Trump trial: Trump found guilty on all counts in historic case

Trump trial: Trump found guilty on all counts in historic case
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(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump has been found guilty on all 34 felony counts related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been convicted on criminal charges.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

May 30, 6:58 PM
Manhattan DA thanks jurors, hails verdict

At a post-verdict news conference, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the case against Trump, thanked the jurors.

“We should all be thankful for the careful attention that this jury paid to the evidence and the law, and their time and commitment over these past several weeks,” Bragg said.

“Twelve everyday New Yorkers, and of course our alternates, heard testimony from 22 witnesses, including former and current employees of the defendant, media executives, book publishers, custodians of records and others. They reviewed call logs, text messages and emails. They heard recordings. They saw checks and invoices, bank statements and calendar appointments,” Bragg said.

“Their deliberations led them to a unanimous conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt,” Bragg said.

“While this defendant may be unlike any other in American history, we arrived at this trial — and ultimately today at this verdict — in the same manner as every other case that comes through the courtroom doors: by following the facts and the law, and doing so without fear or favor,” Bragg said.

May 30, 6:31 PM
Trump waves, pumps fist outside Trump Tower

When former President Donald Trump returned to Trump Tower after court, he greeted those standing outside the Midtown building, waving and pumping his fist.

In a written statement, Trump called Judge Juan Merchan “corrupt” and twice called him “conflicted.”

“This was a rigged decision right from Day 1,” Trump said.

“We didn’t do a thing wrong. I’m a very innocent man,” he said.

Trump will attend a fundraiser in New York Thursday night for his 2024 campaign. The former president will stay at Trump Tower Thursday night, then is scheduled to hold a news conference there at 11 a.m. ET Friday.

May 30, 6:14 PM
Stormy Daniels ‘relieved’ case is over

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, one of the star witnesses for the prosecution, is “relieved” the case is over, her attorney Clark Brewster said in a statement.

“No man is above the law, and the selfless hardworking service of each of these jurors should be respected and appreciated,” Brewster said.

Daniels, whose hush money payment was at the center of the case, provided some of the most gripping testimony of the trial, describing in detail her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Donald Trump, which he denies.

May 30, 6:02 PM
‘The truth always matters,’ Michael Cohen says

The prosecution’s star witness, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, called today’s verdict “an important day for accountability and the rule of law.”

“While it has been a difficult journey for me and my family, the truth always matters,” he said.

May 30, 5:57 PM
‘The fix was always in,’ says Trump adviser

Two senior Trump advisers who ABC News spoke with were extremely angry after the verdict.

Both said they were not surprised by the jury’s decision. One said, “The fix was always in,” and the other added, “Not surprised — it’s New York.”

Donald Trump Jr., reacting to his father’s guilty verdict, said, “The Democrats have succeeded in their yearslong attempt to turn America into a third-world s—hole. Nov. 5 is our last chance to save it.”

May 30, 5:40 PM
Biden campaign reacts to verdict

The guilty verdict shows “no one is above the law,” a representative for President Joe Biden’s campaign said, adding, “But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box.”

“Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president,” Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign, said in a statement.

“A second Trump term means chaos, ripping away Americans’ freedoms and fomenting political violence — and the American people will reject it this November,” Tyler said.

The White House offered a very brief comment, with a White House Counsel’s Office spokesperson saying, “We respect the rule of law, and have no additional comment.”

Among the congressional response, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who traveled to Manhattan days ago to support Trump at the trial, said in a statement, “Today is a shameful day in American history. Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon.”

“President Trump will rightfully appeal this absurd verdict — and he WILL WIN!” Johnson said.

May 30, 5:34 PM
Trump campaign is fundraising off verdict: ‘I’m a political prisoner!’

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign is already fundraising off of the guilty verdicts in his hush money trial, telling his supporters he has been convicted in a “rigged” trial.

“I was just convicted in a RIGGED political Witch Hunt trial: I DID NOTHING WRONG!” a fundraising email said. “They’ve raided my home, arrested me, took my mugshot, AND NOW THEY’VE JUST CONVICTED ME!” the email continues.

The email links to a fundraising page, in which Trump told his supporters, “I’m a political prisoner!”

May 30, 5:31 PM
Trump says he’s ‘very innocent’ after guilty verdicts

After he was found guilty on all counts in his historic criminal hush money case, former President Donald Trump angrily walked out of the courtroom and said, “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5, by the people. And they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here.”

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial,” the former president told reporters. “I’m a very innocent man.”

Trump blamed the Biden administration and Judge Juan Merchan.

“This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent, a political opponent, and I think it’s a just a disgrace,” he said, without evidence. “And we’ll keep fighting, we’ll fight ’til the end and we’ll win.”

“This was a rigged decision right from day one, with a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case — never. And we will fight for our Constitution,” he said.

May 30, 5:28 PM
Trump departs, sentencing set for July 11

Sentencing has been set for July 11.

The Republican National Convention begins July 15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Former President Donald Trump was released without bail.

Trump marched out of the courtroom, flinging his arms as he walked.

May 30, 5:25 PM
Judge thanks jurors for ‘stressful’ task

Judge Merchan thanked the jurors for their service after the verdict.

“I can see how involved, engaged and invested you were in this process,” he said.

“You were engaged in a very stressful and difficult task. … I want you to know I really admire your dedication, your hard work,” Merchan said.

Trump sat motionless as the judge spoke to the jurors.

Merchan’s last words to the jurors were, “You are excused with the gratitude of the court. Thank you.”

May 30, 5:20 PM
Trump shakes head at verdict

Former President Donald Trump started slowly shaking his head at count 4, then stopped and sat motionless as the rest of the guilty verdicts were read.

As the last five counts were read, Trump was entirely stone-faced, with his lips pursed, looking down at the floor.

Trump at some points looked over at the jurors.

A group of demonstrators outside the courthouse cheered and shouted “lock him up” and “USA” after the verdict was read.

May 30, 5:17 PM
Verdict breakdown by count

Former President Trump was convicted on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in order to hide a hush money payment to boost his prospects in the 2016 election. Here are each of the records he was charged with falsifying, and the verdict for each.

1) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Feb. 14, 2017 – GUILTY

2) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust on or about Feb. 14, 2017 – GUILTY

3) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust on or about Feb. 14, 2017 – GUILTY

4) A Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust Account check and check stub dated Feb. 14, 2017 – GUILTY

5) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Feb. 16, 2017 and transmitted on or about March 16, 2017 – GUILTY

6) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust on or about March 17, 2017 – GUILTY

7) A Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust Account check and check stub dated March 17, 2017 – GUILTY

8) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated April 13, 2017 – GUILTY

9) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about June 19, 2017 – GUILTY

10) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated June 19, 2017 – GUILTY

11) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated May 22, 2017 – GUILTY

12) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about May 22, 2017 – GUILTY

13) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated May 23, 2017 – GUILTY

14) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated June 16, 2017 – GUILTY

15) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about June 19, 2017 – GUILTY

16) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated June 19, 2017 – GUILTY

17) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated July 11, 2017 – GUILTY

18) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about July 11, 2017 – GUILTY

19) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated July 11, 2017 – GUILTY

20) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Aug. 1, 2017 – GUILTY

21) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about Aug. 1, 2017 – GUILTY

22) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Aug. 1, 2017 – GUILTY

23) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Sept. 11, 2017 – GUILTY

24) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about Sept. 11, 2017 – GUILTY

25) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Sept. 12, 2017 – GUILTY

26) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Oct. 18, 2017 – GUILTY

27) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about Oct. 18, 2017 – GUILTY

28) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Oct. 18, 2017 – GUILTY

29) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Nov. 20, 2017 – GUILTY

30) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about Nov. 20, 2017 – GUILTY

31) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Nov. 21, 2017 – GUILTY

32) An invoice from Michael Cohen dated Dec. 1, 2017 – GUILTY

33) An entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump on or about Dec. 1, 2017 – GUILTY

34) A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Dec. 5, 2017 – GUILTY

May 30, 5:07 PM
Trump found guilty on all counts in historic case

Former President Trump has been found guilty on all counts in his historic criminal hush money case.

As the first former president charged with a criminal offense, Trump also now becomes the first former president to be convicted of a crime.

May 30, 4:52 PM
Trump stone-faced as he awaits verdict

Donald Trump, awaiting the verdict that will be read at around 5 p.m. ET, sat at the defense table, arms very tightly crossed. He was stone-faced, nodding as his attorney Todd Blanche whispered into his ear.

The top court officer entered the courtroom, looked around, and walked out.

DA Alvin Bragg subsequently entered the courtroom.

May 30, 4:40 PM
Verdict has been reached, judge says

Judge Merchan announced that a verdict has been reached.

The jury requested an extra 30 minutes, Merchan said.

“Please let there be no outbursts, no reactions of any kind when we take the verdict,” Merchan asked.

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom when Merchan announced that a verdict had been reached.

May 30, 12:55 PM
Court recesses for lunch

Court has recessed for lunch, with the jury pausing their deliberations.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume after the break, at 2:15 p.m. ET.

May 30, 12:27 PM
Trump, on social media, says ‘I don’t buy stories’

While the jury deliberates, Trump — from the courthouse — posted to social media about the readback that the jury just heard.

During the readback, the jury heard former National Enquirer publisher testify about a June 2016 phone call he had with Trump after Playboy model Karen McDougal came forward with a story of a year-long affair with Trump, which Trump has steadfastly denied.

“This story about Karen, since she’s claiming that she has a relationship with you, should be taken off the market,” Pecker recounted telling Trump — to which Trump replied, “I don’t normally — I don’t buy stories because it always gets out.”

“I still think you should buy the story,” Pecker testified that he told Trump, to which Trump replied, “I’ll speak to Michael, and he’ll get back to you.”

In his social media post, Trump said, “Testimony conclusively showed that I clearly stated, “I DON’T BUY STORIES!” — Not that there would be anything wrong with doing that — NDA’s [nondisclosure agreements] are PERFECTLY LEGAL AND COMMON!”

Pecker testified that the National Enquirer eventually paid McDougal $150,000 to catch and kill her story so it would not become public, under the expectation that the money would be reimbursed by Trump — although the reimbursement never materialized.

-Kelsey Walsh

May 30, 11:26 AM
Jury resumes deliberations after readbacks

At the conclusion of the readback, Judge Merchan asked the jury if he had satisfied both their requests.

“Yes sir,” the jury foreman said.

The Trump wrote another note and threw it at Blanche.

The note landed in Blanche’s lap, where he picked it up and read it.

May 30, 10:57 AM
Jury rehears Pecker’s testimony about Trump, National Enquirer

The jury heard a readback of David Pecker’s testimony about Donald Trump dating the “most beautiful women,” the National Enquirer’s coverage of Bill Clinton’s “womanizing,” and the “mutually beneficial” relationship between the tabloid and the Trump campaign.

Q: Can you explain to the jury how the topic of women in particular came up?

A: Well, in a presidential campaign I was the person that thought that there would be a number — a lot of women come out to try to sell their stories, because Mr. Trump was well-known as the most eligible bachelor and dated the most beautiful women. And it was clear that based on my past experience, that when someone is running for a public office like this, the — it is very common for these women to call up a magazine like the National Enquirer to try to sell their stories. Or I would hear it in the marketplace through other sources that stories are being marketed.

Q: Did you have or express any ideas about how you may be able to help kind of deal with those stories by women?

A: All I said was I would notify Michael Cohen.

Q: What about Bill and Hillary Clinton, did their names up during this meeting?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you explain how?

A: As I mentioned earlier, my having the National Enquirer, which is a weekly magazine, and you focus on the cover of the magazine and who — and who and what is the story that is the topic of the week, the Hillary running for president and Bill Clinton’s womanizing was the biggest, one of the biggest sales I had for the National Enquirer and the other tabloids, that’s the other things that the readers wanted to read about and that’s what I would sell weekly. So I was running the Hillary Clinton stories. I was running Hillary as an enabler for Bill Clinton, with respect to all of the womanizing. And I was — it was easy for me to say that I’m going to continue running those type of stories for the National Enquirer.

Q: And did you believe that that would help Mr. Trump’s campaign?

A: I think it was a mutual benefit. It would help his campaign; it would also help me.

The jury also heard the testimony where Pecker testified that he never purchased stories to kill for Trump prior to the 2016 election.

Q: And what was the purpose of notifying Michael Cohen when you came upon stories like that?

A: Well, as I did in the past, that would be in the past eight years, when I notified Michael Cohen of a story that was a negative story, he would try to vet it himself to see if the story was true or not. He would go to the individual publication to get the story to make sure the story wasn’t published and getting killed.

Q: Prior to that August 2015 meeting, had you ever purchased a story to not print it about Mr. Trump?

A: No.

May 30, 10:50 AM
Court reporters read out Pecker testimony about 2015 meeting

The court reporters read out the first portion of the testimony about David Pecker’s recollection of the August 2015 Trump Tower meeting.

His testimony is as follows:

At that meeting, Donald Trump and Michael, they asked me what can I do and what my magazines could do to help the campaign. So thinking about it, as I did previously, I said what I would do is I would run or publish positive stories about Mr. Trump and I would publish negative stories about his opponents. And I said that I would also be the eyes and ears of your – I said I would be your eyes and ears because I know that the Trump Organization had a very small staff. And then I said that anything that I hear in the marketplace, if I hear anything negative about yourself or if I hear anything about women selling stories, I would notify Michael Cohen, as I did over the last several years, I would notify Michael Cohen and then he would be able to have them kill in another magazine or have them not be published or somebody would have to purchase them.

May 30, 10:47 AM
Court reporters read out Pecker testimony about McDougal

The court reporters read out the first portion of the testimony about David Pecker’s recollection of why the deal to transfer the life rights of Karen McDougal’s story to Trump fell through.

His testimony is as follows:

I called Michael Cohen, and I said to him that the agreement, the assignment deal is off. I am not going forward. It is a bad idea, and I want you to rip up the agreement. He was very, very, angry. Very upset. Screaming, basically, at me. And I said, I am not going forward with this agreement. Rip it up. And he said, excuse me, Michael Cohen said, The Boss is going to be very angry at you. I said, I am sorry. I am not going forward. The deal is off. And he said, I can’t believe it. I am a lawyer. I am your friend. I don’t understand why you are so concerned. I said, I am very concerned, and I am not going forward, period. And I said, are you going to rip it up or not? And he said, I will take care of it.

May 30, 10:39 AM
Court reporters read out Pecker’s testimony about Trump call

The court reporters read out the portions of then-National Enquirer publisher David Pecker’s testimony about his June 2016 call with Trump, under questioning from prosecutors.

Q: And could you tell us about the conversation you had that day with Donald Trump?

A: Yes. When I got on the phone, Mr. Trump said to me: “I spoke to Michael. Karen is a nice girl.” “Is it true that a Mexican group is looking to buy her story for 8 million dollars?” I said — I said: “I absolutely don’t believe that there is a Mexican group out there to buy a story for $8 million dollars.” And then he said: “What do you think I should do?” I said: “I think you should buy the story and take it off the market.”

Q: So when the subject of Karen McDougal came up, Donald Trump described her as a nice girl?

A: Yes.

Q: Based on your conversation with Mr. Trump, did you have an understanding as to whether he was aware of the specifics of Karen McDougal’s description of the affair?

A Yes, I did.

Q: What made you come to such an understanding?

A: I think that Michael Cohen gave him the — spoke to Donald Trump, which he said he was going to — which — excuse me — which Donald Trump said on the phone that, “I spoke to Michael.” And I believe that when Mr. Trump said that to me over the phone that she was a nice girl, I believe that he knew who she was —

Q: Why would you recommend to Donald Trump purchasing the story?

A: I believed the story was true. I think that it would have been very embarrassing to himself and also to his campaign.

Q: After your conversation with Donald Trump, did you have another conversation with Michael Cohen?

A: Yes. On the conversation with Donald Trump, he said to me, clearly, that he doesn’t buy stories because it always gets out. And he said to me that Michael Cohen would be calling me. He was going to speak to Michael and he would be calling me back.

A: I said that — that, “This story about Karen, since she’s claiming that she has a relationship with you, should be taken off the market.” And Mr. Trump said, “I don’t normally — I don’t buy stories because it always gets out.” And then I said, “I still think you should buy the story.” And Mr. Trump said to me, “I’ll speak to Michael, and he’ll get back to you.”

Q: And so, as you sit here today, you remember that during that conversation, you said to President Trump: It is my understanding that she doesn’t want her story published?

A: (Pause). Yes. I did. I remember saying that.

The Trump wrote another note and threw it at Blanche.

The note landed in Blanche’s lap, where he picked it up and read it.

May 30, 10:57 AM
Jury rehears Pecker’s testimony about Trump, National Enquirer

The jury heard a readback of David Pecker’s testimony about Donald Trump dating the “most beautiful women,” the National Enquirer’s coverage of Bill Clinton’s “womanizing,” and the “mutually beneficial” relationship between the tabloid and the Trump campaign.

Q: Can you explain to the jury how the topic of women in particular came up?

A: Well, in a presidential campaign I was the person that thought that there would be a number — a lot of women come out to try to sell their stories, because Mr. Trump was well-known as the most eligible bachelor and dated the most beautiful women. And it was clear that based on my past experience, that when someone is running for a public office like this, the — it is very common for these women to call up a magazine like the National Enquirer to try to sell their stories. Or I would hear it in the marketplace through other sources that stories are being marketed.

Q: Did you have or express any ideas about how you may be able to help kind of deal with those stories by women?

A: All I said was I would notify Michael Cohen.

Q: What about Bill and Hillary Clinton, did their names up during this meeting?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you explain how?

A: As I mentioned earlier, my having the National Enquirer, which is a weekly magazine, and you focus on the cover of the magazine and who — and who and what is the story that is the topic of the week, the Hillary running for president and Bill Clinton’s womanizing was the biggest, one of the biggest sales I had for the National Enquirer and the other tabloids, that’s the other things that the readers wanted to read about and that’s what I would sell weekly. So I was running the Hillary Clinton stories. I was running Hillary as an enabler for Bill Clinton, with respect to all of the womanizing. And I was — it was easy for me to say that I’m going to continue running those type of stories for the National Enquirer.

Q: And did you believe that that would help Mr. Trump’s campaign?

A: I think it was a mutual benefit. It would help his campaign; it would also help me.

The jury also heard the testimony where Pecker testified that he never purchased stories to kill for Trump prior to the 2016 election.

Q: And what was the purpose of notifying Michael Cohen when you came upon stories like that?

A: Well, as I did in the past, that would be in the past eight years, when I notified Michael Cohen of a story that was a negative story, he would try to vet it himself to see if the story was true or not. He would go to the individual publication to get the story to make sure the story wasn’t published and getting killed.

Q: Prior to that August 2015 meeting, had you ever purchased a story to not print it about Mr. Trump?

A: No.

May 30, 10:50 AM
Court reporters read out Pecker testimony about 2015 meeting

The court reporters read out the first portion of the testimony about David Pecker’s recollection of the August 2015 Trump Tower meeting.

His testimony is as follows:

At that meeting, Donald Trump and Michael, they asked me what can I do and what my magazines could do to help the campaign. So thinking about it, as I did previously, I said what I would do is I would run or publish positive stories about Mr. Trump and I would publish negative stories about his opponents. And I said that I would also be the eyes and ears of your – I said I would be your eyes and ears because I know that the Trump Organization had a very small staff. And then I said that anything that I hear in the marketplace, if I hear anything negative about yourself or if I hear anything about women selling stories, I would notify Michael Cohen, as I did over the last several years, I would notify Michael Cohen and then he would be able to have them kill in another magazine or have them not be published or somebody would have to purchase them.

May 30, 10:47 AM
Court reporters read out Pecker testimony about McDougal

The court reporters read out the first portion of the testimony about David Pecker’s recollection of why the deal to transfer the life rights of Karen McDougal’s story to Trump fell through.

His testimony is as follows:

I called Michael Cohen, and I said to him that the agreement, the assignment deal is off. I am not going forward. It is a bad idea, and I want you to rip up the agreement. He was very, very, angry. Very upset. Screaming, basically, at me. And I said, I am not going forward with this agreement. Rip it up. And he said, excuse me, Michael Cohen said, The Boss is going to be very angry at you. I said, I am sorry. I am not going forward. The deal is off. And he said, I can’t believe it. I am a lawyer. I am your friend. I don’t understand why you are so concerned. I said, I am very concerned, and I am not going forward, period. And I said, are you going to rip it up or not? And he said, I will take care of it.

May 30, 10:39 AM
Court reporters read out Pecker’s testimony about Trump call

The court reporters read out the portions of then-National Enquirer publisher David Pecker’s testimony about his June 2016 call with Trump, under questioning from prosecutors.

Q: And could you tell us about the conversation you had that day with Donald Trump?

A: Yes. When I got on the phone, Mr. Trump said to me: “I spoke to Michael. Karen is a nice girl.” “Is it true that a Mexican group is looking to buy her story for 8 million dollars?” I said — I said: “I absolutely don’t believe that there is a Mexican group out there to buy a story for $8 million dollars.” And then he said: “What do you think I should do?” I said: “I think you should buy the story and take it off the market.”

Q: So when the subject of Karen McDougal came up, Donald Trump described her as a nice girl?

A: Yes.

Q: Based on your conversation with Mr. Trump, did you have an understanding as to whether he was aware of the specifics of Karen McDougal’s description of the affair?

A Yes, I did.

Q: What made you come to such an understanding?

A: I think that Michael Cohen gave him the — spoke to Donald Trump, which he said he was going to — which — excuse me — which Donald Trump said on the phone that, “I spoke to Michael.” And I believe that when Mr. Trump said that to me over the phone that she was a nice girl, I believe that he knew who she was —

Q: Why would you recommend to Donald Trump purchasing the story?

A: I believed the story was true. I think that it would have been very embarrassing to himself and also to his campaign.

Q: After your conversation with Donald Trump, did you have another conversation with Michael Cohen?

A: Yes. On the conversation with Donald Trump, he said to me, clearly, that he doesn’t buy stories because it always gets out. And he said to me that Michael Cohen would be calling me. He was going to speak to Michael and he would be calling me back.

A: I said that — that, “This story about Karen, since she’s claiming that she has a relationship with you, should be taken off the market.” And Mr. Trump said, “I don’t normally — I don’t buy stories because it always gets out.” And then I said, “I still think you should buy the story.” And Mr. Trump said to me, “I’ll speak to Michael, and he’ll get back to you.”

Q: And so, as you sit here today, you remember that during that conversation, you said to President Trump: It is my understanding that she doesn’t want her story published?

A: (Pause). Yes. I did. I remember saying that.

May 30, 10:35 AM
Court reporters begin reading back testimony

Judge Merchan concluded the rereading of the jury instruction. The jury foreman confirmed in open court that the readback of the instructions were responsive to the jury’s note.

The court reporters then began reading the transcript portions, with two court reporters role playing the transcript — one playing the prosecutor and the other playing David Pecker.

Trump looked around, craning his neck, and then began listening to the testimony.

May 30, 10:24 AM
Merchan re-explains legal theory of case

Judge Merchan again explained the legal theory at the center of the case.

Prosecutors allege that Trump falsified business records in order to hide a violation of New York election law.

“Under our law, a person is guilty of such a conspiracy when, with intent that conduct be performed that would promote or prevent the election of a person to public office by unlawful means, he or she agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct,” Merchan said.

Prosecutors offered three theories about the unlawful means: a tax crime, falsification of bank records, or campaign finance violations. The jury does not need to be unanimous about which theory they believe.

“Although you must conclude unanimously that the defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were,” Merchan said.

In a social media post last night, Trump falsely claimed Judge Merchan was “not requiring a unanimous decision” in the case. Merchan reiterated that the jury does indeed need to be in full agreement about their verdict that Trump falsified business records in furtherance of another crime — but they don’t have to agree on which of the three proposed unlawful means were used to corrupt the election.

Trump, at the defense table, dozed off for a few minutes as Merchan continued his reread. Trump’s head was resting on his chest. He then jolted up, shaking his head.

May 30, 10:20 AM
Judge rereads the law on Count 1

Judge Merchan reread the law on Count 1 against Trump.

“Under our law, a person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when, with intent to defraud that includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof, that person makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise,” he said.

He then read definitions of enterprise, business record, intent, and other terms used in the description.

May 30, 10:16 AM
Jury again hears about Cohen being an accomplice

Judge Merchan reread the portion of the instructions about Michael Cohen’s testimony because he is an “accomplice” the in alleged crime.

This is a standard legal instruction about the testimony of an accomplice. Per the instructions, the jury cannot convict based solely on Cohen’s testimony unless it is corroborated by evidence. If he testified about something to which there is no other evidence or testimony, the jury cannot convict on that testimony alone.

Those instructions read as follows:

Under our law, Michael Cohen is an accomplice because there is evidence that he participated in a crime based upon conduct involved in the allegations here against the defendant.

Our law is especially concerned about the testimony of an accomplice who implicates another in the commission of a crime, particularly when the accomplice has received, expects or hopes for a benefit in return for his testimony.

Therefore, our law provides that a defendant may not be convicted of any crime upon the testimony of an accomplice unless it is supported by corroborative evidence tending to connect the defendant with the commission of that crime.

In other words, even if you find the testimony of Michael Cohen to be believable, you may not convict the defendant solely upon that testimony unless you also find that it was corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the commission of the crime.

The corroborative evidence need not, by itself, prove that a crime was committed or that the defendant is guilty. What the law requires is that there be evidence that tends to connect the defendant with the commission of the crime charged in such a way as may reasonably satisfy you that the accomplice is telling the truth about the defendant’s participation in that crime.

In determining whether there is the necessary corroboration, you may consider whether there is material, believable evidence, apart from the testimony of Michael Cohen, which itself tends to connect the defendant with the commission of the crime.

May 30, 10:12 AM
Judge rereads instructions on witness’ criminal conduct

The jury reheard how to handle a witness who has been convicted of a crime — also relevant to Michael Cohen.

“You are not required to reject the testimony of a witness who has been convicted of a crime or has engaged in criminal conduct, or to accept the testimony of a witness who has not,” Judge Merchan said. “You may, however, consider whether a witness’ criminal conviction or conduct has affected the truthfulness of the witness’s testimony.”

May 30, 10:07 AM
Jury again hears about witnesses and reasonable doubt

As Judge Merchan reread the jury instructions, the jury again hears what exactly is reasonable doubt in the eyes of the law.

“A reasonable doubt is an honest doubt of the defendant’s guilt for which a reason exists based upon the nature and quality of the evidence. It is an actual doubt, not an imaginary doubt. It is a doubt that a reasonable person, acting in a matter of this importance, would be likely to entertain because of the evidence that was presented or because of the lack of convincing evidence,” Merchan said.

The jury also heard again how to judge the credibility of a witness.

“You must decide whether a witness told the truth and was accurate, or instead, testified falsely or was mistaken,” Merchan said.
Trump’s team had hammered the credibility of Michael Cohen, saying he had an “ax to grind” — and who they will rehear testimony from again later this morning.

“You may consider whether a witness had, or did not have, a motive to lie,” Merchan instructed them. “If a witness had a motive to lie, you may consider whether and to what extent, if any, that motive affected the truthfulness of that witness’s testimony.”

May 30, 10:03 AM
Judge rereads instructions on Trump’s decision not to testify

Jurors are paying close attention as Judge Merchan rereads his instructions. Some are taking notes with a few nodding along with him as he reads.

The jury again hears from Merchan that they should not draw negative inferences from Trump’s decision not to testify.

“The fact that the defendant did not testify is not a factor from which any inference unfavorable to the defendant may be drawn,” Merchan said. “The defendant is not required to prove that he is not guilty. In fact, the defendant is not required to prove or disprove anything. To the contrary, the People have the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Trump, at the defense table, is reclined in his chair but angled to face Merchan.

May 30, 9:59 AM
Requested instructions involve drawing evidentiary inferences

The jury specifically requested to hear the portion of the jury instruction that compared the drawing of inferences to concluding that a rain storm had passed outside.

They read as follows:

In evaluating the evidence, you may consider any fact that is proven and any inference which may be drawn from such fact. To draw an inference means to infer, find, conclude that a fact exists or does not exist based upon proof of some other fact or facts.

For example, suppose you go to bed one night when it is not raining and when you wake up in the morning, you look out your window; you do not see rain, but you see that the street and sidewalk are wet, and that people are wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas.

Under those circumstances, it may be reasonable to infer, that is conclude, that it rained during the night. In other words, the fact of it having rained while you were asleep is an inference that might be drawn from the proven facts of the presence of the water on the street and sidewalk, and people in raincoats and carrying umbrellas.

An inference must only be drawn from a proven fact or facts and then only if the inference flows naturally, reasonably, and logically from the proven fact or facts, not if it is speculative. Therefore, in deciding whether to draw an inference, you must look at and consider all the facts in the light of reason, common sense, and experience.

May 30, 9:54 AM
Judge begins rereading jury instructions

The jury entered the courtroom, and Judge Merchan began by reading back their two notes from yesterday.

In preparation for the reading of the transcript, the judge said, “We are ready to read it back to you in one minute.”

Trump, at the defense table, briefly looked over at the jury.

Asked by Merchan whether they wanted the transcript or instructions first, the jury foreman responded to Merchan in open court that the jury would like the “Instructions first.”

Merchan then began rereading the instructions, beginning on page 6.

May 30, 9:44 AM
Jury wants readback on how to consider evidence

“We did receive another note” from the jury this morning, Judge Merchan said.

According to Merchan, the jury wants the readback to begin with a description of how the jury should consider that evidence, and what should be drawn from the testimony.

Second, the jury said they want headphones “for use with the evidence laptop.”

Merchan says the jury will get both headphones and a speaker so they can listen to the evidence.

May 30, 9:40 AM
Proceedings are underway

Judge Juan Merchan took his seat on the bench and began the day’s proceedings.

After introductions from the lawyers, Merchan said his usual, “Good morning, Mr. Trump.”

Before Merchan entered the courtroom, one of the court officers left a document on the bench and handed copies to both parties.

May 30, 9:21 AM
Trump, prosecutors arrive

Former President Trump has entered the courthouse for the day’s proceedings.

The prosecution team has arrived in the courtroom. Prosecutor Josh Steinglass was seen reviewing documents with a court reporter.

May 30, 8:57 AM
Court staff preparing binders for readback testimony

Ahead of the start of deliberations this morning, court stenographers are sorting through seven enormous transcript binders that are scattered around the jury box.

With the jury requesting readbacks of testimony, the transcripts are set to play a key role in this morning’s proceedings.

About 60 members of the press are packed into the gallery ahead of the proceedings.

May 30, 8:21 AM
Trump team hoping for a hung jury, say sources

As jurors begin their second day of deliberations, Trump’s legal team feels that the longer the jury deliberates, the more they’re hoping for a hung jury, sources told ABC News.

Trump’s lawyers see the requests the jury has made to rehear testimony from the case as a mixed bag, the sources said — not positive news that jurors wanted to rehear former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker’s testimony, but at the same time feeling optimistic that jurors requested portions of Michael Cohen’s transcript.

Trump’s attorneys are looking for any indication that the jury will probe issues surrounding Cohen’s credibility, which cuts to the core of their defense, according to the sources.

“We want chaos … we want evidence of strong disagreements,” one person close to Trump’s legal team said regarding the jury, signaling their hope that at least one juror will raise doubts about the theories presented by the prosecution.

May 30, 7:18 AM
Jury to begin second day of deliberations

The jury in Donald Trump’s criminal trial will return to court this morning for their second day of deliberations in the historic case.

After receiving instructions on the law from the judge yesterday morning, the jurors deliberated the case for four and a half hours and sent back two notes, asking to listen to testimony from two key witnesses in the case and to rehear the judge’s instructions on the law.

The jury requested to rehear former National Enquirer David Pecker’s testimony about a June 2016 phone call with Trump regarding the tabloid’s response to a potential story about former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s alleged year-long affair with Trump — which he has denied — as well as Pecker’s decision about allocating the rights to her story.

Jurors also requested to hear both Pecker and Michael Cohen’s testimony about the August 2015 Trump Tower meeting where the plan to catch and kill negative stories originated.

Judge Juan Merchan estimated that the entire readback will take approximately 35 minutes, and he also asked the jury to clarify this morning which portion of the instruction they would like read back.

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