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Trump on Trial: Jury Deliberates as Verdict Looms in Hush Money Scandal

Daniel Kim Views  

Reuters-Yonhap News

Bloomberg reported on the 29th that the jury in the criminal trial of allegations regarding Donald Trump paying hush money regarding a sexual misconduct accusation began closed-door deliberations to determine Trump’s guilt or innocence.

Trump is currently on trial for allegedly paying $130,000 through Michael Cohen, using company funds, to silence former adult film star Stormy Daniels’ sexual relationship allegations, then manipulating the books. Prosecutors filed 34 charges against the former president in connection to this case.

The trial spanned for six weeks, concluding in fierce final arguments between the prosecution and Trump. Trump’s defense team spent two hours, and the prosecution spent four hours and forty minutes trying to sway the jury.

All that awaits now is the jury’s verdict and the judge’s ruling. Composed of 12 Manhattan residents, the jury will deliberate based on the evidence and testimonies presented during the trial, aiming for a unanimous decision. The conclusion is expected as early as this week, but no later than mid-June.

Before deliberations, Judge Juan Merchan of the New York Manhattan Criminal Court, overseeing the trial, emphasized to the jury the importance of “setting aside any personal opinions or prejudices about former President Trump.”

Local. media focused on the 12-member jury list. The jury selection process lasted several days as both the prosecution and Trump’s defense team exercised their right to reject candidates several times to ensure fairness out of over 100 candidates.

Composed of seven men and five women, the jury is made up of downtown Manhattan residents, including lawyers, engineers, financial workers, and other relatively high-income individuals.

Should the jury reach a guilty verdict, the judge will decide the sentence at a later date. This is one of four criminal trials in which former President Trump has been indicted. If found guilty, imprisonment, probation, fines, etc., may be imposed, inevitably impacting the presidential election. The New York Times (NYT) reported that if convicted, former President Trump could face probation or up to four years in prison.

If the jury does not reach a unanimous decision, the deliberations are declared invalid. If such scenario, the prosecution may opt for a retrial, although it remains uncertain whether a retrial could take place before the November election.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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