Jury in Trump trial resume deliberations after asking to rehear testimony

Published 1:59 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

The jury in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial resumed deliberations Thursday after revisiting portions of the judges instructions and rehearing testimony from multiple key witnesses about the alleged scheme at the heart of the historymaking case.

The judge responded to a jury request by rereading 30 pages of jury instructions. The 12person jury, which deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict, also reheard testimony Thursday morning from a tabloid publisher and Trumps former lawyer and personal fixer.

Its unclear how long the deliberations will last. A guilty verdict would deliver a stunning legal reckoning for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as he seeks to reclaim the White House while an acquittal would represent a major win for him and embolden him on the campaign trail. Since verdicts must be unanimous, its also possible the case ends in a mistrial if the jury cant reach a consensus.

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In a memo Wednesday evening, Trump campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles blasted the proceedings as a “kangaroo court” and argued the case would not matter in November.

“The bottom line is this case doesn’t have an impact on voters,” they wrote.

Trump, who on Wednesday appeared to be priming supporters for the possibility of a guilty verdict by saying “Mother Teresa couldnt bear these charges,” struck a pessimistic tone again Thursday.

“It’s all rigged. The whole thing, the whole system is rigged, he said. Its the same language he used to try to inoculate himself against losses in the 2020 presidential election and Iowa’s 2016 GOP primary.

He continued to rail against the case on his social media network from a room in the courthouse, writing in capital letters, “I did nothing wrong! In fact, I did everything right!” Trump did not testify in his own defense, something the judge told jurors they could not take into account.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records at his company in connection with an alleged scheme to hide potentially embarrassing stories about him during his 2016 presidential election campaign.

The charge, a felony, arises from reimbursements paid to thenTrump lawyer Michael Cohen after he made a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels to silence her claims that she and Trump had sex in 2006. Trump is accused of misrepresenting Cohen’s reimbursements as legal expenses to hide that they were tied to a hush money payment.