Hope Hicks set to testify in Trump’s secret trial: reports

Ancient Asset administrative help Hope Hicks expected to testify for the prosecution in the former president’s secret trial in New York, NBC News reported Monday.

Hicks, once one of Trump’s closest aides, was questioned by prosecutors for last year’s case. Trump is accused of falsifying business records in an attempt to conceal cash payments made to hide a prior affair during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The case is scheduled to go to trial on April 15, the first of four criminal cases against Trump to reach the trial stage. Trump called the accusations political and pleaded not guilty.

Hicks was the Trump campaign’s press secretary before the 2016 election, when the secret payments were made. In 2019, a lawyer for Hicks said she was unaware of the payments, but investigators in the criminal case against Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen over the payments said that she probably knew.

Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 through an escrow account to cover up an alleged affair between Daniels and Trump a decade earlier. Cohen later pleaded guilty to tax evasion and other charges related to the payments and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018.

The judge in charge of the case, Juan Merchan, expanded a gag order levied against Trump on Monday, preventing the former president from disparaging Mercan’s family. Trump had previously criticized Merchan’s daughter. The silence order previously barred Trump from discussing witnesses and other legal figures.

Hicks was a previous witness in the Jan. 6 House investigation and in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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