Trump hush money trial: Jury resume deliberations

Jury in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial to Resume Deliberations

The jury deliberating in Donald Trump’s hush money trial is set to reconvene on Thursday after requesting to rehear certain testimonies that they believe are crucial to the case. Deliberations began on Wednesday, with no verdict reached after approximately 4.5 hours.

The jury requested to revisit the testimony of a tabloid publisher and Trump’s former attorney and fixer, as well as a part of the judge’s instructions on the applicable laws. The duration of the deliberations is yet to be determined.

If the jury reaches a guilty verdict, it would mark a significant legal blow for Trump as he aims to regain the White House. An acquittal, on the other hand, would represent a victory for Trump, enhancing his campaign narrative. In case the jury cannot reach a consensus, a mistrial may result following several days of deliberations.

Following the reading of jury instructions, Trump voiced his dissatisfaction, repeating his belief that the trial was unfair. He remained in the courthouse during the deliberations, taking to his social media network to express frustration over the trial and share favorable opinions from legal and political commentators.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records over an alleged scheme to conceal potential embarrassing stories about him during his 2016 presidential campaign. These charges stem from reimbursements made to Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, after Cohen facilitated a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels to suppress her claims of an affair with Trump in 2006.

To convict Trump, the jury must unanimously determine that a fraudulent entry was made in his company’s records, or someone else was manipulated to do so, with the intention of hiding or committing another crime. Prosecutors allege that this unlawful act was a violation of a New York election law that makes it illegal for conspirators to "promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means."

The jury comprises a diverse group of Manhattan residents representing various professional backgrounds. Throughout the trial, jurors have shown keen attention during witness testimonies, with many taking notes and maintaining intense focus as questions were posed to both prosecutors and Trump’s defense team.

In their first round of communication with the court, the jury asked to rehear testimonies from Cohen and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, focusing on their discussion of a meeting at Trump Tower in August 2015 and their phone call regarding former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s alleged story of a year-long affair with Trump. The jurors also expressed interest in Pecker’s account of backing out of a deal with Cohen in October 2016 to buy the rights to McDougal’s story.

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