Donald Trump: Jury continues to struggle for verdict on second day of deliberations

In the hush money trial against Donald Trump, the deliberations of the twelve jurors are entering the second round. On the first day, the jury made several requests to the court.

After the first day of jury deliberations in the hush money trial against former US President Donald Trump, the twelve jurors are still struggling to reach a verdict. On Thursday (from 3:30 p.m. CEST), the decision-making process of the seven men and five women will continue with a reading of several key witness statements in Room 1530 of the court in New York.

Several hours after deliberations began, the jury made its first request to the court on Wednesday, shortly before the end of the day's session. The jurors asked Judge Juan Merchan for certain passages from the testimony of two of the most important witnesses, as journalists in the courtroom in New York unanimously reported.

Prosecutors accuse Trump of trying to improve his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election by paying porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money and then illegally accounting for the money. Trump denies this.

Although the payment itself – which neither party disputed – was not illegal, the now 77-year-old is said to have manipulated documents when reimbursing the amount to his then personal lawyer Michael Cohen in order to conceal the true reason for the transaction. According to the prosecution, this made him guilty of 34 counts of illegal campaign financing.

Trial against Donald Trump: Reading expected in the courtroom

The jury now asked for specific statements from key witness Cohen and from David Pecker, the former editor of the tabloid “National Enquirer”. Both men had confirmed the prosecutor's allegations against Trump.

At a meeting in Trump Tower, Cohen and Pecker were reportedly tasked with investigating unfavorable rumors about Trump's alleged affairs and suppressing media reports about them in order to improve Trump's chances of success in the 2016 US election. As a result, money was paid for the rights to stories – which were ultimately never published – about Trump's extramarital sex. There was also a hush money payment to porn star Daniels.

The statements of both witnesses, including those about the momentous meeting in Trump's skyscraper, are to be read out in the courtroom on Thursday morning. In addition, Judge Merchan will, upon request, repeat his instructions to the jury, or at least parts of them.

If convicted, Trump faces a fine or a prison sentence of several years, which could also be suspended. The Republican could then appeal – and even if he is found guilty, he could still run for president in November.