Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 29, 2024

Legal Expert Advises Jury On Trump’s Case

Legal expert Jonathan Turley has sharply criticized the prosecution's case against former President Donald Trump, stating it lacks clarity and substantial evidence and urging the jury to find Trump not guilty.

According to Conservative Brief, Turley highlighted numerous flaws and inconsistencies in the indictment, underscoring that even liberal legal analysts couldn't decipher the charges.

Jonathan Turley, a professor at Georgetown Law School, voiced significant concerns over the legibility and validity of the charges against Donald Trump in his hush money trial. His critical analysis was published in an op-ed in the New York Post on Monday.

Turley Questions Prosecution's Clarity

Turley asserted that the indictment, brought by District Attorney Alvin Bragg, remains nebulous even to eminent legal analysts. He noted that these legal minds have struggled to identify the actual allegations from the prosecution after weeks of trial. According to Turley, this lack of definition is a major flaw in the case.

Adding to the complexity, Judge Juan Merchan instructed the jurors that they did not need to reach a consensus on a specific crime, further complicating the defense's legal landscape. Turley emphasized that jurors were given sparse substantive information and were not provided with a legal expert capable of countering the claims of federal election violation.

Prosecution's Arguments Under Scrutiny

Turley likened the case against Trump to a "three-legged stool," indicating it is supported by falsification of records, a secondary crime, and criminal intent. He stressed that the case would fall apart if any of these elements were missing. According to Turley, the stool is indeed wobbly.

Defense witnesses testified that payments labeled as "legal expenses" were processed under an outdated system, and there was no good evidence to suggest Trump was aware of the specifics. Turley further argued that no secondary crime had been demonstrated, asserting that no testimony supported a federal campaign violation.

Turley sharply criticized the prosecution's reliance on Michael Cohen’s testimony for establishing criminal intent. He pointed out that Cohen, who had admitted to stealing $60,000 from the Trump Organization, did not provide any clear grounds for Trump's criminal intent to unlawfully influence the election.

Defense Strategy and Jury Instructions

In his op-ed, Turley emphasized the defense's need to highlight the lack of evidence connecting Trump to a federal campaign violation and warned against an unwarranted conviction. He raised concerns about Judge Merchan's conduct, suggesting it could be a "reversible error" for allowing the jury to consider federal election law violations.

Turley noted that the Federal Election Commission had previously ruled that payments to Stormy Daniels were not campaign-related, and federal prosecutors had found no misconduct in their 2018 investigation.

“I got to tell you, I think this judge may have already committed a reversible error,” Turley stated, referring to Judge Merchan’s instructions to the jury suggesting that Trump might have violated federal election laws. According to Turley, this interpretation is misleading and unfairly prejudicial.

Implications For the Justice System

Turley argued that convicting someone without clear evidence or a defined crime undermines the integrity of the legal system. He expressed this vividly:

In the end, we are all standing on that wobbly stool when the government seeks to convict people without evidence or even a clear crime. If we allow a conviction, it is more than a stool that will collapse in this Manhattan courtroom.

In summary, legal expert Jonathan Turley has critiqued the prosecution's unclear charges and lack of evidence in Donald Trump's hush money trial, urging jurors to find Trump 'not guilty.' Turley’s analysis highlights perceived judicial errors and the broader risks to the justice system if such cases are allowed to stand. Turley’s expert opinion underscores concerns over the foundation of the charges, suggesting they are not solid enough to support a conviction.

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