Jury Deliberations in Donald Trump Hush Money Trial Extend Into Second Day

Chloe Whisperwillow

Updated Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:03 AM CDT

Jury Deliberations in Donald Trump Hush Money Trial Extend Into Second Day

The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial concluded its first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict on Wednesday. The 12-person jury, comprising seven men and five women, deliberated for approximately 4 1/2 hours before being dismissed around 4 p.m. Deliberations are set to resume Thursday, with jurors expected to rehear requested testimony and part of Judge Juan M. Merchan's legal instructions.

Judge Merchan reminded the jurors of their duty to judge the evidence fairly and impartially. A guilty verdict would represent a significant legal setback for Trump, while an acquittal would be a major win, boosting his campaign. Trump has described the trial as “very unfair” and expressed skepticism about defeating the charges. Notably, Trump did not testify in his defense, and jurors were instructed not to consider this in their deliberations.

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to an alleged scheme to mask embarrassing stories during his 2016 campaign. The charges are connected to reimbursements to Michael Cohen for a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, misrepresented as legal expenses. For a conviction, the jury must unanimously agree that Trump created fraudulent entries in his company’s records with the intent of committing or concealing another crime, specifically violating New York election law.

The jury began deliberating after a marathon session of closing arguments on Tuesday, where a prosecutor spoke for over five hours, stressing the need to establish Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Trump's defense team, on the other hand, only needs to create doubt in at least one juror to avoid a conviction. Judge Merchan provided guidance on evaluating witness testimony, including plausibility, consistency, manner on the stand, and motive to lie.

Jurors requested to rehear part of the judge's instructions and revisit key episodes in the trial, including testimony from Michael Cohen and David P***** about an August 2015 meeting at Trump Tower. P***** testified about a "catch-and-kill" scheme to suppress potentially damaging stories about Trump. He recounted a phone call with Trump discussing Karen McDougal's story, during which Trump allegedly sought advice on handling the situation. American Media Inc. paid McDougal $150,000 for her story in an agreement that included writing opportunities, and P***** later backed out of a deal to sell the story rights to Trump through Cohen.

On Wednesday afternoon, after no verdict was reached, Judge Merchan dismissed the jury and announced that court would reconvene Thursday morning. Deliberations could extend into next week or beyond. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass, who delivered lengthy closing arguments, urged the jury to hold Trump accountable. Merchan reiterated that the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and reminded jurors that Trump is not required to prove his innocence.

The jury submitted two notes on Wednesday, requesting the jury instructions be read again and specific portions of testimony from Cohen and P*****. Some legal analysts viewed the jury's requests as a positive sign for the prosecution, while others warned against drawing conclusions from the notes.

Prosecutors allege Trump reimbursed Cohen through falsely listed legal expenditures, elevating the charges to felonies by asserting the records were falsified to conceal other crimes, including election law violations. Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, argued that Trump did not commit any crimes and that the district attorney failed to meet their burden of proof, claiming Trump was paying Cohen for general legal services, not the Daniels payment. Steinglass countered that Trump had publicly acknowledged reimbursing Cohen, describing Blanche's account as "jaw-dropping." Blanche also accused Cohen of being untrustworthy due to his history of lying, while Steinglass contended that Cohen lied in the past to protect Trump.

The trial, which began with jury selection on April 15, could lead to up to four years in prison for Trump if convicted. The Secret Service has not yet made plans for a potential detention. Meanwhile, outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, Trump supporters and protesters clashed as the jury began deliberations. In a separate development, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito refused to recuse himself from decisions affecting other criminal cases involving Trump.

Conservative Bias:

This entire charade of a trial against Donald Trump is just another desperate attempt by the radical left to undermine a president who dared to stand up for American values. The so-called "hush money" case is a blatant witch hunt orchestrated by power-hungry liberals who can't stand the fact that Trump put America first. The jury's indecision only highlights the weak, baseless nature of these charges. The left is using every dirty trick in the book, from biased prosecutors to media manipulation, to take down a man who has done nothing but fight for the American people. This is not about justice; it’s about a vendetta against Trump, plain and simple. The real crime here is the left's relentless attack on a president who dared to challenge their corrupt system.

Liberal Bias:

This trial is a clear example of the corrupt, mo***** bankrupt tactics employed by the right to protect their own at all costs. Donald Trump’s hush money scandal is just the tip of the iceberg in a long list of his unethical and likely illegal activities. The fact that he didn’t even testify in his defense speaks volumes about his guilt. The conservative machine, from biased judges to manipulative defense attorneys, is working overtime to shield Trump from accountability. This is yet another instance of the rich and powerful evading justice, while the rest of us are held to a different standard. The jury’s struggle to reach a verdict underscores the immense pressure and manipulation they face from Trump's cronies. This trial is a critical moment to hold Trump accountable and show that no one is above the law, no matter how much money or power they wield.

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