CNN analyst admits NYC prosecutors 'fell way short' of proving beyond reasonable doubt in Trump case

"There is reasonable doubt all over this case."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
CNN legal analyst Randy Zelin said Tuesday that the Manhattan prosecution team "fell way short" of proving their falsified business documents case against former President Donald Trump.

Zelin, a criminal defense attorney, argued that prosecutors could not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, which he said is required to persuade jurors to convict. The prosecution and defense made their closing statements on Tuesday following a weeks-long trial that has hampered Trump's ability to campaign actively in the 2024 presidential race.

CNN host Kate Bolduan asked Zelin: "The burden of proof is an important one to remind everyone, it's on the prosecution, right? They need to prove beyond reasonable doubt...that Donald Trump broke the law. And you think after listening to all of this, you think they fell short. How?"

"They fell way short because - let's start with reasonable doubt. What is reasonable doubt? And it's not simply a doubt based upon reason," said Zelin. "Any time a human being needs to make an important decision in life, if you have enough information, for example, doctor says you need open heart surgery, 'Doc, go ahead and schedule. I don't have reasonable doubt.' Conversely, if I say, 'I appreciate it, but I need a second opinion, I need more information,' that is having a reasonable doubt. There is reasonable doubt all over this case."

Zelin then ripped into the prosecution, claiming that the witnesses they had called to the stand had opened a can of worms that was not to their advantage or the witnesses.

"Where is Keith Schiller? Where is Allen Weisselberg? How did Michael Cohen get away with stealing $30,000? Hold a pity party for him, made $4 million on this, thought he'd be chief of staff. He's a fixer!" argued Zelin. "If the plumber comes to my house to fix my leak, I could be home. That doesn't mean I know how he's doing it and what it's taking to be fixed."

"Stormy Daniels, let's hold a pity party for her. Why do we need to know whether or not the former president wore a condom or not? It's simply about: Did the former president know that books, his records, false entries for legal fees - Michael Cohen was his lawyer - getting intent to cover up the election or to protect his family?" said Zelin. "It's everywhere. Everywhere!"

Zelin's arguments came after the prosecution and defense rested in Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's falsified business documents case against Trump. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges. The jury started deliberations on Wednesday. If convicted Donald Trump could be sentenced to prison time, though the presumptive GOP presidential nominee would have the opportunity to appeal.
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