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The jury begins its work in the hush money case against Trump

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On Wednesday, the jury began its work in the so-called bribery case against former President Donald Trump. Photo: Pool Photo via AP / NTB

Of NTB | 29.05.2024 21:33:04

Crime and justice: After just four hours of work, the jury asked to hear again testimony about a key meeting in Trump Tower in 2015 to stop negative media coverage. This was granted along with three other requests.

Trump could become the first former US president to be found guilty of violating US criminal law.

It is highly unclear how long the twelve jurors will need to reach a decision. The jury retired after Judge Juan Merchan had given his instructions and admonitions.

The twelve members of the jury have been sitting in a courtroom in New York for over six weeks and listened to the prosecution’s presentation of the case and the defenders’ attempts to present Trump’s case in the exact opposite way.

Their ruling could have a major impact on the further election campaign. But a guilty verdict from the jury will not formally prevent Trump from being able to beat Joe Biden in the election and possibly move back to the White House.

There is enough doubt from one juror to close the case. If the twelve cannot agree on conviction or acquittal, the result is a so-called deadlocked jury, in English “hung jury”.

The judge can then ask the jurors to make a new assessment, and if this does not lead either, the case is dismissed. The judge can then and there demand a new trial.

Trump’s lawyers have made it clear that a conviction will be appealed.

Biden’s camp says that a verdict is unlikely to be decisive, no matter what it turns out to be.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said in his proceedings on Tuesday that the bribery case, in which Trump is accused of having paid off bad press and then tried to hide it in the accounts, may have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election, in which Trump surprisingly won over Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche argued in his closing proceedings that the prosecution has failed to prove the allegation that Trump has falsified documents to cover up a kickback payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

– The biggest lies of all time, said the defender about Cohen.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to his role in the case, as well as lying to Congress.

Trump has been present throughout the trial, but has chosen not to testify. But on his own social medium, Truth Social, he came up with several outcomes on Tuesday.

– Boring, he wrote in one of the breaks.

The judge gave his final instructions on Wednesday afternoon Norwegian time. He said jurors must weigh evidence and the letter of the law and disregard their personal attitudes toward Trump.

All twelve members of the jury must agree if Trump is to be found guilty or acquitted.

The latest opinion polls show that Trump and Biden follow each other closely, but the survey from Reuters/Ipsos records that a conviction will cost Trump support among independents and among some Republicans.

Blanche urged the jury not to trust either of the two main prosecution witnesses, Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and handyman.

(© NTB)

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