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The 3 ways Trump’s hush money trial could end, as jury deliberations begin soon : NPR

Former US President Donald Trump and his lawyer Todd Blanche speak to the media during their trial for allegedly hiding secret money payments, in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday in New York.

Former US President Donald Trump and his lawyer Todd Blanche speak to the media during their trial for allegedly hiding secret money payments, in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday in New York.

Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images

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Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images

The secret trial against former President Donald Trump is nearing its end, but the jury is still out on Trump’s fate.

The jury must examine 34 counts against the Republican candidate. If they find Trump guilty, he faces prison time.

NPR’s Trump’s Trials podcast team spoke with former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, who breaks down three big possible conclusions the jury could reach.

1. Trump is found guilty

If the jury finds Trump guilty on all 34 counts, he will face prison time. But Litman says there is “no chance, in my opinion, that he will actually be incarcerated before November.”

Indeed, sentencing hearings are generally scheduled a few months after the verdict. Litman says that even if Judge Juan Merchan chose to give Trump a few months in prison, it wouldn’t happen right away. If convicted, Trump would most likely appeal the decision and any prison time would be suspended while the appeal works its way through the courts, which could take years.

2. It’s a hung jury

If the jury fails to reach a verdict, the judge will likely declare a mistrial. The Manhattan District Attorney can then choose to retry the case with a new jury. But Litman suspects the political calendar would complicate any immediate retrial, as it could clash with the November election.

“I think they will try again, but not before the election. And of course, once the election is called, all bets are off. »

Litman says he worries there could be a hung jury, but adds that worry is part of any jury trial. Litman remained in the courtroom for several days, allowing him to observe the jury as it listened to testimony. He said he paid close attention to how the jury was following the case and “I like (the prosecution’s) chances that there won’t be a holdout juror.”

Litman also points out that Trump might be able to leverage a mistrial to his advantage and turn it into a victory. Trump has continually claimed, without evidence, that the affair was a “witch hunt,” politically motivated, and an attempt by Democrats to interfere with his campaign.

Speaking outside the courtroom last week, Trump said: “It’s all about Biden, he can’t campaign, so he’s trying to hurt his opponent.” They try to hurt the opponent because they can’t win fairly.

3. Trump is acquitted

If the jury finds Trump not guilty on all 34 counts, the prosecution will not be able to try him again. This would be a major political victory for Trump, but Litman says the chances of acquittal are “zero.”

As the case progressed, Trump repeatedly used the drama unfolding in the courtroom to entice his supporters to donate to his campaign. Sending fundraising emails with provocative headlines like “I Demand a Mistrial!” » and “They want me in HANDCUFFS.”

When can we expect a verdict?

The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Wednesday and could then reach a decision the same day. Litman predicts that Friday afternoon could be the perfect time.

Deliberations could continue into the first week of June. Litman says the longer the jury deliberates, the greater the chance of a mistrial.

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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