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Jury Announces Verdict In Trump ‘Hush Money’ Trial

via Forbes

In the case of New York v. Trump, the jury found former President Trump guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought these charges against Trump. Despite pleading not guilty to all charges, each count carries a maximum prison sentence of 4 years.

Judge Juan Merchan allowed the jury to announce their verdict in court after deliberating.

The prosecution had to demonstrate that Trump altered these records to hide a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic actress, to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006 leading up to the 2016 election.

Defense attorneys for former President Trump said he is innocent, did not commit any crimes and that Bragg “did not meet the burden of proof. Period.”

“President Trump is innocent. He did not commit any crimes. The district attorney did not meet the burden of proof. Period,” Trump’s attorney stated.

“This case is about documents; it is a paper case,” Trump’s lawyer said. “This case is not about an encounter with Stormy Daniels 18 years ago. It is not even about a nondisclosure agreement signed eight years ago.”

“The answer? The bookings were accurate and there was no intent to defraud and there was no conspiracy to influence the 2016 election,” Trump’s lawyer added. “The proof doesn’t add up.”

“The records are not false and there was no intent to defraud,” he said.

“You cannot send someone to prison based upon the words of Michael Cohen,” Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, said. “If you do that, this is a very quick and easy not-guilty verdict.”

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass emphasized in his closing argument that the evidence presented against Trump was strong, highlighting Trump’s intent to defraud.

The prosecution argued that Trump’s elaborate scheme to pay Stormy Daniels indirectly pointed to his involvement. Steinglass defended the use of Michael Cohen as a witness, stating that Cohen’s knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump Organization was crucial.

The defense contended that there was no evidence connecting Trump to falsification of business records, attempting to dismiss the case after Cohen’s testimony.

Cohen testified that he personally made a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet before the election, following Trump’s instructions. Trump’s defense denied directing Cohen to make the payment.

Cohen stated he was reimbursed $420,000, with Trump’s knowledge of the details.

The prosecution showed 11 checks totaling $420,000, described as a “retainer,” which Cohen confirmed receiving and depositing, highlighting potential false information.

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