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John and Jake: Gonzaga graduate, lawyer gets inside look at Trump hush money trial

May 13, 2024, 6:42 PM

Photo: Former President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a break at Manhattan criminal c...

Former President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a break at Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo: Seth Wenig, Pool via AP)

(Photo: Seth Wenig, Pool via AP)

Former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is in the fourth week of witness testimonies.

Spokane-born, Gonzaga graduate and personal injury attorney Jon Selden was so infatuated with the trial he decided to skip part of his 21st wedding anniversary to attend.

“I was mainly just going for the spectacle. And we just happened to have this trip planned in New York and I know my wife would rather probably go shopping or something without me for at least half a day. And I was like, you know what, I’m just gonna do it,” Selden told John Curley, Host of “The John and Jake Show” on KIRO Newsradio on Friday.

Last week, Selden left his hotel room at 4:30 a.m. and got in line at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse to hopefully secure a seat at the trial, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Selden told Curley the first person in line most likely arrived around midnight. Behind the first person, there were two professional line holders who arrived at 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Selden said he got to the line around 4:45 a.m. and was fifth in line, barely making it inside as only six were allowed.

Selden also shared that he forgot his ID at his hotel, but luckily for him, security didn’t check IDs. When he got inside, he was seated in the back.

“It’s like 200 reporters and then six members of the public. And we’re in the back, kind of the second row to the back. But we were right on the aisle. So Trump has to come in and out of the same doors everybody else does and so every time he marched up and down the aisle, I could have reached out and touched him if I wanted to get shot or something. But you couldn’t make a move without someone looking at you,” Selden told Curley.

Selden was hoping to hear from Stormy Daniels but ended up with “pretty boring testimony” he said. The witness was the former accountant for the Trump organization. But Selden said an exciting part was when the judge found Trump in contempt.

Related news: Judge raises threat of jail as he holds Trump in contempt, fines him at trial

“We all thought he was about to go into jail because he was like, ‘Obviously my $1,000 fines are not working here and so you know, I don’t want to put you in jail, sir, but I will.’ And we all thought, man is this guy about to sentence Trump to a night in a Manhattan holding pen? It was pretty crazy,” Selden said.

Michael Cohen testifies in Trump hush money trial

However, Selden missed another interesting witness: Michael Cohen.

As reported by The Associated Press (AP), the long-anticipated testimony on Monday from Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer follows a breathtaking buildup by prosecutors of a case that ultimately hinges on record-keeping. Trump is accused of falsifying internal business records to cover up hush money payments that Cohen made as part of efforts to buy and bury stories that might hurt the former president’s 2016 campaign.

The AP reported that Cohen directly implicated the former president in a hush-money scheme, telling jurors that his celebrity client tasked him on several occasions to stifle stories about sex that he feared could torpedo his 2016 presidential campaign.

“Stop this from getting out,” Cohen, the prosecution’s star witness, quoted Trump as telling him in reference to porn actor Stormy Daniels’ account of a sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier.

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Under questioning from a prosecutor, Cohen detailed the steps he took to mask the payments — which he had agreed to front — from his wife and his bank, according to The AP. When he opened a bank account to pay Daniels, an action he said he told Trump he was taking, he said it was for a new limited liability corporation but withheld the actual purpose.

“I’m not sure they would’ve opened it if it stated: to pay off an adult film star for a non-disclosure agreement,” he said.

Since the men’s fallout, Cohen has emerged as a relentless critic of Trump, appearing as recently as last week in a live TikTok wearing a shirt featuring a figure resembling Trump with his hands cuffed, behind bars. The AP reported that the judge on Friday urged prosecutors to tell Cohen to refrain from making any more statements about the case or Trump.

Contributing: Michael Sisak, Jill Colvin, Eric Tucker and Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

Listen to John Curley and Jake Skorheim weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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John and Jake: Gonzaga graduate, lawyer gets inside look at Trump hush money trial