Jury returns to NYC courtroom for second day of deliberations in Trump hush money trial

NEW YORK — The possibility of a verdict against Donald Trump loomed Thursday as the jury in the former president’s historic hush money trial returned to a Manhattan courtroom for a second day of deliberations.

Jurors are slated to get a refresher on crucial testimony from the first and last witnesses to testify against Trump, who walked into court at 9:25 a.m. with a smaller entourage than he’s had over the last weeks, including his son, Eric Trump, and various lawyers and associates.

He slammed the case to reporters in the hallway, saying “this is a very sad day for America.”

Trump stood by the courtroom well chatting with a Secret Service agent and his legal spokeswoman Alina Habba before taking his seat at the defense table.

To start the day, Merchan read aloud to the jury instructions on the law and how to deliberate. The foreman asked Wednesday for the refresher.

The first note of the day from the jury on Thursday was a request for headphones to listen to audio and video exhibits on the computer they were issued.

On Wednesday, they asked for parts of the testimony of David Pecker and Michael Cohen.

Jurors are expected to hear a read-back of portions of media magnate David Pecker’s testimony — regarding his communications with Trump about paying off Playboy model Karen McDougal — and Michael Cohen’s. They also requested to hear the judge’s instruction again on how to deliberate the case.

On Wednesday, Trump said outside court that “Mother Teresa could not beat these charges.”

Catch up

Trump, 77, has pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment alleging he falsified New York business records to cover up a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a plot to hide damaging information about his past from the voting public.

Prosecutors say Trump’s 2017 reimbursement to Michael Cohen for paying off the porn star two weeks before the 2016 election to keep secret her allegations of a seedy sexual liaison were disguised as payment for “legal services” to disguise a conspiracy to unlawfully influence his election.

To find Trump guilty of the felony-level charges, jurors must determine he’s responsible for the fraudulent filing of 11 checks to Michael Cohen, 11 corresponding invoices, and 12 entries in the Trump Organization’s general ledger — or for others causing those filings.

In his instruction to the jury before they got the case early Wednesday, the judge said they must be unanimous in their determination of Trump’s role in regard to the business records, but they can have varying opinions on the unlawful means employed to boost his candidacy.

The presumptive GOP nominee vehemently denies being a philanderer, plotting to win the White House by breaking the law, or paying Cohen for hush money and not genuine work carried out as his personal attorney.