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Sat, Jun 22 | 12:07 pm

Jury in Trump’s Criminal Hush Money Trial Enters Deliberation Phase

by | May 29, 2024

New York, May 28, 2024 — The jury in former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial was dismissed on Wednesday after deliberating for over four hours. The panel of 12 New Yorkers is set to resume deliberations at 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday.

During their deliberations, the jurors sent two notes to Judge Juan Merchan. One note requested a re-hearing of the judge’s jury instructions, while the other asked for a read-back of key testimonies from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, and David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer. These testimonies are central to the case, which revolves around 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in connection to a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

Michael Cohen, who was a crucial witness for the prosecution, testified that Trump directed him to make the payment to Daniels and that Trump had full knowledge of the transaction. This assertion was challenged by the defense, which sought to undermine Cohen’s credibility by presenting inconsistencies in his statements and highlighting his previous legal troubles.

David Pecker’s testimony added another layer to the prosecution’s narrative, as he detailed the “catch and kill” practice used by the National Enquirer to suppress negative stories about Trump during the election campaign. Pecker’s account aimed to corroborate the prosecution’s argument that the payment to Daniels was part of a broader effort to influence the 2016 election by keeping damaging stories out of the public eye.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges, maintaining that the payments were personal matters unrelated to his campaign. His defense team argued that the prosecution’s case is built on unreliable witnesses and lacks concrete evidence of criminal intent.

The trial, which has garnered extensive media coverage, is one of four criminal cases Trump is facing while running for president again. The potential implications of a felony conviction are significant, as it would mark an unprecedented legal and political scenario for a former president and presumptive GOP nominee.

Closing arguments in the trial wrapped up earlier this week, setting the stage for the jury’s deliberations. Judge Merchan instructed the jurors to carefully consider all evidence presented during the 20 days of testimony before reaching a verdict.

The outcome of this case is highly anticipated, with legal experts and the public alike awaiting the jury’s decision. If convicted, Trump could face severe legal consequences, impacting his political future and the upcoming presidential race.

As the jury prepares to continue its deliberations, the nation watches closely, aware that the verdict will have profound ramifications not just for Trump, but for the broader political landscape in the United States.

For ongoing updates on the trial and other related legal matters, stay tuned to major news outlets.

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