On Stand, Pecker Fires Back After Trump Lawyer Implies He Was Untruthful

The lawyer for Donald J. Trump who on Friday led the cross-examination of David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer and first witness in the trial, used confrontational questioning to try to catch Mr. Pecker in contradictions.

But that strategy, which led to a tense exchange in the Lower Manhattan courtroom, did not seem to pay off. Mr. Pecker repeatedly rejected characterizations and questions posed by the lawyer, Emil Bove, and resisted the suggestion that he had not been forthright in earlier testimony.

For most of Friday, Mr. Bove had struck a polite tone with Mr. Pecker, spending most of the second day of cross-examination focusing on arcane questions about deals to suppress stories, including one with Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

But as Mr. Bove wrapped up his cross-examination, he asked Mr. Pecker about his obligations in cooperating with the prosecution in the hush-money trial.

Mr. Pecker did not play along. “To be truthful,” he fired back, adding: “I’ve been truthful to the best of my recollection.”

And with that, Mr. Bove sat down.

Mr. Pecker was the first witness called by prosecutors. Their questions over three days sought to establish that he and his publication suppressed negative stories about Mr. Trump while both promoting him in The Enquirer and attacking his Republican primary rivals.

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