Pressing questions as jurors to start deliberations in Tump hush money trial

Jurors will soon deliver a verdict in the New York trial of Donald Trump. Guilty or innocent, their decision will shake the United States.

They must decide whether the former and perhaps future president is a criminal, just months before an election that could put him back in the White House.

The panel of 12 ordinary New Yorkers will start deliberations this week and they must reach a unanimous verdict, or the case will be declared a mistrial.

Here are some of the pressing questions ahead:

What will the jury be asked to decide?

Much attention has been paid to the salacious details that have emerged in the trial, particularly from porn star Stormy Daniels who alleged a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

But the case ultimately boils down to whether Trump knowingly covered up a $130,000 payment to Daniels for her silence in an effort to prevent her claims derailing his 2016 presidential battle against Hillary Clinton.

The jury must decide not only if Trump caused the records of payments to be falsified, but that he did so to cover up another crime -- an undeclared campaign donation in this case -- making it a felony.

Depending on the judge's instructions to the jurors, the 12 panelists could be asked to consider whether the alleged cover-up was a lesser misdemeanor if the threshold for a felony conviction is not surpassed -- though this is seen as unlikely.

(AFP)


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