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Trump trial: The fate of the former US president is in the hands of the jury  Donald Trump faces justice

Trump trial: The fate of the former US president is in the hands of the jury Donald Trump faces justice

In New York, the jury in the criminal trial of Donald Trump, the first former US president to be indicted, retired behind closed doors on Wednesday to begin its deliberations, six weeks after the proceedings began.

The day after the final arguments, which extended into the evening, the first day of deliberations ended without a ruling.

Nearly three and a half hours into the debate, jurors made their first requests for clarification.

We have received a noteJudge Juan Merchan made the announcement after the parties returned to the courtroom.

He said the four jury requests related to parts of the testimony. Three of them are linked to the former CEO of American Media Inc. (AMI), David Pecker, while the fourth is linked to Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of Donald Trump.

Jurors particularly want to hear the clip from the testimony of Mr. Pecker, the first witness in this trial, in a phone conversation he had with Donald Trump in June 2016.

During his appearance, he claimed Mr Trump then asked him what he should do about Karen McDougal, a playmate who was trying to sell her story of an affair she claims to have had with him.

Jurors also want to be updated on Mr. Baker's decision to terminate the agreement under which Donald Trump obtained the lifetime rights to Ms. Dougall's story, whichfriend He bought it for $150,000 with the intention of not publishing it.

Other jury questions are related to the meeting that took place Trump Tower, in August 2015, Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, and David Pecker. Jurors want to re-hear the two witnesses' accounts.

Prosecutors made that meeting a key part of their case, saying that at that moment, they said, Mr. Trump “orchestrated a criminal plan to corrupt the 2016 presidential election.”

According to the lawsuit, the trio hatched a scheme to purchase and suppress negative information in order to maximize the Republican politician's chances of winning the election.

The jury requests appear to indicate that jurors are following the timeline set by prosecutors.

However, jurors, who have a computer to review the evidence presented, cannot access the trial transcript, which runs several thousand pages. If they have questions about a piece of testimony, they should therefore return to court so that A Court reporting clerk He reads them the required excerpts.

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In a second note sent to the jurors, he asked the judge to repeat the instructions he had issued at the beginning of the day.

According to CNN, the majority of federal judges send these instructions in writing, but New York state courts prohibit this practice, just as they do not allow the broadcast of trials.

“You are the judges of the facts,” the judge tells the jurors.

Judge Juan Merchan instructed the jury on May 29, 2024.

Photo: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

In the morning, the judge instructs the jury, a crucial step in which the judge explains the legal issues relevant to the case.

It is not my responsibility to judge the evidence. it's yours“, the judge told the jury.

You are the judges of the facts, and it is up to you to decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.

Quote from Juan Merchan, the judge leading Donald Trump's impeachment trial

Donald Trump faces 34 charges related to numerous forged documents, including 11 invoices, 12 bookkeeping entries and 11 checks. According to prosecutors, the documents relate to compensation paid to Michael Cohen in 2017 in connection with a payment to Stormy Daniels, who said she had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump.

The lawsuit alleges that he withheld documents to conceal a criminal conspiracy to win the 2016 election through illegal means.

Judge Merchan specifically reminded the 12 jurors – seven men and five women – that they must do this Put aside Their opinions about the accused, whether positive or negative.

They were also asked not to consider the potential consequences of conviction in their decision.

If the verdict is guilty, it will be my responsibility to impose the appropriate sentencestated.

The day before, defense attorney Todd had chided Blanch for calling on jurors to do so do not send [son client] In prison based on Michael Cohen's words.

Juan Merchan also explained several legal concepts, such as reasonable doubt, and the right of the accused not to testify without it being used against him.

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If jurors believe a crime has been committed, they must be He is also convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed this crime as wellHe insisted.

However, Judge Merchan noted that Donald Trump could be convicted of the charges, whether or not he personally forged financial documents, if the jury finds that he forged financial documents. to request or Command Someone else to do it.

The credibility of witnesses was also among the principles raised by the judge.

If the jurors think soA witness intentionally testifies falsely about any factThey can ignore his entire testimony or exclude only the parts deemed false.

He specifically touched on the testimony of Michael Cohen, the prosecution's main witness, because he is an accomplice in the alleged crime for which Donald Trump is being tried.

Even if you find Michael Cohen's testimony reliable, you cannot convict a defendant based solely on his testimony unless you find it is supported by other evidence.

Quote from Juan Merchan, the judge leading Donald Trump's impeachment trial

Mr. Cohen, who turned on Donald Trump after defending him tooth and nail, has served federal prison time, among other things, on charges related to this case, and has already perjured himself in court.

During the trial, the defense particularly sought to undermine the credibility of the former lawyer, whom it portrayed as a chronic liar.

Judge Merchan told jurors that the first day's deliberations would end at 4:30 p.m., and asked them to return to court on Thursday if there was no verdict.

As he left the session, the 77-year-old politician repeated his attacks against the trial and Judge Juan Merchan, whom he once again described as… corrupt.

The former president, who had previously compared himself to former South African President Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner for nearly 30 years, and to Christ, this time mentioned the name of another historical figure.

Mother Teresa could not escape punishment. These accusations are fabricated. This is all fake.

Quote from Donald Trump

The Republican nominee must remain in court during jury deliberations.

For the duration of deliberations, the six alternate jurors selected will be located in a room other than the one in which the jurors are deliberating. They must be prepared to take over if one or more jurors withdraw.

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The defense only needs to convince a juror

Photographers capture Donald Trump, sitting next to his lawyers Todd Blanche and Emile Bove.

Former US President Donald Trump with his lawyers Todd Blanche and Emile Bove attend his criminal trial on May 29, 2024, in Manhattan.

Photo: Getty Images/Jabin Botsford

While the charges at the heart of this trial are less serious than those in the three other criminal trials against Donald Trump, they are nonetheless complicated, due to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's decision to initially try the former president for document forgery instead. Of the second degree.

A second-degree charge would have been limited to simply forgery of documents, but more serious charges of first-degree forgery are brought when documents are concealed to conceal another crime.

To convict Donald Trump on all 34 counts against him, a jury must find that prosecutors proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is worth noting that the jury includes two lawyers, which may benefit Donald Trump, according to many experts.

The ruling must be unanimous, whether guilty or acquittal.

A jury could also find Donald Trump guilty of only part of the charges against him.

There is no doubt that he will appeal if found guilty.

The Republican nominee can also hope for another scenario that would prevent a conviction: the jury's inability to agree.

Thus, it would be enough for one juror to consider Donald Trump innocent for the judge to be forced to declare a mistrial (Mistrial In English).

The former president faces 54 other charges in three other trials, but these trials are unlikely to begin before the November elections.

If he becomes president, he could ask the Justice Department to drop charges in two federal trials, in Washington and Florida.

With information from The Washington Post, CNN and Reuters