Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Final Trump trial day whiplashes from sleepy courtroom to verdict

By 37ci3 May31,2024



There were few signs of life from the jury for most of Thursday Donald Trump’s silence trial.

That all changed shortly after 4 p.m., when a panel of 12 New Yorkers submitted a note to the judge informing them of their decision. first criminal case of a former US president.

Follow live updates here.

The foreman of the jury read Trump’s verdict a few steps away after hearing testimony from 22 witnesses in the more than six-week trial. Moments earlier, Trump and his legal team were in good spirits, with defense attorney Todd Blanche laughing and Trump smiling.

It took a jury less than two days to find Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Here’s what happened on the 23rd day — the final day — of Trump’s silent money trial:

Reading tea leaves

Before resuming deliberations Thursday, the jury again heard testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Packer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, onetime Trump attorney and star prosecution witness.

“It’s a good sign that they’re asking these questions,” Trump’s legal spokeswoman Alina Habba told NBC News after jurors asked to review the testimony. Habba said it could indicate a difference of opinion.

“You don’t want a quick turnaround,” he said, referring to the ruling.

Trump’s aides and allies swirled around the courthouse. In the courtroom, Trump’s son Eric sat behind his father, flanked by advisers such as Boris Epstein and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a leading candidate to join Trump on the GOP ticket this fall.

The jury also asked to rehear part of the instructions Judge Juan Merca had given them the previous day.

After the proceedings held in the courtroom in the morning, the jury continued its deliberations.

Silence followed by mobility

In a media-filled room at the courthouse, video monitors displayed the date and a ticking clock against a dark blue background.

The video feed was on standby for most of the afternoon. It continued later in the day, with prosecutors taking their seats, followed by Trump and his lawyers.

There was tension in the square as Trump and Blanche sat shoulder to shoulder, hands pressed to mouths, whispering and laughing to each other.

Merchan then delivered the final news of the day that many had been waiting for – the jury would be excused at 4:30 p.m.

But a few minutes later, he read a note: “We, the jury, have a verdict. If possible, we would like an extra 30 minutes to complete the forms.”

As Merchan made his announcement, Trump sat with his arms crossed and whispered to Blanche. Any leniency was quickly dissipated from the defense table. Trump’s lawyers, who used to be locked in animated conversations, now barely speak.

The verdict was read quickly. After 9½ hours of deliberations.

Trump was stonewalled when Merchan announced a July 11 sentencing date.

For days, reporters analyzed the jury’s every yawn and twitch for clues. The 12 New Yorkers, now finding Trump guilty of all charges, walked past him and his lawyers out of the room. Trump, now the first US president to face criminal charges, showed little emotion.

Moments later, Trump stepped into the hallway to address the cameras and repeat many of his claims throughout the trial.

“This was done by the Biden administration to hurt, to hurt a political opponent,” he said after claiming voters would decide the “real verdict” in the November election.



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By 37ci3

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