Jury Begins Deliberations In Donald Trump's Criminal Hush Money Trial

By iHeartRadio

May 29, 2024

Jury To Begin Deliberations In Trump Hush Money Trial
Photo: Pool / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Deliberations have begun in the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump, marking a significant phase in the first criminal trial against a former U.S. president. The 12-person jury will decide on 34 felony counts of falsification of business records that Trump faces. The charges allege that Trump disguised the purpose of a year's worth of reimbursements to his attorney, Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 in 'hush money' to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Judge Juan Merchan spent over an hour instructing the jury on the legal issues they must consider and the conclusions they must reach if they intend to find Trump guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury was reminded that they agreed to set aside their opinions of Trump when they were selected to serve and vowed to decide the case solely on the facts and the law.

He also reminded them that to reach a guilty verdict, all 12 members must be in agreement on each count.

"That is, each and every juror must agree to it," Merchan told the jury.

Judge Merchan said that the jury will work until 4:30 p.m. ET today. They will be asked to give their cell phones and any other electronic devices to a court officer while they're engaged in deliberations.

The jury's verdict will be read out for each count, and the entire jury will be asked if they agree. At the request of the defense and prosecution, the jurors will be polled individually if they agree with the verdict.

The trial has unfolded over the past six weeks, with closing arguments presented on Tuesday. Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, argued that the prosecution's case hinged on Cohen's unreliable testimony. Meanwhile, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked jurors to focus on the documents that corroborate Cohen's account.

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