Lawyers in Trumps hush money case hoping long deliberations lead to hung jury: Sources

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(NEW YORK) — As jurors begin their second day of deliberations in former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money case Thursday, sources say Trump’s legal team feels that the longer the jury deliberates, the more they’re hoping for a hung jury.

The former president is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.

Trump’s lawyers see the requests the jury has made to rehear testimony from the case as a mixed bag, the sources said — not positive news that jurors wanted to rehear former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker’s testimony, but at the same time feeling optimistic that jurors requested portions of Cohen’s transcript.

The jury requested to rehear Pecker’s testimony about a June 2016 phone call with Trump regarding the tabloid’s response to a potential story about former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s alleged year-long affair with Trump — which he has denied — as well as Pecker’s decision about allocating the rights to her story.

They also requested to hear both Pecker and Cohen’s testimony about the August 2015 Trump Tower meeting where the plan to catch and kill negative stories originated.

Trump’s lawyers are looking for any indication that the jury will probe issues surrounding Cohen’s credibility, which cuts to the core of their defense, according to the sources.

“We want chaos … we want evidence of strong disagreements,” one person close to Trump’s legal team said regarding the jury, signaling their hope that at least one juror will raise doubts about the theories presented by the prosecution.

While it wouldn’t be surprising to Trump’s team for there to be a verdict Thursday, their hope is that deliberations will extend into next week as an indication there could be serious doubts among jury members that could result in a hung jury, the sources said.

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