Why a Hung Jury Is Likely in the Trump Case

It’s been clear from the beginning that  it was extremely unlikely for Donald Trump be acquitted in his criminal trial in New York City. The entire process was designed to achieve a conviction, not a fair trial. The prosecutor is a Soros-funded leftist who campaigned on getting Trump. The judge is a Biden donor. And finally, the jurisdiction is so heavily liberal that it would be nearly impossible to get an unbiased jury.

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For the past few weeks, District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case has imploded as each of his key witnesses has undermined his case. Even left-wing experiments have admitted as much and have suggested that such Trump would likely be acquitted. But, as GWU law professor Jonathan Turley explains, a hung jury is still more likely.

Originally, Bragg vaguely referenced four crimes and there have been months of confusion was to what he was specifically alleging as his criminal theories. Even legal analysts on CNN and MSNBC have continued to question the specific allegations against Trump as we head into closing arguments. 

As it stands, there are three crimes that have been referenced by prosecutors: state and federal election violations and taxation violations.

Bragg’s legal vision for non-objective indictments was greatly advanced by Judge Juan Merchan, who will allow the jury to reach different rulings on what crime is actually evident in Bragg’s paint splatters. 

Merchan has even ruled that the jurors can disagree on what actually occurred in terms of the second crime. This means there could be three groups of four jurors, with one believing that there was a conspiracy to conceal a state election violation, another believing there was a federal election violation (which Bragg cannot enforce), and a third believing there was a tax violation, respectively. Nonetheless, Merchan will treat that as a unanimous verdict.

In other words, they could look at the indictment and see vastly different shapes, but still send Trump to prison on their interpretations.

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Turley notes that Bragg’s key witness, Michael Cohen, is a convicted perjurer whose credibility is questionable at best. Meanwhile, there is no direct evidence of Trump’s intent or knowledge, so prosecutors have relied on circumstantial evidence to persuade jurors. Then there’s the fact that non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are common and perfectly legal in both business and politics. He then explained that the jury will be instructed that payments aren’t campaign contributions if they would have been made regardless of the campaign. The defense must also clarify that Trump didn’t classify the payments as legal expenses—this was done by others in the Trump organization and Cohen, reflecting standard practice for payments to lawyers.

Still, the deck has been stacked against Trump. It’s not just the partisan prosecutor, judge, and jury, but even the jury instructions seemed to be tailor-made to ensure a conviction. But Turley still believes a hung jury is likely.

“You can throw paint on Cohen all day, but it will not cover up the fact that he is a pathological liar and grifter,” Turley writes. “That is why I still believe that a hung jury might even be the most likely possibility. That may change when we see Judge Merchan’s final instructions. However, the only thing worse in New York than being a Trump supporter is being a chump. To rely solely on Cohen and not even call someone like Weisselberg is to play these jurors as chumps.”

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