Andy McCarthy Says Trump Judge’s Instructions Are ‘Antithesis Of Standard’ As Jurors Don’t ‘Have To Agree On’ Crime

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Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy on Wednesday said Judge Juan Merchan’s instructions to former President Donald Trump’s jury are rare.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley on Wednesday posted on X that Merchan instructed the jury that it is not necessary for them to be on the same page about what “other crime” Trump committed, instead getting a choice of three separate crimes they can select from. McCarthy on “America’s Newsroom” said it is not normal for a judge to view a verdict as unanimous despite jurors not agreeing on what crime was committed. (RELATED: Ex-Elections Official Lays Out How Trump Trial Judge Who Restricted His Planned Testimony Gave Alvin Bragg A Leg Up)


“I would say, we just heard from Jonathan Turley … this is anything but standard. It’s the antithesis of standard,” McCarthy said. “The idea that they do not have to agree on what the other crime is. We spent six weeks wondering what is the other crime and at the end the thud we all get hit with, there’s three or four of ’em and you could pick one or the other and they don’t have to agree on it.”

Merchan is enabling the jury to choose between a federal election law, falsification of additional business documents or a tax law violation, according to CNN.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump in March 2023 on 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records pertaining to reimbursing his former attorney Michael Cohen for the payment he made for a nondisclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. To charge Trump with a felony, Bragg alleged the intention of the alleged falsification was to cover up or commit another crime, but the district attorney did not specify the aggravating offense in the indictment.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 29: Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 29, 2024, in New York City. The former president faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said on Tuesday that he does not fully “understand” Bragg’s case against Trump, particularly the “unlawful means” Trump used to “influence” the 2016 election.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 28: Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom following a break for his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 28, 2024 in New York City.(Photo by Justin Lane – Pool/Getty Images)

“The prosecution has offered up three unlawful means … that would be a federal campaign finance law, stay with me, a tax fraud, which I don’t understand, I’m interested to see how they explain the tax crime,” Honig said. “And then, get this, falsification of business records. So that one also is tough for me to understand. Falsifying business records in order to falsify business, right? It’s like it feeds on itself.”

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