Jurors in Trump hush money trial end 1st day of deliberations after asking to rehear testimony

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial ended its first day of deliberations without a verdict Wednesday but asked to rehear testimony from key witnesses about the alleged hush money scheme at the heart of the history-making case.

The 12-person jury was sent home around 4 p.m. after about 4 1/2 hours of deliberations. The process is to resume Thursday, when jurors are expected to rehear the requested testimony and at least part of the judge’s legal instructions meant to guide them on the law.

Th e notes sent to the judge with the requests were the first burst of communication with the court after the panel of seven men and five women was sent to a private room just before 11:30 a.m. to begin weighing a verdict.

“It is not my responsibility to judge the evidence here. It is yours,” Judge Juan M. Merchan told jurors before dispatching them to begin deliberations, reminding them of their vow during the selection process to judge the case fairly and impartially.

It’s unclear how long the deliberations will last. A guilty verdict would deliver a stunning legal reckoning for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as he seeks to reclaim the White House while an an acquittal would represent a major win for Trump and embolden him on the campaign trail. Since verdicts must be unanimous, it’s also possible that the case ends in a mistrial if the jury cannot reach a consensus after days of deliberations.

Trump struck a pessimistic tone after leaving the courtroom following the reading of jury instructions, repeating his assertions of a “very unfair trial” and saying: “Mother Teresa could not beat those charges, but we’ll see. We’ll see how we do.”

He remained inside the courthouse during deliberations, where he posted on his social media network complaints about the trial and quoted legal and political commentators who view the case in his favor. In one all-capital-letters post, he proclaimed that he didn’t even “know what the charges are in this rigged case,” even though he was present in the courtroom as the judge detailed them to jurors.

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