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Attorney Says Judge’s Instruction Could Move Jury ‘A Lot Further Towards’ Trump Acquittal

Criminal defense attorney Bill Brennan, who previously represented former President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that Judge Juan Merchan’s anticipated jury instruction may contribute significantly to an acquittal for his former client.

Merchan on Tuesday suggested he will include a sentence in his jury instruction directing jurors not to consider a “payment would have been made even in the absence of the candidacy … as a contribution,” meaning if the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels would have been made regardless of Trump’s 2016 presidential candidacy, it is not a contribution. Brennan on “America Reports” said this instruction indicates that the jury will potentially not view the payment as a contribution since there have been examples during the trial of Trump allegedly killing stories that were not related to campaigning.


“That’s huge because so many of these pro-prosecution pundits have said, ‘well, it came right after the TMZ tape, right before the election, other NDAs were paid. The liar doorman about the illegitimate child that didn’t exist, the McDougal money, so if the money would’ve been paid anyways and the judge is willing to instruct the jury that way, that moves the ball a lot further towards the not guilty yard line,” Brennan asserted.

Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen made a recording of a conversation with Trump regarding potentially buying the rights to a story related to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who alleges she and the former president had an affair, which the prosecution showed as evidence. The prosecution also alleged Trump suppressed a damaging story about a doorman’s false claim the former president fathered an illegitimate child.

Trump is confronting 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying documents pertaining to a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to keep Daniels silent regarding her claims of an affair ahead of the 2016 election.

The prosecution and defense rested their cases on Tuesday, with the former president choosing not to testify in his trial. Merchan instructed the jury to come back in a week to listen to closing arguments and commence deliberations on their verdict.

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