Trial Expert Warns CNN Of ‘Major Flag’ During Deliberations That Could Make It ‘Problematic’ For Jury To Convict Trump


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Trial consultant Molly Murphy on Wednesday warned that potential questions from the jury could pose problems for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s efforts to secure a conviction of former President Donald Trump.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass spent time during lengthy closing arguments Tuesday arguing the unproven claim that Trump violated federal campaign finance law by seeking to suppress unfavorable stories in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Murphy on “CNN News Central” said if the jury has evidentiary questions during deliberations, that could be an indication that the panel may not have a grasp on Bragg’s case. (RELATED: Ex-Elections Official Lays Out How Trump Trial Judge Who Restricted His Planned Testimony Gave Alvin Bragg A Leg Up)


“I think if they aren’t sure what the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ is, would be a major flag because the way, I have to say the closing arguments were just so long and my bet very contrived,” Murphy said. “So I think there’s going to be some confusion of really … what was the real evidence versus what were the arguments?”

“So if they come in and they want to know, I would say the documents themselves, if they’re not clear of who said what … I think Cohen did a very good job in the sense that he lied because he was told to lie. And if the jury really understands that, then I think that’s gonna be a big discussion,” Murphy continued. “I think they are going to talk a lot about what Cohen said so if a note comes out on really the pertinent evidence itself, that’s going to be problematic, I believe for the prosecution.”

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. Bragg indicted Trump in 2023 on 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records related to reimbursing his former attorney Michael Cohen for a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche targeted Cohen’s credibility in closing arguments Tuesday, reminding the jury of his previous lies. Blanche dubbed Cohen the “MVP” of liars and “the human embodiment of reasonable doubt.”

Cohen was the only witness to directly tie Trump to the charges at the center of Bragg’s case.

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