Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
USA

Why Trump trial verdict could depend on how jurors feel about sex and privacy: NPR

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the day’s proceedings during his criminal trial in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday in New York.

Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the day’s proceedings during his criminal trial in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday in New York.

Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

The secret trial against former President Donald Trump is coming to an end, but there are still some twists and turns to come.

The prosecution’s star witness, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, testified for three days last week and is expected to be back on the stand Monday.

The NPR team Trump’s trials The podcast explains why prosecutors have a timing problem, what Cohen’s testimony has shown so far, and why it all ultimately may come down to a question of sex and privacy.

What prosecutors have (and haven’t) shown so far

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building to go to Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building to go to Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Cohen testified about how the alleged scheme to pay off adult film actress Stormy Daniels and cover his tracks by falsifying business records came about. Cohen also placed Trump directly at the center of this scheme, testifying that Trump was aware of and involved in the conspiracy to cover up the payment and cover-up.

But Jed Shugerman, a law professor at Boston University, says that might not be enough.

Prosecutors must demonstrate intent to defraud when it comes to business records. But if prosecutors claim Trump was trying to defraud voters, they run into a timing problem, because none of these false entries were made before 2017. That’s well after the 2016 election.

“You can’t defraud voters with documents when they vote in November 2016 if those documents don’t exist yet,” Shugerman said, adding that he believes the target of the alleged fraud has not been made clear identified by the prosecution.

“Under the law, the intent to defraud must have an objective. They’ve never applied it to the general public or anything as broad as the electorate.”

Still missing from the prosecution case

Some of Cohen’s key testimony was about Trump wanting to “make this go away,” and it appears that this is being interpreted as Trump’s intention regarding the campaign. But Shugerman thinks prosecutors need more than that.

“They have to prove a crime that was covered up by these documents,” he said. “And under federal election law, for that to be a crime, they have to prove that Trump knowingly and willfully violated federal election campaign law. And I don’t think anything Cohen has said shows this level of knowledge or will.”

Why it can all come down to sex and privacy

This entire affair is based on an alleged sexual encounter between Trump and Daniels.

“I’m interested in what these jurors think about sex and privacy,” Shugerman said.

Referring to Daniels’ salacious testimony, Shugerman said that “it’s possible that some jurors thought it was just too much and that (his) testimony backfired on them.”

And if that’s the case, he says, it will be good for Trump’s defense.

“If (the jurors) think politicians have the right, like any other American, to enter into nondisclosure agreements to protect their privacy, some of them may be wondering what the crime was here,” he said.

3 things to watch out for

  • The prosecution’s re-examination of Michael Cohen
  • Final statements expected this week
  • The verdict could come before Friday

NPR News

Back to top button