Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Jury begins deliberations in hush money case

By 37ci3 May29,2024

Trump supporters taunt news crews

A group of pro-Trump demonstrators outside the courthouse have been loudly heckling news crews stationed there for the past 20 to 30 minutes, yelling “liars,” “you’re telling,” “f–k you” and the like. “f–k AOC.”

The loudest voice in the group appears to be an elderly man holding a rainbow flag that says “Gays for Trump.”

The pro-Trump rally also included several supporters of Tina Forte, an ally of right-wing George Santos, who is challenging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Forte’s supporters loudly chanted “God bless Trump” and held placards reading “FIRE AOC”. It is unclear whether Forte himself was at the rally.

The judge explains what happened to the alternate jurors

Six alternate jurors were asked to stand aside, while 12 jurors returned to the jury room.

Merchan told them: “Each of you has been diligent.” He does not apologize for the substitutes, but they are not going to sit in on the deliberations.

They will hand over all cell phones and electronic devices and a sergeant will take them to another location to wait.

The judge brings two jurors back to learn how to use the evidence laptop

The judge brings back jurors 4 and 6 to learn how to use a laptop that contains evidence the jury can review.

They are two types of technological judges. Jurors 4 are West Village men who are security engineers, and juror 6 is a woman who works as a software engineer.

The jury will have a laptop with all the evidence

Merchan said there was a laptop with all the evidence, and he asked for volunteers to show him how to operate the laptop so the jury could review the evidence.

Jury No. 4 and No. 6 are selected.

Jury begins deliberations in Trump’s hush money trial

12 jurors have begun deliberations in Trump’s silent money trial.

Prosecutors say they will decide Trump’s guilt or innocence on 34 counts of record fraud in which he agreed to cover up a payment to Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election to hush up allegations of an affair.

Merchan concludes the instructions, asking the lawyers to approach the bench

Merchan concluded his instructions to the jury and asked counsel to approach the bench for a conference. Now all the lawyers have gathered around him.

Trump sits at the defense table and shakes his head.

The judge explains what will happen after sentencing

Judge Merchan said the jury will return to the courtroom after reaching a verdict and “then the foreman will be asked what the verdict is on each charge.”

All jurors will be asked if that is their verdict and jurors will be questioned individually, Merchan said.

The judge explains the difference between motive and intent


Judge Merchan explained the difference between motive and intention. According to him, the motive is the reason why a person chooses a criminal act.

Intent, he said, is an element of the crime of falsifying business records in the first degree. Merchan added that in this case it can be considered as proof of motive or proof of motive.

Interestingly, the judge told the jury that the state is not required to prove a motive while most of this entire trial is about people trying to determine Trump’s motive.

The prosecution’s entire argument is that Trump was so desperate to suppress the Stormy Daniels story that he conspired to violate election laws and falsify business records.

Mercha’s jury instructions hit the one-hour mark

As of 11:11 a.m., Judge Mercha’s jury instructions had passed the one-hour mark.

A jury instruction reflecting “unlawful means” is favorable to a criminal prosecution

One of the jurors’ instructions regarding the alleged “illegal means” to make the accounts a felony is a violation of federal election law, but there is considerable debate over whether Michael Cohen’s payment to Stormy Daniels violated the law.

Even so, the instruction as read is quite favorable to the prosecution because a jury could find that it was an illegal contribution if it was made at Trump’s request or with his cooperation.

Fanart depicts boxer Trump knocking out Robert De Niro

Fan art depicting Trump as a boxer knocking out Robert De Niro (
Daniel Arkin/NBC News

A pro-Trump rally outside the courthouse drew about three hundred people, some of whom stood around to admire this fan art (“Cry-Baby,” acrylic on canvas) depicting Trump as the boxer who knocked out Robert Deney. Niro – A clear riff on “Raging Bull” and Muhammad Ali.

At least six of the pro-Trump demonstrators chanted, “De Niro is an idiot! De Niro is an idiot!”

A judge explains what must be proven in a falsification of business records case

Having completed the instruction for Count 1, Merchan now goes through what must be proven to show that Trump falsified or caused the falsification of each employment record. The judge specifically tells the jury the relevant date and type of document for each count.

Judge tells jurors they can consider election law, falsifying business records and tax violations

He noted that the way prosecutors were able to get the felony charges was that the “first crime” — business fraud — was intended to cover up other crimes related to election tampering.

According to Mercha, the “other crime” is NY Election Law 17-152, which prohibits conspiring to unlawfully promote or prevent the election of a person to public office.

The impugned conduct must be intended to prevent or encourage the selection of a person by unlawful means.

“We don’t have to agree on what those illegal means are … you can count: violations of FECA, falsification of other business records, violations of tax laws,” he said.

Jurors take careful notes as the judge reads complex instructions

To say these jury instructions were complicated is an understatement. Jurors will not receive a written copy of the instructions, although they are permitted to request as many re-readings as necessary.

The judge speaks slowly and walks the jury through all the ins and outs of turning what would normally be a misdemeanor charge into a felony, but it can be difficult to piece it all together without being able to refer to a written copy of the jury instructions during deliberations. (or not). Many jurors were observed taking notes throughout the morning while the judge was speaking.

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