Jury to begin second day of deliberations in Trump hush money trial | Donald Trump News

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Jury to begin second day of deliberations in Trump hush money trial | Donald Trump News

Jurors are expected to re-examine testimony from two witnesses and rehear judge’s instructions on how to interpret law.

Jurors in New York are set to begin a second day of deliberations in Donald Trump’s hush money trial as the United States awaits a verdict against the former president and presumptive Republican 2024 nominee that could shake November’s election.

The 12-person jury is in the spotlight after nearly two dozen witnesses testified in a New York City courtroom over the course of a more than six-week trial.

The jurors – whose identities are being kept secret for their own protection amid nationwide political tensions – are working behind closed doors.

The only clues to the direction they are taking come through requests for clarifications. They were due to start off on Thursday by re-examining testimony from two witnesses and also hear again the judge’s instructions on how to interpret the law.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, which Trump won.

Daniels has alleged she had a sexual encounter with Trump, which he denies. Prosecutors have said the payment was unlawful and aimed to shield the ex-president from negative media coverage that could have derailed his bid for the White House.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and said he is the victim of a politically motivated “witch-hunt”.

On Thursday, jurors appeared to be taking a close look at the testimony of Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, the prosecution’s star witness.

Cohen paid the $130,000 in hush money that ensured Daniels would not tell voters about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

Cohen testified that he and Trump discussed a plan to reimburse him through monthly payments disguised as legal fees – the alleged conduct that spurred the criminal charges.

Jurors have asked Judge Juan Merchan for a transcript of portions of Cohen’s testimony.

They also asked Merchan for testimony from David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid, who had told jurors he worked with Trump to suppress stories that might have hurt the businessman-turned-politician’s campaign.

Trump’s defence team has argued that the former president did nothing illegal, and his lawyers sought to paint the prosecution’s witnesses – particularly Cohen – as liars whose testimony cannot be trusted.

All 12 jurors must agree on a verdict for the judge to accept it. If they are unable to do so, the trial will be a deadlock, and Merchan will declare a mistrial.

Once jurors inform the court they have reached a verdict, Merchan will summon the parties to the courtroom. He must still affirm the verdict and enter a final judgement. Either side may also ask him to effectively overrule the jury.

If Trump is found guilty, it will likely be weeks or months until he is eventually sentenced. While the charges carry a maximum of four years in prison, experts generally agree he is more likely to face a fine, probation or community service.