Trump hush-money trial: closing arguments set to begin – live

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Closing arguments set to begin as jury prepares to deliberate in Trump hush-money trial

Good morning. After more than four weeks in a freezing New York courtroom, nearly two dozen witnesses and 10 gag order violations, lawyers for the prosecution and defense last week rested in Donald Trump’s historic criminal hush-money trial.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of felony falsification of business records over an alleged hush-money scheme involving the adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney say that Trump facilitated payoffs to the women through his then attorney Michael Cohen to cover up alleged extramarital liaisons that could have damaged his candidacy in the 2016 election.

Trump’s criminal hush-money trial: what to know

Closing arguments will begin today, and then the jury will start deliberations. A jury of seven men and five women who live in Manhattan will have to consider the charges against the former US president and presumptive Republican nominee. If they find Trump guilty, he could face prison time.

We’re at the courthouse again today. Stay with us.

Share

Updated at 13.20 BST

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The jury for the first criminal trial of a former president in US history is made up of seven men and five women who live in different parts of Manhattan, including the Upper East Side, Harlem, Hell’s Kitchen and the West Village.

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They come from a range of personal backgrounds and employment histories. Several jurors said they had no strong opinions on Trump, and a few said that they do not closely follow the news. The exact racial makeup of the jury, and the ages of the jurors, is unclear.

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The full identities of the jury will remain anonymous because of security concerns, but during jury selection the individuals were asked to provide some personal details about themselves. Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the criminal hush-money trial, barred reporters from revealing the current and former employers of jurors and urged them not to use physical descriptors that could compromise their identity.

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Here’s what to know about them.

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The defense rested in Donald Trump’s criminal trial last Tuesday without the former president himself testifying.

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Trump had previously railed about being silenced and falsely claimed he was not allowed to testify, but ultimately elected of his own volition not to take the stand in his own defense.

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The former president previously said he would “absolutely” testify in his hush-money trial, telling reporters last month:

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I’m testifying. I tell the truth, I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there is no case.

\n

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Trump’s decision not to testify came without fanfare. The move was not surprising – defendants in criminal cases rarely testify, because they would be subject to cross-examination, during which they could easily say something that harms their defense – but followed several instances of Trump claiming he was not allowed to do so.

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The judge, Juan Merchan, had gone so far as to address Trump’s claims, saying: “I want to stress, Mr Trump, that you have an absolute right to testify at trial,” and adding that the gag order preventing Trump from verbally attacking witnesses did not affect his right to take the stand.

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Good morning. After more than four weeks in a freezing New York courtroom, nearly two dozen witnesses and 10 gag order violations, lawyers for the prosecution and defense last week rested in Donald Trump’s historic criminal hush-money trial.

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Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of felony falsification of business records over an alleged hush-money scheme involving the adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney say that Trump facilitated payoffs to the women through his then attorney Michael Cohen to cover up alleged extramarital liaisons that could have damaged his candidacy in the 2016 election.

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Trump’s criminal hush-money trial: what to know

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Closing arguments will begin today, and then the jury will start deliberations. A jury of seven men and five women who live in Manhattan will have to consider the charges against the former US president and presumptive Republican nominee. If they find Trump guilty, he could face prison time.

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We’re at the courthouse again today. Stay with us.

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Key events

Who is on the Trump trial jury?

Nick Robins-Early

The jury for the first criminal trial of a former president in US history is made up of seven men and five women who live in different parts of Manhattan, including the Upper East Side, Harlem, Hell’s Kitchen and the West Village.

They come from a range of personal backgrounds and employment histories. Several jurors said they had no strong opinions on Trump, and a few said that they do not closely follow the news. The exact racial makeup of the jury, and the ages of the jurors, is unclear.

The full identities of the jury will remain anonymous because of security concerns, but during jury selection the individuals were asked to provide some personal details about themselves. Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the criminal hush-money trial, barred reporters from revealing the current and former employers of jurors and urged them not to use physical descriptors that could compromise their identity.

Here’s what to know about them.

Before the jury begins its deliberations, the judge, Juan Merchan, is expected to instruct jurors on the law governing the case.

Jury instructions provide a roadmap for what jurors can and cannot take into account as they evaluate Donald Trump’s guilt or innocence, according to AP.

Merchan last week denied a request by Trump’s lawyers that he tell the jury that the types of hush-money payments at issue in Trump’s case are not inherently illegal, describing such an instruction as unnecessary.

Share

Updated at 13.31 BST

Trump did not testify in his own criminal trial

The defense rested in Donald Trump’s criminal trial last Tuesday without the former president himself testifying.

Trump had previously railed about being silenced and falsely claimed he was not allowed to testify, but ultimately elected of his own volition not to take the stand in his own defense.

The former president previously said he would “absolutely” testify in his hush-money trial, telling reporters last month:

I’m testifying. I tell the truth, I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there is no case.

Trump’s decision not to testify came without fanfare. The move was not surprising – defendants in criminal cases rarely testify, because they would be subject to cross-examination, during which they could easily say something that harms their defense – but followed several instances of Trump claiming he was not allowed to do so.

The judge, Juan Merchan, had gone so far as to address Trump’s claims, saying: “I want to stress, Mr Trump, that you have an absolute right to testify at trial,” and adding that the gag order preventing Trump from verbally attacking witnesses did not affect his right to take the stand.

Share

Updated at 13.31 BST

Closing arguments set to begin as jury prepares to deliberate in Trump hush-money trial

Good morning. After more than four weeks in a freezing New York courtroom, nearly two dozen witnesses and 10 gag order violations, lawyers for the prosecution and defense last week rested in Donald Trump’s historic criminal hush-money trial.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of felony falsification of business records over an alleged hush-money scheme involving the adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney say that Trump facilitated payoffs to the women through his then attorney Michael Cohen to cover up alleged extramarital liaisons that could have damaged his candidacy in the 2016 election.

Trump’s criminal hush-money trial: what to know

Closing arguments will begin today, and then the jury will start deliberations. A jury of seven men and five women who live in Manhattan will have to consider the charges against the former US president and presumptive Republican nominee. If they find Trump guilty, he could face prison time.

We’re at the courthouse again today. Stay with us.

Share

Updated at 13.20 BST

The Guardian