Courtroom sketch artist points to testimony that 'really seemed to reach' Trump

A courtroom cartoonist said Donald Trump's influence changed quite dramatically Tuesday during testimony about former Playboy model Karen McDougal during his hush-money trial.

David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer, has testified for the prosecution about a “catch and kill” scheme he allegedly helped Trump carry out before the 2016 election to find and bury potentially damaging stories.

In 2016, McDougal signed a $150,000 deal with American Media Inc., owner of the Enquirer, for the rights to her story that she had an affair with Trump a decade earlier.

Pecker on Tuesday discussed some of the events leading up to that payment and described how Michael Cohen, Trump's then-lawyer, asked him to investigate the story.

Elizabeth Williams, who has a decades-long career creating court artwork, told CNN on Tuesday that Trump started the day with his eyes often closed.

“But then when they start talking about McDougal…the eyes are open and the arms start to fold,” she said.

Williams said she has drawn the former president several times now and has noticed a theme.

“If he crosses his arms … that means there's something wrong with Donald Trump,” she noted, noting he did this several times during the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial and when he was indicted on federal charges in Miami.

“He's focused on David Pecker right now,” she continued. “I was watching him quite a bit before that, and he was kind of paying attention. But McDougal's testimony – that really seemed to get to him.”

McDougal claims she had a sexual relationship with Trump for about 10 months between 2006 and 2007, when he was married to his current wife, Melania Trump.

Trump has denied her allegations.

Prosecutors say Cohen was supposed to reimburse AMI on Trump's behalf for the money McDougal paid, but the deal fell through.

The McDougal payment is not part of the indictment against Trump, but is relevant to the indictment, which centers on a hush money payment from Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says he had an affair with Trump. Trump has denied that he is guilty of all charges in the case.

Prosecutors say Trump falsified business records when he reimbursed Cohen for those expenses, in an effort to obscure the true nature of the payments.

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