NewsHush money judge denies Trump 'fishing expedition' to subpoena info on Stormy...

Hush money judge denies Trump ‘fishing expedition’ to subpoena info on Stormy Daniels documentary

The judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s impending New York criminal trial on Friday denied his bid to subpoena NBCUniversal for information involving a key witness in the hush money case, adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump had subpoenaed NBCUniversal for information related to “Stormy,” a documentary on the actress that recently premiered on the network’s streaming service, Peacock. NBCUniversal is the parent company of both Peacock and NBC News.

Trump’s attorneys said they were seeking information that would show “collusion between NBCU and Daniels relating to the release date of the documentary,” as well as any information that could relate to his trial, which is scheduled to begin on April 15.

In a legal affirmation filed in the case, Erica Forstadt, Senior Vice President of Production and Development at NBCUniversal, said Daniels had no “right to approve the content of the Documentary or the timing of its release.”

Judge Juan Merchan found the subpoena was “far too broad” and rejected it.

“Because Defendant’s claims are purely speculative and unsupported, his subpoena and the demands therein are the very definition of a fishing expedition,” the judge wrote.

STORMYPeacock

The judge added that “even if this Court were to find that defendant’s request was not speculative … NBCUniversal’s motion nonetheless would be granted because Defendant seeks unfettered access to the notes and materials of a media organization in violation” of state civil rights law.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for NBCU declined to comment.

In the documentary, which began streaming on Peacock on March 18, Daniels spoke out about how she has faced increasingly violent threats in the wake of Trump‘s indictment last year.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payment his former lawyer Michael Cohen made to Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Daniels has claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, which Trump has denied.

Tom Winter

Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

Dareh Gregorian

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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