Trump's 2017 Contact List Revealed in Manhattan Criminal Trial

Prosecutors in Trump's Manhattan criminal trial revealed a partial list of his 2017 contacts, including celebrities and associates. The list was sent to Trump's then-gatekeeper Madeleine Westerhout by his assistant Rhona Graff.

Bijay Laxmi
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Trump's 2017 Contact List Revealed in Manhattan Criminal Trial

Trump's 2017 Contact List Revealed in Manhattan Criminal Trial

The ongoing Manhattan criminal trial of former President Donald J. Trump has provided a glimpse into his celebrity-studded inner circle, as prosecutors revealed a partial list of his contacts from 2017. The list, sent to Trump's then-new White House gatekeeper Madeleine Westerhout by his longtime Trump Organization assistant Rhona Graff, includes an array of influential figures from the worlds of entertainment, business, media, and politics.

Among the notable names on Trump's contact list are NFL star Tom Brady, billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. The list also includes close Trump associates like his former attorney Michael D. Cohen and longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, both of whom have become key figures in the Manhattan District Attorney's case against the former president.

Why this matters: The revelation of Trump's contact list sheds light on the inner workings of his administration and the individuals who held sway over his decision-making. As the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president, the outcome of this case could have significant implications for the accountability of high-ranking officials and the rule of law in the United States.

The revelation of Trump's contact list came during the testimony of Madeleine Westerhout, who served as Trump's personal assistant in the White House. Westerhout testified that she requested the list from Graff because Trump would frequently ask for phone numbers, and she would have to track them down individually. "He was a lawyer, not a fixer. He was a lawyer,"Trump said, referring to Michael Cohenin his limited public comments on the trial due to a gag order.

The Manhattan criminal trial, the first ever for a former U.S. president, centers on allegations that Trump falsified business records to conceal hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors allege that Trump orchestrated the payments to prevent Daniels from going public with claims of a sexual encounter with him in 2006.

Trump has denied the affair with Daniels and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His defense team has sought to shift blame to Michael Cohen, arguing that any criminal activity was Cohen's doing. Cohen, who arranged the $130,000 payment to Daniels, is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution when he takes the stand on Monday.

As the trial enters its fourth week, prosecutors have indicated they may soonrest their case. With the highly anticipated testimony of Michael Cohen on the horizon, the revelations from Trump's 2017 contact list offer a preview of the high-profile connections that may surface as the historic trial unfolds in the heart of Manhattan.