BREAKING: NYC jury finds President Trump GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS in Alvin Bragg's business records case

The jury found him guilty on all 34 counts.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Deliberations of the New York jury in the falsification of business records case against former president and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump came to a conclusion on Thursday, the second day, as the jury delivered their guilty verdict to Judge Juan Merchan. The jury found him guilty on all 34 counts.

The jury had to make a decision on each count in the case against Trump and made a determination as to Trump's innocence or guilt on all 34 charges brought against him. 

Merchan addressed the jury, saying "I thank all of you, including the alternates. You are free to discuss the case with anyone you want. The choice is yours. In a few minutes I would like to meet with you in the jury room. I am not allowed to discuss the facts of the case," according to Inner City Press.

Trump returned to the courtroom slightly before 4:30 pm. The room had been quiet for hours as the jury deliberated and weighed Merchan's instructions to them, first delivered the day before. They had asked Merchan for a transcript of earlier testimony from Michael Cohen as well as for his instructions to them. Merchan permitted both to be read aloud to the jury in the courtroom, though he did not give them the print outs so that they could read it on their own. The jury also had a laptop and headphones so that they could re-listen to exhibits which were brought into evidence during the trial.

The 55-paged of instructions from Merhcan were read to the jury on Wednesday and contain the rules the jury must follow in arriving at a verdict. The pages the jury requested to hear read back were 7-35. Those pages concern evidentiary inferences, redactions, limiting instructions, presumption of innocence, the fact that the defendant did not testify, the burden of proof, reasonable doubt, the credibility of witnesses (which include a known perjurer and a porn star), as well as notes on motive, witness interest in the outcome, previous criminal conduct of the witnesses, inconsistencies, pre-trial prep of witnesses, accomplices, and a detailed description of the crimes as they were charged. Merchan specifically instructed the jury not to consider whether their verdict could result in a prison term for Trump.

Those counts concern payments made to Trump's then-attorney Michael Cohen that were classified in bookkeeping records as legal fees. The jury began deliberations on Wednesday, May 29, after weeks of testimony from witnesses, including the prosecution's star witness Michael Cohen and porn star Stormy Daniels. 

The claims of violations by Bragg were two-fold, first concerning misdemeanor charges and then his allegation that those misdemeanors should be considered felonies as he believed they were committed in service to a greater crime.

Bragg alleged that Trump was guilty of 34 counts of fraudulent business records, saying that 34 bookkeeping entries, comprising invoices, checks, and receipts of payments to Trump's then-attorney Michael Cohen should not have been recorded as legal fees. Bragg claimed that these were not legal fees but were "hush money" payments to a porn star with whom Trump was alleged to have had a sexual relationship.

These are counts in the State of New York and found under New York Penal Law 175.10. While the charges on their own would be misdemeanors, when committed in service to a greater crime, those charges can be elevated to felonies, which is what Bragg alleged. The code reads: "§ 175.10 Falsifying business records in the first degree. A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when he commits the crime of falsifying business records in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof. Falsifying business records in the first degree is a class E felony." Trump was charged with 34 class E felonies.

The greater crime, Bragg alleged, was conspiracy to promote or prevent election, as detailed in Section 17-152. It reads: "§ 17-152. Conspiracy to promote or prevent election. Any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

Bragg's contention was that two misdemeanors such as these elevate the bookkeeping entries to felonies and warrant the seeking of years upon years of jail time.

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