nudging (INAUDIBLE) ...

AIDALA: ... yes, which is normal. And then when you talk about him being chastised by the judge, any defense attorney who represents someone of the caliber of President Trump, meaning someone who really is with it and knows what's going on has - I've had those moments where my client is cursing under his breath and the judge calls me.

And Judge Merchan did what he's supposed to do. He's supposed to say, listen, I know your guy is frustrated. I know he wants to stand up and say liar. That's not true. That didn't happen. But he can't do it. If he wants to testify, later, but you got to get him under control and Judge Merchan did the right thing by basically reeling him in.

COLLINS: But also on the other side of that, it wasn't just Trump who was being scolded. I mean, Stormy Daniels, in addition to being urged at least four times to slow down because the court reporters couldn't follow her. And even in the room, like you would hear her give an answer and you couldn't - it didn't always land when she was trying to kind of be funny.

COOPER: Because she was talking too fast?

COLLINS: Because she was talking so quickly. Like when she said that her response to having dinner with Trump was F off, it was kind of hard to hear her initially say the first part of that.


She kind of jumbled it. And then at two points after the judge spoke to the prosecution, he reminded Stormy Daniels to answer the question she was being asked because they would kind of ask these wide ranging open questions. And she would kind of meander and tell a story, but just kind of give the full picture instead of just answering exactly what happened.

COATES: Look, I mean, I'm a very fast talker, as you guys know. I can't tell you how often in court I've had a court reporter say slow down to make sure because they're the ones trying to transcribe the actual intonations and sounds. It's not like a verbatim transcript, but there are oftentimes when sometimes your witness can be all the more sympathetic because they keep being interrupted and slow down and either all the more self-conscious. It can actually inert your benefit as a strategy in that because that person continuously is being told to stop and slow down.

But remember also the judge, the judge criticized the defense and said, I was surprised you had not been objecting more. And he had unilaterally objected on their behalf because they need to preserve the record. If they don't object, they don't have a chance later on. And Necheles, I think at one point said, well, I thought because you hadn't been saying anything, this was okay.

I mean, I don't know what kind of lawyering that is to suggest I was going to wait for the judge to object before I object. They got to be on their feet. And actually, I'm kind of surprised, gentlemen, that they did not have more speaking objections, at least to try to play to the jury like, objection, we're going to hear this testimony and get chastised ...

AIDALA: Or irrelevant.

COATES: ... just to have ...

AIDALA: Relevance, Your Honor. Objection. Relevance, Your Honor.

COATES: ... just to have a moment.

AIDALA: Objection. Relevance, Your Honor.

SCANNELL: Well, they had just had the conversation at the bench about the parameters of her testimony.

COATES: Right.

SCANNELL: And so what Susan Necheles said was, I thought you said this was okay. And then when I saw you object, I knew that this was grounds and I could object. So she - that's why she started objecting.

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break.

Coming up next, John Berman joins us. He's been going through the newly released, but still partial trial transcript for details from this very big day. Also, what courtroom artist Jane Rosenberg saw in court today as she was making the amazing sketches that you see here. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Well, there is a central irony of Stormy Daniels' testimony today, had the former president not denied their sexual encounter, much of her more revealing testimony, whether it was ill-considered by the prosecution or not, simply would not have been called for at all. Because much of what she testified to in court today, she already said when I spoke to her in 2018 for "60 MINUTES."


DANIELS: I excused myself, and I went to the restroom. I was in there for a little bit and came out, and he was sitting on the edge of the bed when I walked out, perched.

COOPER: And when you saw that, what went through your mind?

DANIELS: I realized exactly what I'd gotten myself into and I was like, "Ugh, here we go." And I just felt like maybe it was sort of - I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone's room alone. And I just heard the voice in head, "Well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen. So you deserve this."

COOPER: And you had sex with him.


COOPER: You were twenty seven. He was 60. Were you physically attracted to him?


COOPER: Not at all.


COOPER: Did you want to have sex with him?

DANIELS: No, but I didn't. I didn't say no. I'm not a victim. I'm not ...

COOPER: It was entirely consensual.

DANIELS: Oh, yes. Yes.


COOPER: Again, the former president denies this. And again, Stormy Daniels say - repeated much of it on the stand, sometimes in more vivid detail that the defense calls actually for a mistrial. CNN's John Berman has been looking through the day's partial trial transcript reported from court today. He joins us now. So what more did she say (INAUDIBLE) ...

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So one thing I want to note that's very important for the first time today, we do not yet have the full transcript of the testimony. Part of the reason might be because Stormy Daniels was speaking so quickly that it's taking them some time to process it because the court report simply have to catch up to everything that was said.

So what I'm going to read to you now is what our reporters inside the room, their contemporaneous account of the moment where she discusses the alleged sexual encounter, Anderson, and it's very similar to what she told you. And the reason we're doing this, and I think Kaitlan can testify to this because she was in the room, is to give people a sense of just how uncomfortable it probably was.

COOPER: She hasn't been sworn in (INAUDIBLE) ...

BERMAN: Exactly, she can testify to it, not under oath.

COLLINS: Yes, I'm not going under oath.

COOPER: Okay. So Stormy Daniels says she walked out of the bathroom, as she told you, "I felt the blood leave my hands and my feet almost like if you stand up too fast. I thought, 'oh, my God, what did I misread to get here?' At first, I was just startled, like a jump scare. I wasn't expecting someone to be there, especially minus a lot of clothing, sitting on the bed in boxers and a T-shirt. The intention was pretty clear. Somebody stripped down to their underwear and is posing for you. He stood up between me and the door. Not in a threatening manner. He didn't come at me, he didn't rush at me. Nothing like that. Next thing I know, I was on the bed. I had my clothes and shoes off. I removed my bra. We were in the missionary position. I was staring up at the ceiling and I didn't know how I got there. I was trying to think about anything other than what was happening there."

Again, that's our account from the reporters who were in the room. What we don't have and the first thing we're going to look at when we get the transcript, which could be in the next few minutes, is how many objections took place during that part there. How many times did the defense try to stop that account.

COLLINS: There were a lot from just memory of being in there, especially at that part right there at the end where she was getting into the real details, because that's exactly what they had talked about with the judge beforehand. And the judge said, there's no need to get into that kind of detail. This isn't a sexual assault case. It isn't anything like that.

And so they kind of had set that parameter and then she - it was Stormy Daniels, not really the prosecution leading her to that answer. She took it in that direction. And so they did object at that point. This is really where - I mean, to describe the atmosphere in the courtroom, it was like all the oxygen had been sucked out of it. Everyone was just sitting there. It was kind of similar to what you said last Friday, where when Hope Hicks was testifying, it was just all you could hear were the keyboard clicks as everyone was typing up this moment. Also, watching Trump with bated breath to kind of see how he was reacting, whether his team was going to object and really how the judge would respond.


I think the judge had - the last time I was in the court, I barely noticed the judge. The judge had a real presence today because he had such an involvement in what testimony was allowed and what should be said in the courtroom.

TOOBIN: She has told this story many, many times, including in a book. I mean, she's - and what's striking to me is that it's very consistent time after time.

AIDALA: Well, hold on. Hold on. Did you - I don't - I would think, Anderson Cooper is going to be a star in that courtroom.

TOOBIN: Why? What was different (INAUDIBLE) ...

AIDALA: Because she doesn't make it sound when she spoke to Anderson that the blood drained out of her, and she blacked out, and she didn't know what was going on. It was much more dramatic here. With Anderson, she was much more matter of fact. I came out. What did I get myself into.

TOOBIN: Do you think that's sufficiently different to merit cross examination?

AIDALA: It's - but there's going to be something in the book. There'll be at least five. Susan has all day tomorrow. Susan Necheles (INAUDIBLE) ...

COOPER: Had she told - had she mentioned the blacked out thing before, Jeff?

TOOBIN: I don't think - not that I'm aware of. But, I mean, that's just ...

AIDALA: That's a big point.

TOOBIN: ... that's not - it's not a big deal, I don't know.

AIDALA: Yes, I think so. I think saying I almost blacked out, she didn't say it years ago when Anderson interviewed her, but now years later, she remembers, Oh, yes. And I almost blacked out.


AIDALA: And as ...

COATES: The real issue for this - the real issue - I mean, I know there are some - the real issue for the defense is any intimation that this was non-consensual. That's why they would have been on their feet and should have been on their feet objecting because everything about this is probative versus prejudicial. They don't want to have prior bad acts even brought in if he were to take the stand, because you don't want the jury to be looking at things that are down the (INAUDIBLE) rabbit holes.

AIDALA: They also going to make her to be a liar, the lawyer.

COATES: Well, no, I ...

AIDALA: They want to show her that she is a liar.

COATES: I hear you on that, but their stronger argument, perhaps on appeal is going to be, excuse me, you're going to have somebody on a falsified documents case suggest that there is something that is non- consensual almost to the point where the person is not saying they have been assaulted. They are saying clearly they have not, but the insinuation is out there.

They have said repeatedly, Todd Blanche was saying, you can't unring this bell.

TOOBIN: Right.

COATES: You can't unring this spell. How am I going to go in front of this jury and have them forget these moments. Whether it is a matter of the blacking out, I think she's using kind of colloquially in terms of, I was trying to focus on something else or it was the idea of something, far more nefarious. That intimation as a defense counsel is the last thing you want (INAUDIBLE) ...

AIDALA: Right. They could use Anderson's tape. And so you told Anderson Cooper, it was absolutely consensual. There was no force.

TOOBIN: She said it was consensual today.

AIDALA: He didn't rush her, right. But they ...

TOOBIN: Well, that's not inconsistent.


COATES: Anderson, have you been subpoenaed for this trial, (INAUDIBLE) ...


AIDALA: No, but I'm sure they have that tape in their arsenal as well as the book, as well as all her other statements.

PHILLIP: It seems like a huge rabbit hole to go down on.

AIDALA: Yes, I agree.

TOOBIN: I agree.

AIDALA: I agree. PHILLIP: And that was my impression, just receiving this information from outside of the courtroom. I don't know what it was like for the jury, but it seemed like a big rabbit hole, especially coming off of a day when they were supposed to have been getting at the heart of what this case is really about.

I'm with Laura. Like, I don't understand why Stormy Daniels came after the documents. I mean, maybe the idea was to kind of keep people interested in what was going on in the case, but the distraction factor here, I don't see how that helps the prosecution necessarily. When they need the jury to be focused on their ability to prove the elements on the case.

COOPER: It also certainly overshadowed the earlier testimony in the morning, which was actually quite interesting from the ...

COLLINS: I love these excerpts.

COOPER: ... yes (INAUDIBLE) ...

TOOBIN: That's a ...


TOOBIN: ... really good research, yes.

COOPER: Were they really Trump - alleged words back to him, saying, yes, I dot every I, I know where every paperclip is.

BERMAN: Breaking news, this just didn't, we just got the full transcript.


BERMAN: I can give you some of the objections here. We don't have the graphics to go with it, but this is the section I just read with the objections in. The question was, "Can you briefly describe where you had sex with him?" So there was a direct question. She says, "The next thing I know was on the bed, somehow on the opposite side of the bed from where we've been standing. I had my clothes and shoes off. I believe my bra, however, was still on. We were in the missionary position."

Ms. Necheles: "Objection. Objection there." The judge says, "Sustained." Question: "Without describing the position. Do you remember how you got your clothes off?" Answer: "No." Question: "Is that a memory that has not come back to you?" This is from the defense, "Objection." The judge: "Sustained."

Question from the prosecutor: "You don't, at this point, remember, is that correct?" Answer: "Correct." Question: "Did you end up having sex with him on the bed?" The answer: "Yes." And then they begin - he begins a question: "Do you know - do you have a recollection of feeling something unusual that you have a memory of?" "Objection." "Sustained." And the question is, "What, if anything, do you remember about - anything other than the fact you had sex on the bed?" That's what she says. She was staring at the ceiling, "I was trying to think about anything." Then there's another objection, sustained. I move to strike. The answer is stricken.

TOOBIN: I think because Susan Necheles is a very good lawyer. I agree.

AIDALA: Oh, go Susan, go.


TOOBIN: That she is going to spend more time, and she has already started spending more time on the issue of money than sex. On this idea that this was an extortion attempt, rather than an attempt to, you know, just -- however she described it.

AIDALA: Kaitlan, isn't that she started?

TOOBIN: And I think -- well, that's right, I mean, and she's -- and that I think is a much more profitable root for the defense then, you know, nitpicking about how she described the sex in a bunch of different ways.

COLLINS: And they started that with Keith Davidson when he was testifying the attorney --

TOOBIN: Exactly.

COLLINS: -- who brokered this agreement. They kind of were saying that he helps extort other celebrities. That's the allegation. He pushed back on that, obviously. And they brought that full circle with her today, basically trying to make that argument. It's very clear where they're going to go on Thursday.

TOOBIN: And that's a much better argument than you didn't describe the sex the exact same way.

AIDALA: No, listen, they're going to just try to make her a lawyer.

COATES: Are you going to say that's a synonym for liar? What are you doing?

AIDALA: Sorry.


COATES: What are you doing?

AIDALA: (INAUDIBLE) a Freudian slip.

COOPER: Let's take a break. John Berman, thank you.

Coming up, we're going to switch gears briefly, focus on the former president's classified documents trial where a new order from Judge Aileen Cannon gave him a major win, and Judge Cannon's critics once again questioning her handling of this entire case.



COOPER: Shortly after today's testimony ended, there was a major legal decision in the former president's classified documents trial. Judge Aileen Cannon indefinitely postponed it. The trial was scheduled to start May 20th, and now it may not happen until after the election. Judge Cannon did it, she says, to resolve a series of pre-trial motions the defense has made, leaving the trial now without an actual trial date.

Her order also includes a new hearing on what had been thought a long shot bid by the former president's defense. They want records from multiple agencies, as well as the White House, to argue that those agencies are part of a politically motivated prosecution. The special counsel's office has called the discovery request frivolous.

Former Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin joins us now. What did you think of her ruling?

SHIRA SCHEINDLIN, FORMER U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: I think she doesn't want to try this case, and I think she doesn't want to try this case before the election. That's a fact. She's got eight pending motions. Why doesn't she have four? Why hasn't she decided at least half of these motions?

COOPER: She could have decided them by now.

SCHEINDLIN: At least some of them. At least half of them. Maybe more. But she's slow walking the case, and it seems so apparent to me that she's doing that. Look, some of these motions are hard. What you do with classified documents and how you handle them, that's hard. Some are easy.

They're trying to find out what the Justice Department is doing behind closed doors. Nobody's going to grant that. That's a silly motion. Saying that Jack Smith shouldn't be appointed, that's a silly motion. It's frivolous. So, some of these she could have disposed of and then she could say, I have four left and I can set a trial date for July.

But as it turns out, I have eight pending motions. I can't possibly try this. Maybe July, maybe August, but we all know that means September and it's going to be too late if that --

COOPER: She says that there are, what she called, novel and difficult legal questions involved. I mean, are there?

SCHEINDLIN: Well, giving her all the shadow of the doubt, certainly there's something novel about how you handle certain things about classified documents when you're a former president. Although I think it's pretty clear how you're supposed to handle them.

But also Jack Smith is an unusual case because he's never been confirmed by Congress for any post. And all the other special counsels have. So there's a slight distinction there with respect to Jack Smith versus the others. But it's not such a hard motion anyway. It's different, but you distinguish it, you move on. So I don't find that any of them are that difficult. Are they novel? Yes. Novel does not necessarily equal difficult.

COOPER: Jeff, it's certainly good for Trump.

TOOBIN: Oh my God. I mean, and if you look at how she has done this case, the only question I have is whether this is incompetence or partisanship or both. Because, I mean, just for example, and the judge can perhaps -- I don't want to get too deep into the weeds here, but one of the motions she initiated was trying to settle the issue of jury instructions.

This is something you do right before the trial begins. Why she was messing around with jury instructions when she has this long list of other motions to resolve just suggest to me she has no idea what she's doing, or she's just making stuff up to delay this case.

SCHEINDLIN: Well, there's another theory. There's another theory. It could be rank insecurity. She's new on the bench. She has not tried a lot of high profile or difficult criminal cases. And maybe she just doesn't get it, what makes sense to do, of course, jury instructions should not be handled now. They should be handled before the trial starts. Everybody knows what they're going to be.

COOPER: By the way, all three of those options are really awful.


COOPER: Like -- if it's insecurity, if it's incompetence --


COOPER: -- or, I mean, it's --

SCHEINDLIN: That's true. That's true.

AIDALA: Judge Scheindlin, can I ask you a question?


AIDALA: Because obviously I appear in your court. In a case of this magnitude, when you have someone with a lack of experience like this judge has, does she go to the lunchroom or whether it was a young male judge or young female judge and say, you know, can you -- you've been doing this for 25 years, can you give me some guidance? What do you think? What are your thoughts?

SCHEINDLIN: You know, when someone's insecure, they're least likely to seek advice. I -- when I had been doing it for 20 years and I had a hard case, I would ask everybody. What do you think? How would you do it? I want the advice of my colleagues that I respect and that were senior or at my level.

But when you're brand new, maybe you're too insecure to get the help you need. So I don't know the answer to that. AIDALA: How many clerks do you get? Like, you know, lawyers working for you, for the judge?

SCHEINDLIN: I suspect she has three. You get two, but many judges give up a secretarial position or a clerk position to get three. So she probably has three. She has a lot of power to decide these motions.

TOOBIN: And one weird thing about this case is that even though she's in the Southern District of Florida, which includes the Miami courtroom, which is enormous, a lot of judges, she's in Fort Pierce, essentially by herself, which I think contributes to the isolation and perhaps the insecurity.


And they just -- the absence of lunch partners to ask questions to, which is yet another reason why --

SCHEINDLIN: I mean, that's a good --

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) places where you could actually, like, call somebody or --

SCHEINDLIN: I was just going to say --

COOPER: -- send a message --

SCHEINDLIN: I was going to say telephones are --

TOOBIN: What are you like, an inventor?

SCHEINDLIN: No. Telephones are two centuries old. Zoom is one century old. So, yes, she could certainly make contact --

PHILLIP: Sorry, Anderson.


PHILLIP: I mean, I just wonder about Jack Smith. There was a lot of discussion at the beginning of this. Jack Smith and his prosecutors, they checked off a box that made it a lot more likely that she would end up getting this case. They wanted to do this down in Florida.

I don't want to put words in their mouth about why, but was that a miscalculation? At the end of the day, they end up with one of the most green judges out there trying one of the most difficult, you could argue, cases involving a former president.

SCHEINDLIN: But it isn't a single judge district, right? There was still a chance but she --

TOOBIN: But very few.

SCHEINDLIN: Very few but not a single judge district would -- which has been criticized certainly in the abortion case recently. COOPER: And Judge, just in terms of today's trial, you know, Judge Merchan was clearly bothered by the level of detail and where some of Stormy Daniels testimony went. I'm wondering if you were the judge in it, how would you have handled it?

SCHEINDLIN: I think much the same way he did. Not only did he sustain objection after objection, he made objections. And when a judge does that, you know there's a real problem going on. The material that came in was not relevant to this criminal case at all.

And I think it shows that she was trying to get Trump. I actually thought there was a motive there. She said she hates him. She said she'd like to see him in prison. I think she was purposely throwing out this stuff to make sure the jury -- jurors were prejudiced, particularly the women jurors, but probably half of the men too, were really put off.

But they may have been put off with her because she was too obvious in her efforts to get at him. So --

COATES: Well, this judge -- oh, excuse me -- but this judge talked about, you know, the idea of the cure here is not the mistrial request. It would be cross examination. Did you buy that as a way to cure this? And could an instruction do anything to undermine if she, in fact, was trying to be that type of witness?

SCHEINDLIN: So cross examination is tricky, and I'm sure Arthur could talk to that. You don't want to bring it up again. You don't want to reopen it and have her repeat it all. And that's a big risk. That if you ask about some of these things, she's going to go through it all over again.

So that leaves us with a limiting instruction. And you can tell the jurors all you want. I don't want you to pay attention to this stuff that was not relevant at all to this case. And the jurors are going to go, uh-huh. Then they're going to go in the jury room and say, do you believe what happened in that room?

She didn't even consent to this thing. They're going to do what they're going to do. Limiting instructions, I think, are the one instruction that's rarely really followed by the jury.

COLLINS: Do you think that Trump's attorneys had a point about calling for a mistrial today?

SCHEINDLIN: Well, it's not a baseless motion, but he's as anxious to grant a mistrial as he is to jail him for contempt. He doesn't want to do either, obviously. It's the worst outcome for the judge. And the standard is, can the defendant still get a fair trial? That's the New York standard for granting a mistrial. And he's convinced himself that with a limiting instruction and with admonishments, this will pass because people's memory is short.

By the time you finish six weeks and by the time you sum up all the evidence, it might fade. So he really may believe that he can still get a fair trial. COOPER: Do you believe he can?

TOOBIN: And the other point is both the prosecution and the defense ultimately are going to say, a lot of this is just irrelevant --

SCHEINDLIN: Well, it is.

TOOBIN: -- to the trial. So to grant a mistrial over something that is fundamentally not relevant to the core issues in the case seems like a bad idea.

SCHEINDLIN: No, but how about the word prejudicial though? It was quite prejudicial --

COOPER: Do you think there should --

SCHEINDLIN: -- for her to paint him that way. Pardon me?

COOPER: Do you think there should be?

SCHEINDLIN: Oh no. Granting a mistrial?


SCHEINDLIN: No, I'm not going that far. I'm saying there certainly, it was prejudicial. It was irrelevant, but prejudicial. It slammed him. It made him a creep.

PHILLIP: Did they create appellate problems for this?




AIDALA: Yes, yes, exactly.

SCHEINDLIN: I think they're going to make a good record to preserve the issue. And they're going to raise it again at the end of the trial, and then they're going to raise it on appeal.

AIDALA: And so when you say mistrial, that's for the record --

SCHEINDLIN: Absolutely.

AIDALA: -- that it gives the -- it raises a red flag or a white flag to the appellate court saying, look, I thought this was so bad at trial, I asked for a mistrial. I tried it -- when I'm on trial, I try to get at least one mistrial a day. I'm serious, like find one avenue a day because most of the time we lose.

So you're on appeal. I mean, not my law firm, not my law firm, but, you know, so you are always -- and the judge will tell you --

TOOBIN: Right (ph). AIDALA: -- you always -- yeah, exactly. You always guard that record as powerfully as you can, and the most powerful thing you can do is move for a mistrial.

SCHEINDLIN: Yes, but it's one of the most illusory motions. It's almost never granted.

AIDALA: Correct.

SCHEINDLIN: No judge wants to start all over again, and certainly not in this case.

COATES: At the end of the cation (ph) chief, though, they're going to call a motion to say to the judge, look, there's not even a need for this to go to the jury. There's not even a need for this defense to raise a case. Based on what you've seen so far in the presentation of evidence, would you even entertain that motion from the defense to suggest they have not even come close to meeting their burden?


SCHEINDLIN: No, I wouldn't -- I don't think I'd entertain the motion seriously, but we're talking a little too early. I want to hear the rest of this witness's testimony. I want to hear Michael Cohen. I want to hear the case before we make a decision. That's what judges do.

COOPER: Judge Scheindlin, it's always great to have you. Thank you so much.

We're going to be joined by a courtroom sketch artist, so renowned. She even got an acknowledgement from Trump today in court.


COOPER: As Donald Trump walked into the courtroom this morning for the biggest day yet of his trial, he spotted our next guest, who's a fixture in that courthouse, and said hello to her. She's one of the brilliant sketch artists who's witnessed a lot in her decadeslong career.

Jane Rosenberg is with us, along with our panel again. I'm so excited you're here. I sat behind you last week, and I was just stunned at your artistry and how you kind of bring these images to life. So quickly, I would turn away and two minutes later turn back and you've done an entire portrait of Donald Trump.


Just today, what stood out -- I mean, are you aware of the tension in the room or do you pay attention to the testimony that's being given?

JANE ROSENBERG, COURTROOM SKETCH ARTIST: I pay attention. Do I recall every bit of it at the -- afterwards? No. I have -- you know, it's in me, but it's not like at the surface. I'm concentrating on drawing. That's my primary function.

COOPER: Do you sense the sort of electricity in the room?


COOPER: Do you hear the typing of the keyboards?

ROSENBERG: Oh yes. Today was one of those days, like, same as Hope Hicks. Today --

COOPER: Right. It was that (INAUDIBLE).

ROSENBERG: You were there --

COOPER: That was the day I was there and like, it was like cicadas invasion.

ROSENBERG: It happened again today, as soon as a big witness. They had a good witness in the morning, but they didn't -- nobody cared, I guess. When Stormy Daniels came on and became that. So, yes.

COOPER: And so you've seen Trump, obviously a lot. He -- what -- did he say hello today?

ROSENBERG: He said hello today. He doesn't always, but he does know who I am. I -- he seen me in D.C., in Florida. I've been in every --

COOPER: You're drawing his picture and it's on television. Of course he knows who you are, right?

ROSENBERG: He knows who I am. I guess it was on the cover of New Yorker magazine. He saw that. You know --

COOPER: Do you worry about how he thinks he's being portrayed?

ROSENBERG: Not so much. His face, I do worry about because I've gotten some strange emails from people who don't like the way I portray him or family of his, whatever.

COOPER: And it was fascinating because when I watched you last week, you drawn him and then just at the end, you took out like a very bright color and did like the bridge of his nose and also the hair.

ROSENBERG: Yes, yes.

COOPER: And it was fascinating because it sort of -- it brought the whole image to life.

ROSENBERG: Yes, that's -- I work from the darks to pull out the lights in the end. That's how I work. My paper is kind of a darkish, a tan, a gold.

COOPER: I look, you have an entire array of pastels around you, like you set up this -- which is incredible.

ROSENBERG: It's the best part of my job.

COOPER: But I was looking for like, what colors you use for Trump. And there wasn't like, I've -- I mean, I'm not saying there's any disrespect --

ROSENBERG: Thought it would be orange.

COOPER: Yes, I thought there would be like an -- because you had like a black section, you had a, you know.

ROSENBERG: No, I didn't. I had a little orange section, but he's not really fully orange. My paper's kind of orange.

COOPER: Yes, your paper's dark. Yes, yes, yes.

ROSENBERG: It's kind of like what his skin tone is.

AIDALA: I'm curious, Jane, have you ever gotten, like, called to the carpet by a judge after a trial and been like, come on, Ms. Rosenberg, you could have done a better job on how you portray me?


AIDALA: Have you ever gotten in trouble --


AIDALA: -- by a DA or, I mean, you always draw me as a big, fat, round --

ROSENBERG: Just you.

AIDALA: Right.


AIDALA: Just me. I'm like -- I look like a bowling ball with eyes, Jane.

ROSENBERG: That's it.

COOPER: This is the real basis of the question by the way.


COOPER: This is a roundabout way of saying.

AIDALA: Oh, look at Kaitlan, she's objecting to leading questions --

COOPER: But you also have these glasses that are like special forces officers that you click down and --

ROSENBERG: Binoculars.

COOPER: -- they're binoculars.

ROSENBERG: They're binoculars but they have --

COOPER: Are they night vision as well, or just binoculars.

ROSENBERG: No, they just --


ROSENBERG: There's a prescription lens on them. So I could -- I wear glasses so I could --

COOPER: And you use that -- are you looking at Trump's face directly or are you looking at his face in the monitor?

ROSENBERG: If I could see him directly, I'm going to draw him directly.

COOPER: But there's all those court officers in the way.

ROSENBERG: If there's a court officer in the way, I have to check that monitor. Thank God for that.

TOOBIN: Jane, what do you think about cameras in the courtroom?

ROSENBERG: Come on, you can't ask me that. Bye-bye.

AIDALA: Judge --

TOOBIN: That's what I thought, but I just wanted to check.

COATES: How do you choose which emotion to capture? All the things to maybe -- you know, you got some commentary from the base, et cetera, how do you choose what emotion you're capturing in your drawing of, say, Trump, or even a witness?

ROSENBERG: Whatever emotion they're exhibiting. Like, today during cross examination, Stormy was, like, really attitudinal. She was, like, turning away and looked very attitudinal, and that's what I have to capture. Whatever I'm seeing. Whatever they're doing.

COOPER: But if you've started a sketch of her, say, the beginning of her testimony, and then all of a sudden it morphs into this attitude, what do you do?

ROSENBERG: That's right. Thank goodness I had finished my last sketch and I was ready for this new one, because that happens a lot. Suddenly something changes and I have to --

COOPER: But I saw you --

ROSENBERG: -- pull out a new piece of paper until --

COOPER: I saw you last week, you had somebody in the background one minute, and then all of a sudden you just wipe them away.

ROSENBERG: I do that. That happens.

AIDALA: It's that easy.

ROSENBERG: I don't like to have to do that. It's a decision.


ROSENBERG: It's a decision happening --

COATES: Was it him you raised on the bed in the bedroom?

ROSENBERG: Of course it was you.

AIDALA: For the record, there were many, at least four of Jane's artists in my -- between my house, my dad's house, and my office. She's brilliant.

COOPER: Has there been a moment in a court, not this case, but just in general, at some point where it was so dramatic or so moving that you stop -- I mean, that it really got to you?

ROSENBERG: Not in this case, but --

COOPER: Right.

ROSENBERG: -- yes, I've cried. I can remember Susan Smith trial, was a woman who drowned her two children, little kids. I had a child the same age. I was traveling out of town in North or South Carolina away from my little kid and it was hard for me.


And I -- there, I heard the testimony of what some -- a child -- what happens to them when they drown and they were screaming, mommy, mommy, as she just let them strapped in their car seat in the back of a the car and rolled the car in the lake.


ROSENBERG: It was really heartbreaking for me. And there are other things I've seen -- I watched. I did George Floyd, had to watch him die over and over. These things are hard. A lot of murder trials are very upsetting. And I did an electrocution once. That was pretty bad.

COOPER: Well, I really, just sitting behind you, I left really with a -- just in awe of the work you do.

ROSENBERG: Thank you.

COOPER: And I think it's so important, and I -- thank you so much for coming.

ROSENBERG: Thank you.

COOPER: Yes. Really lovely.

ROSENBERG: Thank you.

COOPER: Jane Rosenberg. Also, Laura Coates, thank you. We'll see you at 10:00 tonight, anchoring for the next two hours after that. The rest are back in the next hour with much more on this blockbuster day at the Trump trial. More insight in the testimony from Stormy Daniels next.