HomeNewsJudge in Trump case gives shocking final words ahead of the ruling

Judge in Trump case gives shocking final words ahead of the ruling

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It all comes down to this. The ruling in the Trump criminal trial will be handed down any day.

And Judge Merchan had a shocking final few words that are raising everyone’s eyebrows.

Judge Juan Merchan provided crucial guidance to the jury on Wednesday regarding the legal framework they must use to decide the guilt or innocence of former President Donald Trump. The jury’s deliberations, starting the same day, could swiftly lead to a verdict, though no time limit constrains their decision-making process.

In his instructions, Merchan clarified that jurors do not need to agree on the specific “unlawful” methods prosecutors allege Trump employed to influence the 2016 presidential election. “You are the judges of the facts, and you are responsible for deciding whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty,” he told the jury, according to The New York Times.

Trump faces 34 counts of allegedly falsifying business records connected to reimbursements made to his former attorney, Michael Cohen. These payments supposedly included $130,000 intended to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels about her claims of an affair with Trump, which allegedly occurred just before the 2016 election. The charges encompass 11 checks, 11 invoices, and 12 ledger entries.

It’s worth noting, however, that during the case Stormy Daniels admitted that she at multiple times was willing to sign documents that swore she never had any affair with former President Trump and never received hush money payments. She admitted it was in fact her who signed the documents brought up in the trial.

To elevate these charges to felonies, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg argued they were committed with the intent to conceal or further another crime, specifically violating New York election law, which classifies conspiring to influence an election through “unlawful means” as a misdemeanor.

Merchan elaborated on the concept of “intent to defraud,” describing it as a “conscious objective or purpose” and stating it could be a “general intent” to deceive “any person or entity,” based on multiple reports. Prosecutors assert that the Daniels payment was part of a broader scheme by Trump to influence the election through illegal methods.

Judge Merchan identified three potential crimes that jurors could consider as the “unlawful” means: violating the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), falsifying other business records, or engaging in tax fraud. Importantly, jurors need not unanimously agree on which specific unlawful act Trump used, according to The New York Times.

Merchan provided further context by noting that payments not directly linked to an individual’s status as a political candidate should not be considered campaign contributions. Additionally, he stated that media activities are not regarded as contributions if they are part of normal, legitimate press functions, according to CNN.

The judge also emphasized that certain evidence is admissible solely for specific purposes, such as assessing witness credibility or offering context, rather than as direct indications of guilt. If jurors determine a witness has “intentionally testified falsely,” they are permitted to disregard all or part of that testimony. He stressed that Trump cannot be convicted based solely on Cohen’s testimony without corroborating evidence, as Cohen is considered “an accomplice.”

The jury consists of seven men and five women, including two attorneys. They will deliberate on whether the actions attributed to Trump and detailed in the evidence meet the legal standards for conviction as explained by Judge Merchan. The outcome of their deliberations remains to be seen, but many believe it’s going to be hard to actually convict Donald Trump here.

Even if the jury is somehow all on board with convicting Donald Trump with a guilty ruling on some or all of the counts presented, legal experts are skeptical that this would stick at all in the higher courts.

Donald Trump would most certainly appeal and the appellate court system would be tasked with considering whether the ruling was reached fairly. Usually the higher courts are much more scrutinous than the lower courts below them, and it’s hard to imagine a conviction would stand up under scrutiny here.

There’s about as much evidence here that Donald Trump committed a crime involving Stormy Daniels as there is that Thomas Jefferson was a reptile-man, which is to say there’s next to none.

That’s why a jury concluding Trump is guilty here would be so hard to swallow.

The Conservative Column will update our readers right when the jury conclusion is reached.

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