Trump NY Criminal Trial, Week 7: Verdict, Jury Instructions, Legal Analysis and More

Spencer Platt/Pool Photo via AP

After months of delays and challenges, The People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump (i.e. the ‘hush money’ trial against former President Donald Trump) began in Manhattan criminal court on April 15. Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The trial – which is presided over by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan and marks the first-ever criminal trial of a former president – entered its seventh week on Monday after a nearly week-long hiatus with closing arguments from both sides. 

The defense was up first with Trump attorney Todd Blanche addressing the jury. He declared his client is “innocent” and did not break the law, as he walked jurors through why there was no “attempt to defraud” on the part of the GOP hopeful, why they should disregard concerns over “conspiracy” to influence the 2016 election, and why ‘star’ witness Michael Cohen is not credible. He wrapped up with a list of 10 reasons there is reasonable doubt in the case.

While the defense kept their closing arguments to about two hours or so, the prosecution needed five hours to wrap up its case. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said Trump’s attempt to defraud “could not be any clearer” and accused him and his cohorts of concocting an elaborate scheme that was “cloaked in lies.” He also – finally – revealed the underlying crime at play in the case is tied to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA).

Court resumed on Wednesday morning with Judge Merchan providing the 12 jurors and six alternates with the all-important jury instructions, before turning the case over to them for deliberation at 11:28am ET. Jurors deliberated for more than nine hours before alerting the judge they had reached a verdict around 4:30pm on Thursday.

Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts, making him the first former president in U.S. history to be convicted of a crime. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, which is just days before the GOP is set to nominate Trump at the Republican National Convention.

To keep you up to date on everything that is happening in the case, we’ve rounded up the best commentary from Megyn and her guests this week on the verdict, political ramifications, and more.

[Editor’s Note: You can catch up on week one, week two, week three, week four, week five, and week six of the trial.]

The Verdict

Trump Found Guilty in New York: Megyn Gives Her Instant Reaction and Analysis

Megyn shares why she believes the case and trial was ridiculous, how the conviction will likely be overturned, the outrageous sentencing date of July 11, the mistake the Trump defense team may have made in the trial, and more.

How Trump Should Appeal the Guilty Verdict and Reach the Supreme Court

Megyn Kelly is joined by legal experts Alan Dershowitz and Mark Geragos to discuss how the Trump team should handle the appeal process, the ways this case compares to the Harvey Weinstein verdict recently overturned on appeal, how the case could end up at the Supreme Court, and more.

Biden Weighs in on Guilty Verdict, Attacks Trump Calling it ‘Rigged’

Megyn and attorneys Dave Aronberg, Mike Davis, and Phil Holloway discuss President Biden’s comments about the Trump verdict, whether Biden should have weighed in on a criminal case, the campaign to call Trump a “convicted felon” over and over again, and more.

The Closing Arguments

Megyn Details Trump Defense Team’s Closing Arguments to Jury

Megyn is joined by Stu Burguiere, host of BlazeTV’s Stu Does America, and Fox News and Daily Mail columnist Dave Marcus to discuss the Trump defense team’s closing argument, going after Michael Cohen’s lies and his lack of credibility, whether a New York City jury might be swayed toward the defense, the judge working to hurt the defense’s chances of a not guilty verdict, and more.

‘The MVP of Liars’: Trump Lawyer Unloads on Michael Cohen in Closing Argument

Megyn, Burguiere, and Marcus react to Trump’s lawyer calling Cohen “the MVP of liars” in his closing argument, all the lies Cohen told on the stand and to other people, whether the defense made a mistake in putting Robert Costello on the stand, and more.

Here Is the Prosecution’s Full Argument Against Trump 

Megyn is joined by attorneys Arthur Aidala and Mark Eiglarsh to discuss the prosecution’s flimsy argument against Trump, how prosecutors have tried to hide their case from the defense and jury, why Trump likely had no idea about how the records in question were documented, and more.

The Jury Instructions and Deliberations

Here are the Exact Jury Instructions in the Trump Business Records Trial

Megyn, Aidala, and Eiglarsh break down the exact jury instructions provided to jurors in the Trump business records trial, how they fail to address some key elements of the case, and more.

Could David Pecker’s Testimony End Up Being the Key to the Jury Deliberations 

Megyn, Aronberg, and Davis discuss the jury notes as they began deliberations, the importance of National Enquirer publisher David Pecker’s testimony, how confusing the jury instructions are, and more.

Legal Analysis

Megyn Rips Apart the Outrageous Prosecution of Trump in NY

Megyn, Aidala, and Eiglarsh examine the prosecution’s closing arguments, what the jury is tasked with as they begin deliberations, the outrageous tactics to hide the supposed “underlying crime,” how the U.S. Constitution should come before New York state law, whether Judge Merchan is biased and at fault, and more.

The Failures of Biased Judge Merchan in Sham Trump Trial

Megyn, Dershowitz, and Geragos to discuss the failures of Judge Merchan in the Trump business records trial, why his rulings have made clear how biased he is, the way he is a “prosecutor in a robe,” what Dershowitz witnessed when Merchan thought the media had been removed from the courtroom, and more.

If Trump Is Convicted, Will it Be Overturned on Appeal – and Was That the Point?

Megyn, Aronberg, and Davis to discuss why it is unfair that jurors haven’t heard from a campaign finance law expert, whether the Trump conviction will be overturned on appeal, if that was the whole point of this pre-election trial anyway, and more.

Could Trump Get Sentenced to Jail Time, Probation, or Community Service?

Megyn, Aidala, and Eiglarsh discuss what Trump’s sentence might be now that he has been found guilty, Judge Merchan’s sentencing history, whether Trump will get jail time or “community service,” what probation might look like, and more.

The Media

Even CNN Is Questioning Whether Prosecutors Proved Their Case Against Trump

Megyn, Aidala, and Eiglarsh react to CNN now questioning whether or not the prosecution actually proved its case, why it matters whether Trump had knowledge about the supposed crime, and more.

MSNBC Says Prosecutor Is ‘Shakespeare’… But Did He Lie in Closing Argument? 

Megyn, Dershowitz, and Geragos discuss MSNBC declaring Steinglass “Shakespeare” despite the possible lie he told during his five-hour summation, why this trial should have been televised, and more.

Political Ramifications

Flailing Biden Campaign Holds Press Conference Outside Trump Trial?!

Megyn, Burguiere, and Marcus discuss the Biden campaign holding a press conference outside the Trump trial in NYC, using Robert De Niro and January 6 police officers at the event, the obvious failures of the Biden campaign, and more.

Are Voters Separating Trump’s Policies From Trump’s Character?

Megyn, Burguiere, and Dave Marcus discuss how voters seem to be separating Trump’s policies from his character, the standards of morality for American politicians today, and more.

How Jurors Could Worry About Blowback if They Do Right Thing in Trump Trial

Megyn, Dershowitz, and Geragos to discuss the pressures jurors could face to convict Trump for fear of backlash, the pressure lawyers face if this case goes to appeal, the connection to politics and the 2024 election, and more.

You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to The Megyn Kelly Show on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch the program  live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.