BREAKING UPDATE: Judge Merchan Rules Jury DOES NOT Need to Unanimously Agree on 'Predicate' Crimes in Trump 'Hush Money' Case -
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BREAKING UPDATE: Judge Merchan Rules Jury DOES NOT Need to Unanimously Agree on ‘Predicate’ Crimes in Trump ‘Hush Money’ Case

Judge Juan Merchan has so far refused to release the jury instructions to the public following a contentious conference earlier this week between prosecutors and former President Trump’s attorneys.

Jury instructions can be crucial, potentially determining the outcome for either side in a case.

There’s no doubt that Judge Merchan’s jury instructions, as Mark Levin put it earlier this week, “will be horrendously poisonous.”

Judge Merchan, however, sided with Bragg’s prosecutors, ruling that the jury does not need to reach a unanimous agreement on the “predicate” crime committed by Trump.

“In other words: If some jurors believe that Trump falsified business documents solely to cover up a tax crime, while others believe that he falsified business documents solely to cover up an election crime, the jury can still convict Trump on the felony-level falsifying-documents charges, despite disagreeing on the predicate crimes,” Politico’s Josh Gerstein wrote.

In April 2023, Alvin Bragg filed indictments against Trump, charging him with 34 felony counts related to the ‘hush payments’ he made to Stormy Daniels.

Trump was accused of paying porn star Stormy Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, ‘hush money’ through his then-attorney Michael Cohen in a scheme aimed to silence Daniels and prevent the story of their alleged affair from being published in the National Enquirer.

According to Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina, the payments were made through internal business documents, with no tax deduction taken and no requirement to file them with the FEC.

Alvin Bragg did not specify in the charging documents what he aims to convict Trump of, nor has he clearly outlined the predicate crimes. He is expected to present three possible predicate crimes during next Tuesday’s closing arguments: a tax crime and violations of state or federal election laws.

The judge has made it easier for Trump to be convicted by ruling that jurors don’t have to unanimously agree on the specific “predicate” crime Trump allegedly committed.

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