Trump Guilty Or Not Guilty? Hush Money Trial Verdict Not So Simple: 5 Possible Outcomes

Zinger Key Points
  • There are five possible outcomes of the Trump hush money criminal trial.
  • A look at the potential outcomes and early closing arguments from Trump's defense.

One of the most watched trials in the United States in 2024 is nearing an end, with closing arguments coming this week in a federal case alleging former President Donald Trump falsified business records.

Here's the latest on the trial and the possible outcomes the jury can decide.

What Happened: Jury selection for Trump's hush money trial alleging falsified business records began on April 15. After multiple weeks of jury selection and witness testimony, both sides have rested.

On Tuesday, the trial resumes, with the judge issuing instructions to the jury and closing arguments set to begin in the trial. Once the trial is handed over to the jury, the trial could continue for hours or weeks, depending on how they view the evidence.

The 12 members of the jury could decide the fate of Trump in the trial, with multiple outcomes, all requiring unanimous agreement. Several other outcomes could also be reached in the trial, reported Politico.

Trump faces 34 felony counts related to falsified business records. The prosecution alleges records were falsified in connection to a hush money payment made by Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen to adult actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Here are the potential outcomes in the trial:

  • Jury finds guilty on all counts
  • Jury finds guilty on some counts, acquits Trump on other counts
  • Jury finds not guilty on all counts
  • Hung jury
  • Directed verdict

If Trump is found guilty on charges, the former president could appeal the ruling.

On a guilty verdict, Judge Juan Merchan would determine the sentencing for Trump, with up to four years in prison for each guilty count.

A hung jury could be one of the most talked about outcomes for the trial. This result happens if the 12 jurors cannot reach a unanimous decision. Politico highlighted several cases involving Trump allies or similar in nature to Trump’s, which have resulted in hung jury verdicts.

Failure to reach a verdict by the jury could lead to Judge Merchan declaring a mistrial in the case.

The prosecution could choose to retry the criminal trial against Trump in the event of a hung jury and mistrial.

The directed verdict is the most unlikely for Trump's trial, but remains a possibility, Politico said. In this scenario, Merchan would remove the jury from the case and acquit Trump on the charges. This ruling would come if the judge determines that the prosecution failed to prove their case. Trump's defense team has repeatedly requested the case to be dismissed, but Merchan has consistently declined to do so.

Related Link: Trump Hush Money Trial Has 12 Jurors: Here Are The 7 Men, 5 Women To Decide Former President’s Fate

What's Next: On Tuesday, Merchan instructed the jury, informing them that they would hear closing arguments before making their decisions, based on the testimony and evidence already presented in the case.

"You are the finders of fact, and it is for you and for you alone to determine the facts from the evidence," Merchan said, as reported by NBC News. "You and you alone are the judges of the facts in the case."

Closing arguments could take six to seven hours for the defense and prosecution, according to estimates shared with NBC.

Trump layer Todd Blanche used the opening of his closing argument to discuss the nature of the case.

"This case is about documents, it's a paper case," Blanche said.

Blanche told the jury that "President Trump is innocent" and the trial proved that.

"He did not commit any crimes and the district has not met their burden of proof. Period."

Blanche also pointed to key prosecution witness and former Trump lawyer Cohen being a liar and his testimony being untrustworthy.

President Joe Biden's campaign team is expected to hold a news conference outside the court Tuesday and is said to be closely monitoring the outcome of the trial.

On Tuesday, Trump spoke briefly to the media ahead of the trial. The former president said the trial is "election hunting" and "election interfering."

"This is not a trial that should happen. It's a very sad day. This is a dark day in America," Trump said.

As previously shared by Benzinga, a guilty verdict does not rule out Trump running for president. Trump is also set to maintain control of his media company Trump Media & Technology Group Corp DJT if he ends up in prison.

DJT Price Action: Trump Media & Technology shares are up 5.1% to $48.17 on Tuesday. Shares of Trump's media company have been highly volatile during his criminal proceedings.

Read Next: Trump Vs. Biden: 2024 Presidential Candidates Neck-And-Neck With 1 Point Difference Following Independent Voters Recent Poll Shift

Image generated using artificial intelligence via Midjourney.

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Posted In: PoliticsLegalTop Stories2024 electionDonald TrumpHush Money TrialJoe BidenJuan MerchanMichael CohenStormy DanielsTodd Blanche
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