The case against Donald Trump remains in the hands of the jury in New York

The case against Donald Trump remains in the hands of the jury in New York
The case against Donald Trump remains in the hands of the jury in New York

Former US President Donald Trump (C) returns from a break at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, New York, USA, May 28, 2024.

Photo: EFE – JULIA NIKHINSON / POOL

The defense and the Prosecutor’s Office in the case against Donald Trump for the irregular payment to the porn actress Stormy Daniels concluded their final arguments this Tuesday, after an 11-hour day, and on Wednesday the case will be in the hands of the jury.

According to the procedure, Judge Juan Merchan will read to the twelve members of the jury detailed instructions on what they can and cannot do while the deliberations last, and after that he will send them to deliberate behind closed doors.

The last to speak was the Prosecutor’s Office, which during the afternoon stressed that Donald Trump is surrounded by irrefutable evidence that he falsified documents to silence a porn actress and protect his presidential run in 2016.

Attorney Joshua Steinglass, in his last attempt to impress the jury before they decide whether Trump is “guilty” or “not guilty,” painted Trump as the center of this criminal trial, the first of a former president in history. from USA

“In reality, Michael Cohen – Trump’s former lawyer and right-hand man who made the payment to Daniels – was more of a ‘finder’ for the accused than his lawyer (…) A guy ‘with his boots in the mud’ who could harassing people and threatening them with lawsuits,” Steinglass noted.

The payment was made a few days before the 2016 election and, according to prosecutors, if the story of infidelity in 2006 had come to light, it could have cost Trump his electoral victory.

Cohen testified from the stand in this trial that once Trump was seated in the Oval Office of the White House, he refunded the money.

“The defendant didn’t actually pay a lawyer, but rather a porn star by funneling money through a lawyer,” Steinglass said.

The defense, for its part, in its final turn on Monday morning, had described Cohen as a compulsive liar whose only goal is to destroy Trump. Steinglass tried to dismantle that theory during his turn by pointing out that Trump’s former right-hand man never said that his former boss had a relationship with Daniels and that if his true objective was to harm the politician he would have given another statement.

A mountain of ‘irrefutable evidence’

Steinglass made a chronological review of the statements of the 22 witnesses and 300 pieces of evidence that were seen in the criminal trial and made a detailed review of the calls, messages and emails before the elections regarding the case of payments to Daniels among the members of Trump’s leadership.

He even simulated a conversation – using his hand as a telephone – between Cohen, Trump and his bodyguard.

The “irrefutable evidence,” according to Steinglass, is notes from Allen Weisselberg, then the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, about how Cohen would be paid for the money he spent to buy Daniels’ silence.

“The law is the law and it applies to everyone equally. There is no special standard for this defendant,” Steinglass recalled as he concluded his arguments.

Yawning and boredom

The judge decided to extend the day four hours longer than normal to try to conclude the final arguments of the defense and prosecutors on the same day.

Although Steinglass was always energetic, yawns were heard and seen in the Manhattan Criminal Courtroom after eleven hours of arguments.

Trump, for his part, went to his social network, Truth Social, to show – and in capital letters – a general reluctance by proclaiming his annoyance during a break: “BORING!” he wrote.

Despite the general fatigue, Judge Merchan indicated that it did not seem like a bad idea to extend the day, since the jury seemed alert and attentive to the arguments of the Prosecutor’s Office.

This Wednesday, the jury will receive instructions from Judge Merchan and must unanimously agree on the verdict, something that could take several days and, if a consensus is not reached, the judge will be forced to declare a mistrial.

 
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