Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

What you missed on Day 22 of the hush money trial

By 37ci3 May30,2024



Jurors began deliberating in Donald Trump’s hush money trial on Wednesday, kicking off a crucial and delicate phase of the case in which 12 ordinary citizens will decide whether the former and potentially future president will be the first to be convicted.

Twenty-two witnesses took the stand over six weeks as seven men and five women testified for more than 80 hours in New York. Then, after nearly eight hours of closing arguments, Presiding Judge Juan Merchan on Wednesday began instructing a 12-judge panel from New York on how to measure whether the Manhattan district attorney’s office left room for doubt on what prosecutors believed were issues. a “mountain” of evidence.

“The defendant is not required to prove that he is not guilty,” Merchan said. “The defendant is not required to prove or disprove anything.”

As Merchan considered his burden of proof, Trump remained silent, his eyes closed and his head gently bowed back. He broke it with short bursts of activity.

Trump later described the case as a politicized trial orchestrated by his political enemies. “Mother Teresa could not overcome these charges,” he said outside the courtroom. “These accusations are false.”

He raised his fist as he reentered the court later in the day.

Here’s what you missed on Day 22 of Trump’s silent money trial:

Jurors are looking for more information

A the jury bell rang shortly after 3:00 p.m., and a flurry of action began as the jurors filed the first of two notes into court. Prosecutors from the district attorney’s office filed into the courtroom and Trump entered with his team. Behind Trump sat his son Donald Trump Jr., aides Boris Epstein, Natalie Harp, Carolyn Leavitt, Alina Habba and longtime friend Steve Witkoff. Trump advisers Jason Miller and Steven Cheung sat in the back of the courtroom.

Jurors sent a memo to the court at 2:56 p.m. asking David Packer to testify about a phone call he had with Trump during an investor meeting and the acquisition of the rights to the life story of former Playboy model Karen McDougal. They asked Peker to testify about the Trump Tower meeting and Michael Cohen. The account is central to prosecutors’ alleged Trump voter fraud scheme.

A few minutes ago, Trump, who was blindfolded, started reading the document. His lawyers sat on a laptop and lawyers for both sides began to search for the passages in question.

At 3:51 p.m., a second juror note asked to repeat the judge’s instructions. As Merchan read the note, the prosecutors of the district prosecutor’s team became tense. Susan Hoffinger furrowed her brow.

Todd Blanche, a member of Trump’s defense team, cracked a stiff smile at first, but soon eased into what he was hearing. As Mercha instructed the court, he began whispering to Trump and his defense attorney, Emil Bove, and became more animated. Behind him, Donald Trump Jr. rested his arm on the head of the bench.

After deliberating for 4.5 hours, the jury was discharged for the day. But it wasn’t over for the lead attorneys, Hoffinger and Joshua Steinglass for the prosecution and Blanche and Bove for the defense, who reviewed notes and transcripts at the defense table.

Weighing the evidence

As Merchan instructed the jury to prove Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Trump leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes and gently bowed his head. At times, as Trump spoke, he glanced across the room at Steinglass, a prosecutor in District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.

Merchan read the charges and what Trump would have to prove to show he falsified each business record with the corresponding account. He explained that the crime of falsifying business records in the first degree must also include the intent to commit a crime with the intent to aid or conceal the commission of another crime. But prosecutors do not need to prove that the other crime was actually committed.

Several jurors began taking notes as Merchan told them “a common intent to deceive is sufficient.”

Trump’s lawyers did not seem comfortable. Blanche rested her elbows on the table before him, sometimes cupping her chin in her hands. He rubbed his eyes. Three seats over, another attorney, Susan Necheles, collapsed in her seat.

In a Truth Social post, Trump criticized Mercha’s instructions, which he called “the most biased and unfair in the history of the Court.”

“I could be in jail tomorrow,” Trump roared in a fundraising email.

Jurors do not need to agree

All jurors must be unanimous that Trump unlawfully falsified business records for the purpose of deceiving and concealing a conspiracy to promote his election, including in violation of the federal election campaign act, falsifying other business records, or violating tax law. However, jurors are not required to agree unanimously on what those illegal means are.

Some Trump allies have characterized the guidelines as flawed, with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., saying jurors “don’t have to agree unanimously on what crime was committed as long as they all pick at least one.” Jurors don’t have to agree on the crime they believe Trump tried to cover up, but they still have to agree that he wanted to cover up the crime.

Trump held the bottle to his lips and took a long swig as Merchan detailed how jurors were to weigh each of the 34 charges.

Elsewhere in the courthouse, movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in 2020 was canceled last monthhad to appear before the judge.

Rules

As the deliberations continued, the jurors were asked to hand over their phones. But before they could begin, two volunteers from the panel had to learn how to operate a laptop with all the admitted evidence for the jury’s use. The panel of judges, consisting of two lawyers, a teacher, a software engineer and a speech therapist, cannot deliberate without the full panel present, and they cannot tell Merchan their vote.

Alternate jurors do not sit in on deliberations, but still hand over their phones. Like an impaneled jury, they should not research, read, or study the case outside of court.

Merchan then asked prosecutors if they could turn off the internet on the laptop before the panel returned Thursday.



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