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Trump trial live updates: Trump says 'Mother Teresa could not beat these charges' as jury deliberates

Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City, where he is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been tried on criminal charges.

MORE: From 'MVP of liars' to 'subversion of democracy,' Trump's hush money case wraps with dramatic closings

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.


Latest Developments


May 29, 1:20 PM

Trump says he doesn't 'even know what the charges are'


As the jury continues its deliberations, Donald Trump posted on his social media platform in all caps that "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE CHARGES ARE IN THIS RIGGED CASE."

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"I AM ENTITLED TO SPECIFICITY JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE," he wrote.

The post comes after Trump watched Judge Merchan spend over an hour instructing the jury on the law and specific charges in the case, including each of the 34 counts that the former president faces for falsifying business records in order to hide a hush money payment to boost his prospects in the 2016 election.


May 29, 12:29 PM

Trump says 'Mother Teresa could not beat these charges'

"Mother Teresa could not beat these charges," former President Trump told reporters as he exited the courtroom following Judge Merchan's jury instructions.

"We'll see how we do," Trump said as the jury began its deliberations. "It's a very disgraceful situation."

PHOTO: Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the press after the 12 jurors in his criminal trial began deliberating at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 29, 2024. (Charly Triballeau/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the press after the 12 jurors in his criminal trial began deliberating at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 29, 2024. (Charly Triballeau/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump reiterated his grievances with the judge and case's limited gag order, before complaining that he should be on the campaign trail.

"This is five weeks and five weeks of really, essentially, not campaigning," Trump said.

He exited the hallway without answering any questions from reporters.

-Kelsey Walsh


May 29, 12:05 PM

Judge tells parties to stay in building during deliberations

Jurors will deliberate until 4:30 p.m. ET today if they don't reach a verdict sooner, Judge Merchan said.

"You cannot leave the building and you need to be able to get here quickly" when a verdict is reached, the judge told the parties after the jury had left the courtroom.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump, flanked by attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove, arrives for his criminal trial at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, NY on  May 29, 2024. (Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump, flanked by attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove, arrives for his criminal trial at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, NY on May 29, 2024. (Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters)

Former President Trump got up from the defense table and spoke with several associates, then exited the courtroom with his entourage.

The staff and lawyers from the Manhattan district attorney's office also left the courtroom.


May 29, 11:35 AM

Alternate jurors will stay through deliberations

As the 12 main jurors left the courtroom, most appeared to look away from Trump as they passed his counsel table.

The six alternate jurors remained in the courtroom after the 12 main jurors left to begin deliberations.

"We are not going to excuse you just yet," Judge Merchan told the alternates,

He asked them to stick around through the deliberations. though they won't participate in the deliberations themselves.


May 29, 11:29 AM

Jury begins deliberating in historic case

"That concludes my instructions on the law. Counsel please approach," Judge Merchan said when he was done instructing the jury.

He held a sidebar with the attorneys, after which the jurors filed out of the courtroom to begin deliberations.


May 29, 11:22 AM

Merchan tells jurors be firm but considerate of other jurors

Judge Merchan emphasized that jurors each need to come to an individual decision about the verdict after hearing and understanding the view of the other jurors.

"Each of you must decide the case for yourself, but only after a fair and impartial consideration of the evidence with the other jurors," Merchan said.

"You should discuss the evidence and consult with each other, listen to each other, give the others' views careful consideration," he said. "You should not surrender an honest view of the evidence simply because you want the trial to end, or because you're outvoted."

"Your verdict on each count you consider must ... be unanimous -- that is, each and every juror must agree to it," Merchan said.

Merchan said that the jury foreperson will read the verdict for each of the charged counts. Merchan will then poll the entire jury to confirm their verdict.


May 29, 11:12 AM

Judge reviews law on falsifying business records

Judge Merchan read the jury the New York state law related to falsifying business records.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump, flanked by attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove, arrives for his criminal trial at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, NY, May 29, 2024.  (Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump, flanked by attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove, arrives for his criminal trial at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, NY, May 29, 2024. (Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters)

"Under our law, a person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when, with intent to defraud that includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof," Merchan read.

Few of the jurors appeared to be taking the notes at that point.


May 29, 11:04 AM

Judge runs through each count


Judge Merchan then reviewed each of the counts against Trump to explain the People's burden of proof.

He said that in the interest of brevity, he would instruct them on Falsification of Business Records for the first count -- but not the full instruction for all 34 counts, because they are identical.

Merchan methodically walked through each of the allegedly falsified documents, listing the dates, voucher numbers, and check numbers for each of the records.

The judge said he would be happy to repeat the instructions later if the jury so requests.


May 29, 10:57 AM

Judge lays out 'unlawful means' to be considered

Judge Merchan explained to jurors the prosecution's three theories for the unlawful means used to influence the 2016 election.

First, Merchan said that the unlawful means could include a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which caps campaign contributions. Prosecutors allege that Michael Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels exceeded the legal cap.

Second, Merchan said prosecutors argue that Trump and others falsified business records, including the bank paperwork for Essential Consultants Inc., the money wire to Daniels, and the 1099 forms related to Cohen's repayment.

Third, Merchan said the crime could be violations of tax laws related to the "grossing up" of Cohen's reimbursement to cover the taxes he would owe on the payment.


May 29, 10:52 AM

Merchan describes the 'other crime' possibly committed


Judge Merchan tells the jury that prosecutors allege that Trump attempted to conceal a violation of New York election law by falsifying business records.

"They need not prove that the other crime was committed, aided, or concealed," Merchan said.

Prosecutors are relying on New York Election Law 17-152, which prohibits "any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means." Prosecutors offered three theories of the "unlawful means" mentioned in that law.

Though jurors will need to agree Trump falsified records in furtherance of an additional crime in order to convict, "they need not be unanimous" on "what unlawful means" were used, Merchan said.

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