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Jury Enters Second Day Of Deliberations In Hush Money Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Jurors began their second day of deliberations on Thursday following the conclusion of final arguments in former President Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial.

Just hours into deliberations, the jury hit a snag. It delivered a note to the judge asking for details regarding the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker. The jury requested to hear Judge Juan Merchan’s instructions again because they were not provided in writing.

Merchan informed the jury that the prosecution bears the burden of proof and that the defense is unnecessary to establish Trump’s innocence. In addition, he clarified the relevant laws and urged the jury to put their prejudices aside.

The jury is deliberating on the 34 allegations of fabricated business records that Trump is facing regarding his payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels near the end of the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump entered a not-guilty plea.

“Jurors yesterday afternoon requested to rehear parts of witness testimony, including three portions of David Pecker’s testimony and a section of Michael Cohen’s testimony,” NBC News reported.

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“The requests include revisiting Pecker’s testimony about a phone call with Trump in which he advised the then-candidate to purchase Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story to ‘take it off the market,’ his testimony about the life rights discussions on McDougal, and Cohen’s testimony about a Trump Tower meeting involving him and Pecker where they discussed how the National Enquirer parent company, American Media Inc., could help Trump’s campaign,” the outlet added.

NBC’s Megan Lebowitz reported on Thursday morning: “Court reconvenes at 9:30 this morning, and some of the first orders of business will be related to jury requests from yesterday. Amid deliberations, the jury requested to rehear portions of witness testimony, as well as Merchan’s jury instructions. It’s not yet clear whether Merchan will reread the instructions in their entirety. It took him about an hour to read the full instructions yesterday.”

“After that, jurors will continue deliberating — but how long those discussions will take is unclear. It’s possible a verdict comes today,” Lebowitz added.

Following an 11-hour court session on Tuesday, when prosecutors and Trump’s attorneys made their closing arguments to conclude the six-week trial, the jury deliberated on Wednesday.

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Prosecutors charged Trump in March 2023 with falsely classifying business records as legal expenses. The accusations were that the payments were intended to compensate Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, for the $130,000.

Cohen allegedly paid Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump in 2006.

In New York, fabricating company records is a misdemeanor; nonetheless, the prosecution accused Trump of felonies, arguing that his actions were motivated by the desire to commit or hide another felony, such as unlawfully plotting to sway the 2016 election.

In addition to denying the claims of an affair with Daniels, Trump has entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations and repeatedly charged, without providing proof, that Merchan and the prosecution were working for Biden to undermine Trump’s prospects of winning in November.

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The U.S. Secret Service reportedly held meetings with New York jail authorities in preparation for a potential conviction in the hush-money case involving former President Donald Trump.

As the Manhattan trial neared its conclusion this week with the jury’s deliberations and closing statements, a reliable source informed CBS News that similar arrangements were being made.

According to the story, the New York Times reported that if Trump is imprisoned for any length of time, prison officers will be in charge of defending any Secret Service members assigned to protect him.

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