Trump hush money trial moves into second day of jury deliberations: recap (2024)

Table of Contents
Trump complains key witnesses weren’t called to testify – by prosecution or defense Wednesday proceedings end Trump has eyes closed as lawyers and judge discuss jury transcript review Lawyers disagree about one of four jury transcript requests Judge returns to address transcript read-back for jurors Trump returns to courtroom Read the instructions jurors have asked to re-hear Trump permitted to leave courtroom while staying in waiting area Trump defense team, prosecutors remain to work on transcript Trump has eyes closed as judge instructs jurors on not discussing case Jurors return to courtroom and are sent home for day Jurors send second note to judge, want to re-hear instructions Jurors ask to review testimony from trial Prosecution cites 'jaw-dropping' evidence against Trump that defense says'cannot be trusted' Donald Trump: ‘Mother Teresa couldn’t beat these charges’ Jury deliberations begin Laptop-responsible jurors leave courtroom Alternate jurors excused from courtroom, two main jurors coming for laptop instructions 12 jurors excused from courtroom, alternate jurors remain Judge makes clarification on juror signature 'That concludes my instructions on the law' Judge says plan is to work today until 4:30 p.m. EDT Judge instructs jurors on the law of falsifying business records One juror looking at trial teams as Trump leans back with eyes closed Big rally near the Trump courthouse – for elderly services Trump eyes closed for more than 100 seconds Several jurors taking notes Judge begins instructions on criminal charges Trump's eyes closed for extended periods during instructions Electronic audio of Trump audience member goes off Jurors told they must not consider Michael Cohen's election-related convictions Judge begins giving jury instructions Low key (and anxious) morning on the protest front Judge enters courtroom Donald Trump, Don Jr. arrive in courtroom Prosecution arrives in courtroom What is the Trump trial about? Who is Judge Juan Merchan? Trump responds to actor Robert De Niro as ‘small’ and ‘Wacko’ Where is Melania Trump? Actor Robert De Niro, surrogate for President Biden, blasts Trump as ‘clown’ outside courthouse Will Tiffany Trump, other Trump children, be at the trial Wednesday? How long will the jury take to deliberate? Why are jury instructions important? What did the defense say about Cohen on Tuesday? What is Trump on trial for?

NEW YORK − Former PresidentDonald Trump’s fate rests in the hands of12 Manhattan jurors in his historichush money trial, with the verdict carrying the potential to alter the 2024 presidential campaign.

The jury sent a note shortly before 3 p.m. EDT requesting to review four sections of testimony from the trial, three from media executive David Pecker, and one from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Almost an hour later, the jurors sent a second note asking to re-hear the jury instructions.

Jurors were sent home for the day at 4:07 p.m. EDT. They will resume deliberations Thursday.

Jurors began deliberatingWednesdayafter hearingsix weeks of testimony from a parade of22 witnesses, including a felon convicted of perjury, a p*rn actress, and the former head of the parent company for the National Enquirer tabloid.

Any verdict requires a unanimous vote.The outcome – aconviction on all or some of 34 counts of falsifying business records, an acquittal or a deadlocked jury – could have a major impact on Trump’s campaign against President Joe Biden.

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

Trumpis polling ahead of Biden despite the criminal charges in this and three other cases, but a felony conviction couldsway some voters against him. An acquittal could bolster his claimsthat he was the victim of a politically motivated prosecutor.

These were Wednesday's developments inside and outside the Manhattan courtroom:

Trump complains key witnesses weren’t called to testify – by prosecution or defense

Trump hush money trial moves into second day of jury deliberations: recap (1)

Former President Donald Trump complained to reporters Wednesday that prosecutors didn’t call potential witnesses in his New York hush money trial, but didn’t explain why his team didn’t ask them to testify instead.

“There are a lot people that they could have called that they didn’t call,” Trump said. “They didn’t call them obviously because they would have been very bad witnesses for them. Take a look at the list. You have a lot of big players that would have solved their problem or given us the win.”

Trump declined to name them because a gag order prohibits him from commenting on potential witnesses. But he seemed to suggest Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial official, is one of the possible witnesses. Weisselberg is serving time on Rikers Island after being convicted of perjury in an early Trump trial.

“In particular, one witness is now suffering bravely because of the viciousness of these thugs,” Trump said. “You know who I’m talking about. They didn’t call him as a witness.”

Prosecutors had said they wanted to call Weisselberg but couldn’t because he was jailed. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified that Weisselberg helped arrange his reimbursem*nt from Trump for paying $130,000 to p*rn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual episode with Trump before the 2016 election.

– Bart Jansen

Wednesday proceedings end

Judge Juan Merchan asked the prosecution and defense to send court reporters tonight a neat outline of the decisions on the pages and lines of the trial transcript to be read back to jurors on Thursday.

Merchan then dismissed the parties at about 5:26 p.m. EDT. "I'll see you tomorrow morning at 9:30," he said.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump has eyes closed as lawyers and judge discuss jury transcript review

Trump hush money trial moves into second day of jury deliberations: recap (2)

Former President Donald Trump again has his eyes closed for extended periods, this time as the lawyers and Judge Juan Merchan discuss which portions of the trial transcript should be read back to jurors on Thursday.

At one point, I counted to 37 with a "Mississippi" in between each number before he opened his eyes. Trump peered out only briefly before closing them again.

Not long after, I counted to 49 at the same pace before he opened his eyes. This time, he looked as if he might be falling asleep. His head was drooped down in front of him.

– Aysha Bagchi

Lawyers disagree about one of four jury transcript requests

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said the two sides have agreed on the portions of the trial transcript to be read back to jurors in response to three of their four transcript requests. The request that has sparked multiple disagreements is former tabloid publisher David Pecker's testimony about a Trump Tower meeting he said he had with Trump and Michael Cohen in August of 2015.

Pecker testified that he agreed at that meeting to be "eyes and ears" when it came to catching potential stories in the media market that could hurt Trump's first presidential campaign.

Judge Merchan resolved one of the disputes in the courtroom after reviewing the transcript himself. He said he was largely – though not entirely – accepting the proposal from the defense.

On two other disputes, Merchan said he will review the transcript portions later and let the parties know what he thinks.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge returns to address transcript read-back for jurors

Judge Merchan returned to the courtroom and addressed the lawyers.

"Okay, where do we stand?" Judge Merchan asked.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said he thinks the two sides have made "a lot of progress," but there are a couple issues they may need him to resolve.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump returns to courtroom

Trump re-entered the courtroom at about 4:55 p.m. EDT. However, the lawyers are still talking to each other and Judge Merchan hasn't returned to the courtroom.

– Aysha Bagchi

Read the instructions jurors have asked to re-hear

The legal instructions jurors have asked to re-hear are complicated. For example, they say Trump is only guilty of a felony count of falsifying business records if he falsified a record in order to interfere in the 2016 presidential election through at least one of three unlawful methods spelled out in the instructions.

You can read the instructions for yourself here:

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump permitted to leave courtroom while staying in waiting area

The judge just approved a request from Trump lawyer Todd Blanche for his client to leave the main courtroom simply to go to a nearby courtroom that is a typical waiting area for him. The lawyers have remained in the courtroom to resolve the question of what trial transcript portions the jury will have read back on Thursday.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump defense team, prosecutors remain to work on transcript

After excusing the jurors for the rest of the day, Judge Merchan told the prosecution and defense to stay until the court has settled on the precise transcript read-back the jurors are slated to hear on Thursday.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump has eyes closed as judge instructs jurors on not discussing case

Former President Donald Trump had his eyes closed for extended periods as Judge Merchan gave the jurors standard instructions on not discussing the case upon leaving for the day.

I counted to 25 with a "Mississippi" in between each number at one point before Trump opened his eyes, and to 28 at that same pacing a little later.

There's an air of activity and suspense in the courtroom after hearing the first updates during jury deliberations. It's hard to reconcile that with the notion that Trump is actually falling asleep right now, as opposed to choosing to sit with his eyes closed.

– Aysha Bagchi

Jurors return to courtroom and are sent home for day

The jurors were brought back into the courtroom. Judge Merchan read aloud the two notes he received from them. He told them reading back the portions of the transcript they requested will probably take at least half an hour. He asked whether they want to hear all the jury instructions again or only a portion of them, and said they can let him know later.

Merchan then excused them for the day.

– Aysha Bagchi

Jurors send second note to judge, want to re-hear instructions

As lawyers and the court were working on putting together the portions of the trial transcript that will be read aloud to the jurors, Judge Merchan entered the courtroom and announced he had received a second note from the jurors at 3:51 p.m. EDT. They requested to re-hear the jury instructions.

Merchan recommended to the two sides bringing the jurors back into the courtroom. He proposed telling them the court is working on getting the transcript portions together, and asking them if they want to hear all the instructions again or only a portion of them.

– Aysha Bagchi

Jurors ask to review testimony from trial

The jurors sent a note at 2:56 p.m. EDT asking to review four sections of testimony from the trial, Judge Merchan just announced.

Reporters were sitting in the main courtroom when the prosecution entered at about 3:06 p.m. EDT, followed quickly by Trump and his lawyers. We weren't told in advance the reason for their arrival.

Merchan then entered the courtroom and said the jurors want to review these four sections of trial testimony:

  • David Pecker's testimony about a phone conversation with Trump while Pecker was in an investor meeting;
  • Pecker's testimony regarding the decision not to finalize and fund the assignment of former Playboy model Karen McDougal's life rights;
  • Pecker's testimony regarding a Trump Tower meeting he said he had with Trump and Michael Cohen in August of 2015; and
  • Cohen's testimony regarding that same Trump Tower meeting.

Pecker used to run the parent company for the National Enquirer, which was involved in two hush money deals related to Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election. One of those deals involved buying the life rights to McDougal's story of a months-long affair with Trump, which he denies.

Pecker and Cohen met with Trump in August of 2015 at Trump Tower to discuss helping catch stories that might hurt Trump's presidential campaign and then prevent those stories from getting out, according to their testimony.

Jurors will be brought in to have those portions of the trial transcript read aloud, Merchan indicated.

– Aysha Bagchi

Prosecution cites 'jaw-dropping' evidence against Trump that defense says'cannot be trusted'

The six-week trial featured dramatic clashes between lawyers and witnesses, the judge and Trump.

The testimony includedtense moments such as defense lawyer Todd Blanche accusing Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, of lying on the standand former Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks breaking into tears.

Meanwhile, Judge Juan Merchan threatened to jail Trump if he continued to violate a gag order against talking about witnesses participating in the case. Merchan also scolded Blanche for an “outrageous” statement in closing arguments that the jury shouldn’t “send someone to prison” based on Cohen’s testimony.

A flock of Republican surrogates showed up to support Trump, and one conspiracy theorist set himself on fire outside the courthouse.

Cohen was a key witness testifying that he submitted invoices for “legal expenses” that Trump knew were to reimburse him for paying $130,000 to silence p*rn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. But Trump lawyer Todd Blanche accused Cohen of lying on the stand when he testified he notified Trump about the payment to Daniels. In closing arguments, Blanche called Cohenthe “MVP of liars” and “the embodiment of reasonable doubt.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, described the alleged sexual encounter in enough detail that Merchan questioned why defense lawyers didn’t object more to block her testimony. She testified that she noticed gold nail clippers in Trump’s hotel room and he didn’t wear a condom during the encounter. Trump has repeatedly denied he had sex with Daniels and Blanche argued the payment “started out as an extortion” whether the allegation was true or not.

David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media Inc., which owned the National Enquirer, said he agreed in a meeting with Trump and Cohen in August 2015 to be the “eyes and ears” of Trump’s presidential campaign to buy negative stories about the candidate and never publish them.

Pecker acknowledged paying former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for her story and then refusing to pay for Daniels because Trump hadn’t reimbursed him. Cohen provided a recording, which prosecutor Joshua Steinglass called “jaw-dropping,” of Trump mentioning the $150,000 figure.

But Blanche raised questions about the credibility of the recording because it cuts off suddenly – Cohen said he got another call – and argued that a meeting to influence the campaign “made no sense.”

Trump paid Cohen for a retainer through invoices marked "legal expenses," so he committed no crime of falsifying business records, according to Blanche. "This is not a referendum on your views of President Trump," Blanche told jurors.

– Bart Jansen

Donald Trump: ‘Mother Teresa couldn’t beat these charges’

After the jury began deliberating in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial, Trump braced his supporters for a guilty verdict by claiming nobody could be acquitted because of the way Judge Juan Merchan instructed jurors to consider the charges and the evidence.

“Mother Teresa could not beat these charges,” Trump said. “These charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged.”

Trump went on to say that he would win the Nov. 5 election against President Joe Biden because of border security, inflation and other issues.

“We’re going to win this election,” Trump said. “We’re going to take back this country from these fascists and these thugs that are destroying us.”

– Bart Jansen

Jury deliberations begin

At about 11:35 a.m. EDT, all jurors had exited the courtroom and Judge Merchan instructed the parties to remain in the courthouse in case they are needed as the jury begins deliberating.

– Aysha Bagchi

Laptop-responsible jurors leave courtroom

The two jurors who volunteered to handle the laptop with evidence appeared to be given some instructions at the prosecution's table, and then left. Judge Merchan just confirmed with Trump lawyer Todd Blanche that Trump has consented to the jurors' use of the laptop to access trial exhibits.

– Aysha Bagchi

Alternate jurors excused from courtroom, two main jurors coming for laptop instructions

Judge Merchan excused the alternate jurors from the courtroom but is having two of the main jurors brought back in. He said they have volunteered to handle the laptop containing evidence from the trial, and will be given some instructions on that.

– Aysha Bagchi

12 jurors excused from courtroom, alternate jurors remain

Judge Merchan had the 12 jurors who will begin deliberating leave the courtroom, but kept the six alternate jurors in the courtroom. He has now praised their attentiveness during the trial and explained they are not done – they are still on duty in case any of the 12 can't continue through deliberations and alternates are needed to step in.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge makes clarification on juror signature

After conversing with the lawyers privately, Judge Merchan clarified to jurors that one instruction about a signature tied to juror notes was about the jury foreperson denoting he signed the document, not having a juror sign a personal name.Merchan also explained jurors will be given a laptop containing evidence from the trial during their deliberations.

– Aysha Bagchi

'That concludes my instructions on the law'

"That concludes my instructions on the law," Judge Juan Merchan just told jurors. He invited the parties to approach, and several lawyers are now having a private conversation with the judge at his bench.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge says plan is to work today until 4:30 p.m. EDT

Judge Merchan just told jurors the plan today is to work until 4:30 p.m. EDT. He said the plan for other days will be figured out if that is needed. He also said it's unlikely, if jurors do work late, that their work will extend beyond 6 p.m. EDT.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge instructs jurors on the law of falsifying business records

Judge Merchan just reached the 34th and final count in his jury instructions. Along the way, he has explained to jurors that Trump is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree under New York law if he made or caused a false entry in a business enterprise with the intent to defraud – including the intent to commit or conceal another crime.

That means prosecutors must have proven during this trial not just that Trump is responsible for false records, but also that there was a further criminal or cover-up purpose. That's where alleged 2016 election fraud and alleged plans to violate New York tax and election laws come into play in this case.

Merchan told jurors that intent doesn't require premeditation, but instead can be formed at the time the defendant engages in prohibited conduct.

"You must decide if the required intent can be inferred beyond a reasonable doubt," Merchan said.

– Aysha Bagchi

One juror looking at trial teams as Trump leans back with eyes closed

The jurors have largely been taking notes and looking at Judge Merchan as he gives them instructions on the law in the case. But one juror who is among the first 12 who are slated to decide the case – not an alternate juror who is here to step in if one of the 12 becomes unavailable – has been looking over at the trial teams for several seconds. There, Trump can be seen slouching back in his chair with his eyes close, in stark contrast to the open-eyed, attentive jurors.

– Aysha Bagchi

Big rally near the Trump courthouse – for elderly services

Music. Dancing. Cheering.

No, not at the demonstrations in front of the Trump courthouse – it’s a rally for New York elderly services one block over in Foley Square.

While the relatively few pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces argue – in one instance requiring police intervention – hundreds of other New Yorkers are boogying to immortal classics like “Get Down Tonight” and “Disco Inferno.”

Sample lyrics from the latter: “Folks are screaming, out of control/It was so entertaining when the boogie started to explode/I heard somebody say disco inferno/(Burn baby burn)/burn that mother down.”

The occasion, a sign said, is the 31st anniversary of Older Adult Health and Fitness Day.

Trial? What trial?

– David Jackson

Trump eyes closed for more than 100 seconds

Former President Donald Trump isn't fully asleep, but it appears he may be dozing off. I just counted to 100 with a "Mississippi" in between each number while his eyes remained closed. I stopped counting at that point. For the first approximately 30 seconds, Trump was slouched forward in his chair, with his head slightly hanging in front of his shoulders. He then slouched back without opening his eyes. I saw him shake his head slightly once, but apart from that he doesn't seem to be showing a facial reaction to the judge's instructions to jurors.

– Aysha Bagchi

Several jurors taking notes

Several jurors appear to be taking notes as Judge Merchan instructs them on the law. The remaining are looking straight at Merchan. The jurors in this case have been very attentive throughout the trial, even through a long day of closing arguments on Tuesday that didn't wrap until about 8 p.m. EDT.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge begins instructions on criminal charges

Judge Juan Merchan has been instructing jurors on what they may and may not consider in their deliberations. He just said he will now begin instructing them on the law related to the actual records charges Trump faces. These instructions are potentially pivotal: even small words can make a big difference when a jury determines whether actions by a defendant were criminal.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump's eyes closed for extended periods during instructions

As he has done many times throughout this trial, Trump is sitting at the defense table with his eyes closed for extended periods. I just counted to 20 with a "Mississippi" between each number before Trump peaked out. I watched Trump again a couple minutes later and reached the number 20 a second time before Trump opened his eyes.

– Aysha Bagchi

Electronic audio of Trump audience member goes off

Audio began playing from the section of spectators seated in one of the first two rows behind the defense table, where Trump's entourage sits. I couldn't see if the audio came from a phone. Judge Merchan looked over in that section's direction before the audio was cut off.

– Aysha Bagchi

Jurors told they must not consider Michael Cohen's election-related convictions

Judge Merchan has just instructed jurors they must not consider Michael Cohen's guilty pleas to federal campaign finance violations when it comes to assessing Trump's guilt in this case. It's an instruction Merchan also gave jurors during testimony in the trial.

Prosecutors have alleged Trump falsified records to cover up unlawfully interfering in the 2016 presidential election through a hush money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels that violated federal campaign finance laws.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge begins giving jury instructions

Jurors entered the courtroom at 10:10 a.m. EDT and Judge Juan Merchan has begun delivering instructions to them. He told them to remember they promised to be fair jurors. He told them they must not allow any bias or stereotype to affect their verdict.

– Aysha Bagchi

Low key (and anxious) morning on the protest front

No more than 20 demonstrators gathered in front of the courthouse as the jury prepared to deliberate the Trump case – anxious demonstrators.

“I know he’s not going to be acquitted – I’m praying for a hung jury,” said Joe Palau, 57, a pro-Trump construction worker from Brooklyn.

Nadine Seiler, 59, - who carried a large sign that said “Convict Trump Already!” – was anxious the other way.“I am very concerned about a hung jury,” said Seiler, a home organizer who took the bus to New York from her home in Waldorf, Md.

David Jackson

Judge enters courtroom

Judge Juan Merchan entered the courtroom at 10:06 a.m. EDT.

– Aysha Bagchi

Donald Trump, Don Jr. arrive in courtroom

Former President Donald Trump entered the courtroom at 9:56 a.m. EDT. His oldest child, Donald Trump Jr., joined him today and took a seat in the first bench behind the defense table.

– Aysha Bagchi

Prosecution arrives in courtroom

The prosecution trial team arrived in the courtroom at 9:51 a.m. EDT. We are still waiting for the defense team, the judge, and the jury. Proceedings are starting 30 minutes later than usual, at 10 a.m. EDT.

– Aysha Bagchi

What is the Trump trial about?

Trump's New York criminal trial centers on a hush money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels, business records kept at the Trump Organization, and the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors have alleged that Trump falsified business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to Daniels less than two weeks before the election. They say the payment violated federal campaign finance laws, and as a result constituted unlawful election interference.

Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made the payment and later became a star witness for the prosecution in Trump's case.

Trump defense lawyer Todd Blanche suggested to jurors in his Tuesday closing argument that Cohen acted alone and lied about Trump authorizing the payment. Blanche also said Trump didn't falsify any records in 2017 because he was paying Cohen that year for ongoing legal services, as the checks, invoices, and vouchers in the case reflect. He denied Cohen's story that Trump was actually reimbursing the hush money.

Trump chose not to testify – a decision the jury will be prohibited from holding against him.

– Aysha Bagchi

Who is Judge Juan Merchan?

Judge Juan Merchan is a former prosecutor who has served as a judge since 2009. Merchan previously presided over a criminal trial in which two Trump businesses – the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation – were found guilty of several crimes, including tax fraud. The two companies were sentenced to pay more than $1.6 million following the verdict.

Merchan has frequently drawn the ire of former President Donald Trump, who just this morning posted in all caps on Truth Social that Merchan is "A CORRUPT AND CONFLICTED JUDGE" presiding over a "KANGAROO COURT!"

The judge imposed a gag order on the former president that prohibits public comments on jurors or on the participation of witnesses in the case. The order also provides some protection from Trump's ire for prosecutors and their family members, as well as for family members of the judge. Merchan imposed the order after concluding that Trump's past "inflammatory" statements instilled fear in people involved in his legal cases and heightened security needs.

Merchan expanded the order to cover his own family members and those of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after Trump attacked the judge's daughter for her work at a marketing agency that assists Democrats.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump responds to actor Robert De Niro as ‘small’ and ‘Wacko’

Former President Donald Trump responded early Wednesday on social media to actor Robert De Niro’s criticism, calling him a victim of “Trump derangement syndrome.”

“I never knew how small, both mentally and physically, Wacko Former Actor Robert De Niro was,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

A movie star for more than 50 years, De Niro won Oscars for his performances in The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull. But Trump said his participation in politics diminished his value.

“Robert, whose movies, artistry, and brand have gone WAY DOWN IN VALUE since he entered the political arena at the request of Crooked Joe Biden, looked so pathetic and sad out there,” Trump wrote.

– Bart Jansen

Where is Melania Trump?

Melania Trump has so far stayed away from her husband's criminal proceedings. The former president wished her a "happy birthday" from the courthouse hallway when he attended proceedings on her birthday, April 26. He said he would join her in Florida later that Friday.

– Aysha Bagchi

Actor Robert De Niro, surrogate for President Biden, blasts Trump as ‘clown’ outside courthouse

Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro called former President Donald Trump a "clown" and a “buffoon” bent on destroying American democracy from outside the courthouse on Tuesday.

De Niro was flanked by two former Capitol Police officers, Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone, who defended the Capitol during the attack Jan. 6, 2021, by Trump supporters.

"We've forgotten the lessons of history that showed us other clowns who weren't taken seriously until they became vicious dictators," De Niro said. "With Trump we have a second chance and no one is laughing now. This is the time to stop him by voting him out once and for all."

De Niro’s appearance served as a Democratic response to Republican lawmakers and vice presidential contenders who criticized the trial for Trump because he was gagged from commenting on witnesses or jurors. Trump’s sons Don Jr. and Eric, and daughter-in-law Lara, who is co-chair of the Republican National Committee, spoke for the former president Tuesday.

– Bart Jansen

Will Tiffany Trump, other Trump children, be at the trial Wednesday?

Trump's youngest daughter, Tiffany, attended the Manhattan criminal trial for the first time Tuesday. Trump sons Eric and Don Jr., who have attended some earlier days, were also there. It's not yet known which Trump children, if any, will come today.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner haven't attended any of the criminal trial. Barron Trump, who just graduated from high school, also hasn't attended proceedings. His parents went to his high school graduation on May 17, a day Judge Juan Merchan allowed Donald Trump to have off in the trial so he could be with his youngest child.

– Aysha Bagchi

How long will the jury take to deliberate?

No one, not even the jury, knows that yet.

First, jurors all meet in the jury room to discuss their views. They have an opportunity to send requests for clarifications or further instruction to the judge. They must come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit, or else the trial will end in a "hung jury," forcing a mistrial.

There is no limit to how long the jury can deliberate, but experts say three days would be considered a long time.

– Kinsey Crowley

Why are jury instructions important?

Judge Juan Merchan said Tuesday that he will deliver jury instructions in the morning, estimating it will take him about an hour.

Jury instructions are critical because they inform the jurors about the law to apply in the case. Small words in jury instructions can sometimes make a big difference as jurors are tasked with deciding not just what the defendant did in a given case, but also whether it's a crime.

– Aysha Bagchi

What did the defense say about Cohen on Tuesday?

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche was full of invectives for Michael Cohen as he urged jurors on Tuesday not to credit the former Trump fixer's testimony. Cohen testified that Trump authorized him to make a $130,000 hush money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election, and approved a plan to cover it up even as he reimbursed Cohen in 2017.

"He's literally like an MVP of liars," Blanche argued.

"In fact, he's also a thief," Blanche said. Cohen himself admitted on the witness stand to stealing by claiming a larger reimbursem*nt from the Trump Organization than Cohen actually paid for polling-related help for Trump.

Blanche also accused Cohen of committing a crime at the trial by lying on the witness stand. The defense lawyer pointed to text messages indicating Cohen called Trump's bodyguard on Oct. 24, 2016 about harassing calls he was getting. Confronted with the messages, Cohen largely stuck to his previous testimony, saying he believed he also spoke to Trump about hush money to Stormy Daniels during that call.

"It was a lie!" Blanche exclaimed Tuesday. "That is per-jur-y," he also said, putting emphasis on each syllable of the crime.

"He got caught red-handed," Blanche told jurors.

– Aysha Bagchi

What is Trump on trial for?

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to commit or conceal another crime. Prosecutors have said Trump was falsifying records to hide the violation of federal campaign finance laws and to hide plans to violate New York tax and election laws.

Trump wanted to hide a $130,000 hush money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels in particular, according to prosecutors. They say the payment violated federal campaign finance laws and amounted to election fraud.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump hush money trial moves into second day of jury deliberations: recap (2024)
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