Jonathan Turley Warns Requests From Trump Trial Jurors May Not Be ‘Good’ For Prosecutors

(Screenshot/Fox News/"Hannity")

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley warned that requests from Trump’s New York trial Wednesday on Fox News may not be “good” for prosecutors.

Turley appeared on “Hannity” to discuss the first day of deliberations in Trump‘s New York trial regarding alleged falsified business records and the connection to election interference as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged him with 34 felony counts. As the group of jurors received their instructions Wednesday morning, the 12 made multiple requests involving a review of testimony from four moments in the trials and a read back of the instructions. (RELATED: Jury Begins Deliberations On Convicting Trump After Judge Gives ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Instructions)

“Well, Sean, as you’ve noted, we’re all speculating here, but, heck, there’s nothing else to do. I’m surprised that some other networks have said, ‘Look, this is really great news’ that they sent this out. I gotta tell you as a criminal defense attorney, I would not view this as clearly good news for the prosecution. The only reason why a jury would send out a request to hear the instructions again is if there’s a disagreement about what the instructions are,” Turley stated.
“That indicates that there may be a conflict with jurors in that room about what their standard is, how they are supposed to look at the evidence. There’s various reasons why these particular parts of the testimony would be demanded by the jury. Among them is a rather intriguing one, the judge told the jury that if Cohen lied to any material fact, the jury could disregard all of his testimony.”

“He noted that that means that you have to look for corroboration of Cohen because he is someone who’s not obviously just a serial perjurer, but he’s an accomplice. So they happen to have requested the Trump meeting which the government cited as cooperation for Cohen. So it may have been that they started logically and say, ‘First of all can we consider anything that Michael Cohen has said?’ And that would lead them to corroboration which would lead them to the Trump Tower meetings. It would also lead them to the instruction. Now is that what’s going on? Not necessarily. That’s one possibility,” Turley continued.


“The other possibilities include that they’re looking at this evidence and they’re trying to figure out what they can establish as fact, not just to insinuate or assume the facts. So I don’t consider this such a clearly positive thing for the prosecution. As a defense attorney I would welcome this type of request. They were only in there for a few hours and they asked to hear the instructions again and they asked to hear court testimony. The problem that Trump is having remains those instructions.”

“They are very one-sided and they have converted this into something of a canned hunt. What Judge Merchan has said is that you could divide four, four, four. You could have three groups of jurors who view the facts materially differently. They could disagree as to what crime was behind this effort to falsify business records, and Merchan will still treat that as a unanimous verdict. That is pretty chilling for people that believe strongly in the criminal justice system and the very high standard of proof that’s required,” Turley stated.

Following a five hour deliberation, some believe the request from jurors regarding moments involving prosecution’s key witness and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as well as tabloid publisher David Pecker may lean as a win for Bragg’s team. However, others have called out the instructions from presiding Judge Juan Merchan as confusing.

Along with not being sequestered, the 12 jurors have not been given a time limit on when they need to make their decision by.