Judge’s Jury Instructions Virtually Ensure Trump’s Conviction

Written by Jacob Miller.

In a recent interview, legal expert Cobb predicted that if the jury starts deliberations on Tuesday afternoon, a verdict could come by Friday. “I expect a ‘GUILTY’ verdict because the jury instructions, urged by the DA and adopted by the judge, almost force a conviction,” Cobb told Semafor.

He added, “My conclusion comes from years of experience as a federal prosecutor and defense lawyer. Trump remains a huge threat to democracy, despite my reverence for the rule of law.”

Mr. Gouveia noted that the jury can choose any crime they prefer without agreeing unanimously. This method prevents a hung jury. The jury can select different alleged violations, and Judge Merchan, seemingly on a mission, ensures it happens.

Controversial Jury Instructions

Gouveia described the jury instructions as shocking and un-American. The legal tactics employed are reminiscent of a corrupt authoritarian regime. Acting Justice Merchan will reportedly tell jurors they can each choose one of three ‘predicate’ crimes during deliberations.

Surprisingly, they don’t need to agree on which crime Trump committed to find him guilty. This move undermines our justice system’s foundation, highlighting how New York Democrats use judicial control for political revenge.

The Three Predicate Crimes:

1. Tax Fraud

Allegations suggest Trump or his organization misrepresented payments to Michael Cohen. It’s crucial to note Trump didn’t take a deduction for these payments. To convict Trump of tax fraud, all three elements must be true:

  • False Statement: Trump must have falsely represented on a tax return or related document. No deduction was claimed.
  • Intent: The false statement must aim to evade taxes. No taxes were evaded.
  • Materiality: The false statement must be material, influencing the tax authority’s decision. No decision was influenced.

2. State Election Law Violations

The prosecution argues that not itemizing payments to Michael Cohen in 2017 was an attempt to influence the 2016 election. To convict Trump of violating state election law, each of these elements must be true:

  • Intent to Influence an Election: Clear evidence must show Trump intended to influence the 2016 election.
  • Unlawful Expenditure or Contribution: The payments must be an unlawful expenditure or contribution.
  • Material Effect: Trump’s actions must have significantly influenced the election. Trump lost New York by over 23% in 2016. Despite publicity around the payment, he’s projected to lose by 10% in 2024. The payment would need to have a ‘material effect’ on the election, which it did not.

3. Federal Election Law Violations

The prosecution claims Trump should have used campaign funds to pay Michael Cohen for services related to Stormy Daniels and reported those payments to the FEC. The jury doesn’t know that the FEC has reviewed and dismissed these allegations. To convict Trump of violating federal election law, these elements must be true:

  • Contribution: Trump must have made or accepted a contribution.
  • Exceeding Limits: The contribution must exceed limits set by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Under FECA, there’s no limit to contributions a candidate can make to their campaign, making this charge invalid.
  • Intent: The contribution must aim to influence the election. The FEC’s dismissal underscores the lack of merit in this case.

The Final Verdict

After choosing one or more ‘predicate’ crimes, the jury will decide if Trump falsified business records in the first degree under New York Penal Law § 175.10. To convict, each of these elements must be true:

  • False Entry: Trump must have instructed his accountant not to itemize payments to Michael Cohen. The Trump Organization’s accountant testified that Trump wasn’t involved in the matter and that expenses were booked without his input.
  • Intent to Defraud: The un-itemized entries must aim to defraud. There’s no allegation that the accountant intended to defraud by not itemizing the payments, nor evidence that Trump was aware of the entries or had fraudulent intent.
  • Concealment of Another Crime: The false entries must aim to conceal other crimes. There’s no evidence that Trump intended to commit tax fraud, as he didn’t try to deduct the payments. Similarly, there’s no indication that Trump intended to violate state election law, as he didn’t campaign in New York, recognizing it as a lost cause.

Finally, Trump didn’t intend to break federal campaign finance laws, believing he couldn’t use campaign money for an NDA, and knowing he could spend unlimited personal funds on his campaign.

Our Take

This case represents a dangerous new level of legal warfare. The absence of any real crime, much less a predicate crime, highlights the judicial overreach at play. Despite this, Acting Justice Merchan seems unconcerned about potential reversal, focusing solely on securing a guilty verdict. This politicization of the judiciary is deeply troubling and undermines the integrity of our legal system. It sets a dangerous precedent where political vendettas drive legal outcomes, eroding public trust in justice.

Trending Stories:

Our Sponsors: