Trump’s ‘unethical’ behavior may have left hush money jury ‘very offended’

by Jessica
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Donald Trump’s behavior during his hush money trial could have seriously ticked off the jury, an expert has warned. As the courtroom drama unfolds with the prosecution and defense laying down their final pitches, all eyes are on the jury which will soon lock horns over whether to make history by convicting an ex-president on criminal charges.

The presiding Judge Merchan is bracing for a long haul, anticipating that closing arguments could stretch out for a full day or even longer. He’ll then instruct jurors for about an hour, setting them up to start their deliberations as early as Wednesday.

Speaking with The Mirror, Professor of Law at Syracuse University Gregory Germain explained what could happen next in the trial and how Trump’s actions throughout could affect the jury’s decisions. Juan Merchan found Trump repeatedly violated limited gag orders imposed on the case after the Republican presidential frontrunner spoke out about trial witnesses and jurors.

Professor Germain said: “I doubt that there are any Trump supporters on the jury, and I think they are likely very offended by Trump’s conduct in and out of court, and with the unethical behavior. So, even though only one juror is necessary for Trump to obtain a mistrial, and even though it’s a very flawed case, I predict that the jury will convict him.” Despite this, the professor did highlight possible flaws in the prosecution’s case.

He said: “I think the DA and the Judge are fully invested in obtaining a conviction. I think the judge will gloss over the legal issues in the jury instructions to allow a conviction by defining the legal issue around the propriety of paying hush money rather than the legality of paying hush money and how that relates to the documents charges.”

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass is set to deliver the prosecution’s closing arguments, expected to spotlight evidence and testimony that bolsters its case. The defense will likely highlight the inconsistencies and credibility questions surrounding the prosecution’s key witnesses while emphasizing Trump’s adamant declarations of innocence.

With the onus of proof on the prosecution, it will present its closing argument last, a switch from the opening statements where it led the charge. Sharing his critique, Professor Germain added: “I have been very critical of the DA for bringing such a flawed case and of the judge for pushing the case forward in such a confusing way, given all of the legal problems with the claims in the indictment.

“I don’t think the DA proved that Trump committed fraud and a separate crime by facilitating the recording of the business records to show attorney fees rather than reimbursing hush money payments.” He remarked: “Ultimately, I think the verdict will be reversed on appeal.

If the judge sentences Trump to prison, then the courts will intervene quickly. If Trump isn’t sentenced to prison, the appeal will take its sweet time and be reversed after the election.” Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University, also suggested that the trial’s high stakes could influence the jury, saying:

“I imagine the experience of being in the same room with Donald Trump for extended periods of time, and taking part in a super high-profile case. Knowing that the country and the world will be scrutinizing the outcome must have some effect. Something like the O. J. Simpson case, where it seemed that the jurors were making a political statement about race and the criminal justice system, versus the facts of that specific case.”

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