NY v. Trump: Judge Merchan will instruct the jury prior to deliberations

The framework that a Manhattan jury will use to consider the charges against former President Trump and reach a verdict will be unveiled Wednesday by Judge Juan Merchan.

The instructions will be issued almost a week after they were originally released. It comes after weeks of speculation about the specific violations the jury will have to find when weighing charges of first-degree falsifying corporate documents against the former president.

NY V TRUMP: DEFENSE SAYS PROSECUTORS 'FAILED THE BURDEN OF PROOF', FORMER PRESIDENT IS 'INNNOCENT'

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged Trump with 34 counts of first-degree falsifying corporate records. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

The jury instructions are expected to come after a full day of closing arguments by New York prosecutors and lawyers for Trump.

Former US President Donald Trump listens next to his daughter Tiffany Trump as lawyer Todd Blanche delivers closing arguments during Trump's criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to hide money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 , in Manhattan State Court in Manhattan. New York City, USA May 28, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

Prosecutors had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified records to conceal a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic performer, in the run-up to the 2016 election, to silence her about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. maintained his innocence.

The court will resume jury instructions at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Lawyers for former President Trump told the jury Tuesday that he is innocent, committed no crimes and that Bragg “did not meet the burden of proof. Period.”

“President Trump is innocent. He hasn't committed any crimes. The public prosecutor has not met the burden of proof. Period,” Blanche said.

Blanche added that the case is “simple” and that it is “not a guilty verdict.”

“This case is about documents; it's a paper case,” Blanche said. “This case is not about an encounter with Stormy Daniels 18 years ago. It's not even about a non-disclosure agreement that was signed eight years ago.”

Tiffany Trump and Eric Trump's wife Lara sit in the front row next to former US President Donald Trump as attorney Todd Blanche presents closing arguments

Tiffany Trump and Eric Trump's wife Lara sit in the front row, next to former US President Donald Trump, as lawyer Todd Blanche delivers closing arguments during Trump's criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to hide money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels 2016, in Manhattan State Court in New York City, USA, May 28, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

Blanche said the allegations center on whether Trump had “anything” to do with payments to his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, in his personal accounting.

“The answer? The bookings were accurate, there was no fraud and there was no conspiracy to influence the 2016 elections,” Blanche said. “The evidence is wrong.”

NY V TRUMP: PROSECUTION SAYS THEY GIVEN 'POWERFUL EVIDENCE' AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT

Blanche told the jury they cannot convict Trump based on Cohen's testimony, recalling how Trump's ex-lawyer “took the stand and then lied.”

“The data is not false and there was no fraud,” he said.

Blanche said no invoice was sent directly to Trump and that Cohen billed Trump “for services rendered.” He also told the jury that Cohen served as Trump's personal attorney in 2017.

The defense attorney said that even though the amount of work was minimal, there was a retainer agreement, which he said stated “how retainer agreements work.” Blanche said Cohen was “appealing to President Trump.”

Blanche also explained that checks to Cohen were not signed by Trump.

Todd Blanche presents closing arguments during the criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump

Attorney Todd Blanche delivers closing arguments as Judge Juan Merchan presides during former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial on charges that he falsified company records to hide money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in court of Manhattan in New York City, USA. May 28, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

“You can't convict President Trump,” he said. “Because President Trump sometimes looked at the invoices… that's a tall order and that's a reasonable doubt.”

Blanche also lambasted the prosecution's “star witness,” Michael Cohen, saying that “he is the human embodiment of reasonable doubt.”

“He has lied to you repeatedly … he is biased and motivated,” Blanche said, adding that the jury should want a witness to tell the truth.

“Michael Cohen is the GLOAT,” Blanche said. “He's the biggest liar of all time… his words can't be trusted… all those lies, put them aside for a moment, that's enough to walk away.”

Blanche noted that Cohen had lied to both houses of Congress, federal judges, state judges and family.

“You cannot send someone to prison based on the words of Michael Cohen,” Blanche said, adding that a verdict must be reached based on evidence from documents and witnesses. “If you do that, it's a very quick and easy innocent verdict.”

Michael Cohen testifies during the criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump

Mainstream media pundits trashed witness Michael Cohen's testimony against the former president during the first week of Trump's trial. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

Meanwhile, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass delivered his closing arguments for more than five hours on Tuesday, saying the prosecution presented “powerful” evidence in their case against Trump.

Steinglass said Trump's intent to defraud “couldn't have been clearer,” arguing that it would have been much easier for him to pay Stormy Daniels directly. Instead, the prosecutor said, he hatched an elaborate scheme and everything he and his cronies did was “cloaked in lies.”

“The name of the game was concealment, and all roads inevitably lead to the man who benefited most: the defendant, former President Donald Trump,” Steinglass said.

Former US President Donald Trump watches as prosecutor Joshua Steinglass questions David Pecker before Judge Juan Merchan

Former US President Donald Trump watches as prosecutor Joshua Steinglass. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

Steinglass defended the prosecution's use of Michael Cohen as a witness, telling the jury: “I'm not asking you to feel sorry for Michael Cohen. He made his bed.”

“But you can hardly blame him for making money off the only thing he has left, which is his knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump Organization,” he said.

“We did not select Michael Cohen as our witness. We did not pick him up at the witness store,” Steinglass said. “The defendant chose Michael Cohen as his fixer because he was willing to lie and deceive on the defendant's behalf.”

Concluding his five-hour presentation, Steinglass said, echoing an infamous Trump quote: “Donald Trump can't shoot someone on Fifth Avenue during rush hour and get away with it.”

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The comment prompted an objection from Trump's lawyer, which was upheld.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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