Jury back in court for 2nd day of deliberations

The 12-member jury — who will decide whether former President Donald Trump is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in an attempt to prevent it from becoming public during his 2016 presidential bid — returned to the courthouse today for a second day of deliberations.

The jury, made up of seven men and five women, spent just under five hours deliberating on Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Jurors sent two notes, asking to rehear Judge Juan Merchan’s instructions and asking to rehear testimony from witnesses in the case.

It’s unclear how long deliberations will last. Trump and his legal team, as well as the prosecution, must remain in the courthouse during deliberations.

Attorneys for both sides rested their cases last week after 20 days of testimony, including that of Daniels herself and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and so-called fixer-turned-foe, who said Trump directed him to pay Daniels for her silence with the promise of reimbursement.

Below, get live updates on the case, including direct quotes and other details from media reports.

Live81 updates

  • Jury excused to continue deliberations

    With the read-back of testimony concluded and the judge having repeated his instructions on rendering a verdict, the jury left the courtroom to resume deliberations.

  • Jurors hear Michael Cohen’s testimony about Trump Tower meeting

    Another portion of testimony that the jury requested be reread concerned Michael Cohen’s account of a meeting between himself, Trump and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker in August 2015. It was at this meeting, both Cohen and Pecker testified, that the “catch and kill” agreement was hatched.

    Pecker testified that he told Trump he would “keep an eye out for anything negative,” and work to keep such stories from public view. Cohen corroborated that account.

  • Portions of David Pecker’s testimony read to the jury

    Courtroom sketch of David Pecker.Courtroom sketch of David Pecker.

    David Pecker, in this courtroom sketch. (Jane Rosenberg/File Photo/Reuters)

    Court stenographers are rereading portions of testimony from David Pecker, the former National Enquirer publisher. Here’s what he said when he took the stand during the trial:

    • Pecker revealed a 2015 plan he reached with Trump to assist his presidential campaign

    • The National Enquirer published negative stories about Trump’s rivals that were fed to the publication by members of Trump’s team

    • The publication would buy the rights to a story to ensure it wouldn’t be published, in an arrangement known as “catch and kill”

    • Pecker spent $30,000 on a story that was ultimately fake because of the potential embarrassment it could’ve caused Trump

  • Court behind the scenes

    Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom on Thursday as photojournalists take pictures of him before court resumes..Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom on Thursday as photojournalists take pictures of him before court resumes..

    Trump sits in the courtroom on Thursday morning. (Michael M. Santiago/Pool via Reuters)

    Cameras are not allowed in court, but photographers are given a small window (less than a minute) each morning to take photos of Donald Trump once he enters the room.

    Yahoo News’ David Artavia spoke to Spencer Platt of Getty Images about what that moment is like.

    “It’s kind of weird and awkward too, because the court gets really quiet. It’s just the sound of cameras and jostling photographers. You can hear a pin drop,” Platt said.

    Read more on the process of photographing Trump in his historic trial each morning here.

    Mark Peterson/Pool via ReutersMark Peterson/Pool via Reuters

    Mark Peterson/Pool via Reuters

  • Jury has multiple requests in morning note

    In a note submitted this morning, the jury is asking for Judge Juan Merchan to reread his instruction on how it should consider facts and what it can infer based on the evidence presented, according to CNN.

    The jury also asked to hear the instructions related to the charges for count one, and requested headphones to use with an evidence laptop.

  • What to expect today

    Before deliberations kick off, Judge Juan Merchan is expected to reread instructions to the jury, which jurors had requested on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

    The jury also asked to hear portions of testimony read back to them, so actual deliberations are expected to start in about an hour.

  • Court is back in session; jurors have sent a new note

    Court is back in session this morning, and Judge Juan Merchan said jurors have submitted a third note, according to reporters in the courthouse.

  • Trump’s lawyers hoping for lengthy deliberations, hung jury: ABC News

    Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York. (Seth Wenig/Pool via AP)Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York. (Seth Wenig/Pool via AP)

    Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York. (Seth Wenig/Pool via AP)

    As day one of jury deliberations wrapped up yesterday, Donald Trump’s lawyers were reportedly happy court was dismissed without a verdict. Sources told ABC News that Trump’s legal team believes the longer jurors deliberate, the more likely the case would lead to a hung jury.

    One person close to Trump’s defense told the outlet: “We want chaos … we want evidence of strong disagreements.”

    ABC News reports:

    While it wouldn’t be surprising to Trump’s team for there to be a verdict Thursday, their hope is that deliberations will extend into next week as an indication there could be serious doubts among jury members that could result in a hung jury, the sources said.

  • Here’s what happened on Wednesday

    Day one of jury deliberations in Trump’s hush money trial ended without a verdict. But the 12 jurors on the panel that will decide whether Trump is guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records did get down to work. Here’s a recap of what transpired:

    • Before court resumed, Trump attacked Judge Juan Merchan and appeared to again violate his gag order by going after witness Michael Cohen. “Kangaroo court! A corrupt and conflicted judge,” Trump wrote in all caps on Truth Social. “There was no crime, except for the bum that got caught stealing from me!”

    • When court began, Merchan instructed the jury on how they should go about rendering a verdict in the case. “You and you alone are the judges of the facts,” he said.

    • Jurors should not “speculate about matters related to sentence or punishment,” Merchan said, adding that he alone would be responsible for deciding those questions if Trump was found guilty.

    • “If you are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the charged crime, you must find the defendant not guilty,” Merchan told the jury.

    • Merchan then went over the specific charges Trump is facing. “A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when with intent to defraud, which includes the intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof, he makes or causes a false entry in the records of a business enterprise.” He then sent the jury to begin their deliberations.

    • After nearly four hours, the jury sent the court two notes. One requested that portions of the testimony be reread. The second asked the judge to repeat his instructions.

  • Judge dismisses jury for the day

    Judge Juan Merchan has dismissed the jury for the day. Jurors had been brought back into the courtroom to have testimony they requested reread, but the court had not finished compiling all of that material.

    Merchan advised them not to discuss the case or to read about it. And with that, the first day of deliberations ended without a verdict.

    Deliberations will pick back up again at 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday.

  • Jurors return to courtroom

    The jury has returned to the courtroom to hear portions of the trial testimony read from the transcripts.

  • Jury sends judge a 2nd note

    As the court prepared to reread testimony requested by the jury, Judge Juan Merchan announced that the jury had sent him a second note requesting clarification on his instructions for rendering a verdict.

    “We did just receive another note,” Merchan said, according to CNN, who then read what it stated: “We the jury request to rehear the judge’s instructions.”

  • Pro-Trump supporters and protesters clash outside courthouse

  • Jury will be brought back into courtroom to rehear portions of testimony

    After receiving a note from the jury requesting to rehear certain portions of the trial testimony, Judge Juan Merchan said the jurors would be brought back into the court and that those sections would be read aloud from court transcripts.

  • Attorneys, Trump and judge return to courtroom after jury sends its first note

    After a bell rang, signaling that the jurors had sent their first note while deliberating, attorneys for the prosecution and defense, as well as Trump and Judge Juan Merchan, all returned to the courtroom.

    “We received a note,” Merchan told the parties.

    According to the New York Times, the note contained requests for four items:

    • Testimony regarding a conversation between National Enquirer chief David Pecker and Trump

    • Pecker’s testimony regarding the decision not to finalize an agreement with former Playboy model Karen McDougal

    • Testimony that Pecker delivered about his meeting with Trump at Trump Tower

    • Michael Cohen’s testimony about the same meeting

  • Supreme Court Justice Alito tells Democratic senators he won’t recuse himself from Trump cases

    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and his wife, Martha-Ann AlitoSupreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito

    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

    While the jury in Trump’s hush money trial began their deliberations, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made clear that he has no intention of recusing himself from decisions that will affect separate criminal cases involving the former president.

    Alito sent a letter Wednesday to Democratic senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, both of whom asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to ensure Alito recuses himself in any case relating to the 2020 election, informing them that he would do no such thing.

    Durbin and Whitehouse had cited a flag controversy as grounds for Alito’s recusal from matters before the Supreme Court, such as whether presidential immunity protects Trump from being prosecuted for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.

    While Alito acknowledged that his wife had flown flags associated with the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” campaign, he said that that fact did not justify his recusal.

    “A reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude that this event does not meet the standards for recusal,” Alito wrote in his letter. “I am therefore duty-bound to reject your recusal request.”

  • Test your knowledge of the case

  • Test your knowledge of the case

  • Here’s what happens now

    The 12 jurors — seven men and five women — started deliberating at 11:28 a.m. ET. Here’s what happens now:

    • The jurors have a laptop to review any evidence if needed.

    • The jury does not have printed jury instructions and will have to ask Judge Merchan to read them back in part, or in whole, as needed.

    • The jurors handed in their cellphones and electronic devices to a court officer before they began deliberations.

    • There are six alternate jurors; they are not part of jury deliberations. They cannot be excused, in case one of them is needed to replace one of the original 12 jurors. They must go to a separate room and hand in their cellphones and electronic devices while the jury deliberates.

    • The judge said jurors will work until 4:30 p.m. ET today. Beyond that, Merchan will reevaluate how long deliberations will go each day.

    • Trump and attorneys for the defense and prosecution must remain at the courthouse during jury deliberations.

    • Any verdict, guilty or not guilty, must be reached unanimously by all 12 jurors.

    • There’s no telling how long jury deliberations will take — it could take days, or even weeks.

    • If Trump is found guilty on just one count, the former president will be sentenced at a later date. If Trump is found not guilty on all counts, he will be acquitted.

    • If jurors cannot reach a unanimous decision, Merchan will urge them to continue deliberations.

    • If the jury remains deadlocked, it will result in a hung jury, which means a mistrial is declared. At that point, the prosecution would have to decide whether to bring the case against Trump again.

  • What Trump told reporters as jury began deliberations

    Trump makes remarks outside the courtroom on Wednesday. (Doug Mills/Reuters) Trump makes remarks outside the courtroom on Wednesday. (Doug Mills/Reuters)

    Trump makes remarks outside the courtroom on Wednesday. (Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters)

    Trump spoke to reporters as jury deliberations got underway. He started off by laying into Judge Juan Merchan and complained about the 34 felony charges against him, saying, “Mother Teresa could not beat these charges,” referring to the Catholic saint known for her missionary work.

    The former president meandered into talking about President Biden, blaming him for the trial and the status of the southern border. He quickly transitioned into berating Robert De Niro, who spoke on behalf of the Biden campaign outside the Manhattan courthouse Tuesday, calling the actor a “broken-down fool.”

    Trump also complained about how the hush money trial has taken him away from the campaign trail, calling it an “unfair trial.”

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