Home Entertainment Jury reaches verdict in Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial

Jury reaches verdict in Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial

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The jury in Donald Trump‘s historic criminal trial has reached a verdict.

The seven men and five women made a decision on whether to find the former President guilty or innocent on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

It comes after five weeks of dramatic evidence and 22 witnesses being quizzed on the stand.

The case is the first time a former U.S. President has faced a criminal trial.

Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential candidate and is set to take on Joe Biden in November’s election.

It means the verdict could upend the 2024 White House race and prove a pivotal moment in the history of the United States.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump at his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court in New York on May 29 before the jury reached its verdict

Former U.S. President Donald Trump at his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court in New York on May 29 before the jury reached its verdict

Four members of the jury, who cannot be identified, listen to evidence in the trial

Four members of the jury, who cannot be identified, listen to evidence in the trial

The charges Trump faces each carry a maximum potential sentence of up to four years in prison.

Jurors have the option of convicting Trump of all counts, acquitting him of all counts, or delivering a mixed verdict in which he is found guilty of some charges and not others.

If they are deadlocked then Judge Juan Merchan may declare a mistrial.

The 12 jurors have sat silently in a New York courtroom as prosecutors made their case and Trump’s lawyers tried to discredit it

Prosecutors told of a plot by Trump to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election by hiding a $130,000 hush money payment by his ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels. 

Daniels alleged that she and Trump had sex a decade earlier, which he has denied.

The case featured explosive evidence by Daniels and lifted the lid on the ‘catch and kill’ practices of the National Enquirer tabloid, which bought stories that could be damaging to Trump and suppressed them.

Stormy Daniels a key witness in the trial, with Donald Trump in 2006

Stormy Daniels a key witness in the trial, with Donald Trump in 2006

The jury heard evidence about former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal selling a story about Trump to the National Enquirer

The jury heard evidence about former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal selling a story about Trump to the National Enquirer

But the actual criminal charges concern something more prosaic – the reimbursements Trump signed for Cohen for the payment.

The reimbursements, paid by Trump in monthly installments, were recorded as being for legal expenses.

Prosecutors say that was a fraudulent label designed to conceal the purpose of the hush money transaction and to illicitly interfere in the 2016 election. 

Defense lawyers argued that Cohen actually did substantive legal work for Trump and his family and was paid for it.

In a marathon day of closing arguments on Tuesday prosecutors and defense lawyers lawyers had one final chance to score points with jurors as they embarked on their momentous task.

The two sides offered wildly different accounts of Trump’s culpability, the strength of the evidence, and the credibililty of witnesses.

The defense called key witness Michael Cohen the 'GLOAT' (Greatest Liar Of All Time)

The defense called key witness Michael Cohen the ‘GLOAT’ (Greatest Liar Of All Time)

Margo Martin, Donald Trump's deputy communications chief, is seen leaving The Trump Tower for court earlier in the case

Margo Martin, Donald Trump’s deputy communications chief, is seen leaving The Trump Tower for court earlier in the case

Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, Eric Trump and Lara Trump attend former U.S. President Donald Trump's trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on May 28

Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, Eric Trump and Lara Trump attend former U.S. President Donald Trump’s trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on May 28

Prosecutors accused Trump of trying to ‘hoodwink’ voters in the 2016 election by stifling embarrassing stories that could torpedo his campaign.

‘The name of the game was concealment, and all roads lead inescapably to the man who benefited the most: the defendant, former President Donald Trump,’ prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told jurors.

He said Daniels’ story was ‘messy’ and ‘probably makes some of you uncomfortable to hear, but that’s kind of the point.

‘In the simplest terms, Stormy Daniels is the motive.’

But Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche said Daniels could not be trusted.

And he branded the star prosecution witness – Cohen – as the ‘greatest liar of all time,’ giving him the acronym ‘the GLOAT’.

Trump lawyer Alina Habba leaves court earlier in the trial

Trump lawyer Alina Habba leaves court earlier in the trial

Defense lawyer Todd Blanche sits with former U.S. President Donald Trump as prosecutor Joshua Steinglass presents closing arguments during Trump's criminal trial

Defense lawyer Todd Blanche sits with former U.S. President Donald Trump as prosecutor Joshua Steinglass presents closing arguments during Trump’s criminal trial

Judge Juan Merchan instructs the jury before deliberations as Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016,

Judge Juan Merchan instructs the jury before deliberations as Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016,

Blanche said: ‘President Trump is innocent. He did not commit any crimes, and the district attorney has not met their burden of proof, period.’

Trump did not take the stand to give evidence in his own defense.

Towards the end of the trial Trump posted angrily on social media that he was the victim of a ‘Kangaroo Court!’ and added: ‘In God We Trust!’ 

Jurors heard the payoff to Daniels in 2016 unfolded against the backdrop of the disclosure of a 2005 ‘Access Hollywood’ recording in which Trump could be heard bragging about grabbing women sexually without their permission. 

Donald Trump in court before the jury reached its verdict

Donald Trump in court before the jury reached its verdict

Had the Daniels story emerged in the aftermath of the ‘Access Hollywood’ scandal it would have further damaged his campaign, the court heard.

Steinglass told jurors: ‘It’s not about whether you like Michael Cohen. It’s not about whether you want to go into business with Michael Cohen.

‘It’s whether he has useful, reliable information to give you about what went down in this case, and the truth is that he was in the best position to know.’



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