Ex-Trump Lawyer Spots Trial Tactic Change That May Backfire

Jim Trusty, a former attorney for Donald Trump, on Thursday criticized the former president’s current legal team for what appeared to be a “shift in strategy” during Trump’s hush money trial in New York.

Trusty, appearing on CNN, questioned why Trump’s lawyers spent so much time cross-examining porn actor Stormy Daniels when the case really centers on the documents that Trump allegedly falsified to cover up a hush money payment to her during the 2016 election. Trump denies the claim.

“I mean, the relationship is irrelevant,” Trusty told anchor Laura Coates. “The fact that there was an N.D.A. is not disputed. I think there was a shift of strategy that’s not great.”

The defense team’s strategy should be to “make it a referendum” on former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who has already served time behind bars for his role in the scheme, said Trusty. “The entire case rises or falls on his credibility. That’s the perfect battlefield,” he added.

With their grilling of Daniels, though, Trusty said Trump’s legal representatives “started off disciplined then they had the ability to regroup over time” and it developed into a different case.

Trump’s personal desire to attack Daniels and respond to the more intimate details that she revealed on the stand about their alleged sexual encounter likely played a part too, he suggested.

“I don’t think that was particularly helpful,” he said of the tactic change.

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