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Trump jury ends 1st day of deliberations eyeing Trump talks with Cohen, Pecker

NEW YORK - The jury in Donald Trump's hush money trial deliberated for several hours Wednesday in the first criminal case against a former U.S. president, weighing a momentous decision that could brand the presumptive GOP presidential nominee as a felon just five months before Election Day.

"You are the judges of the facts, and you are responsible for deciding whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty," New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said while giving the jurors their final legal instructions. The panel was dismissed in the late afternoon and will return to the task Thursday morning.

The judge emphasized that the verdict is solely theirs to make and that they should not take anything he has said or done from the bench as suggestive of whether Trump should be found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to an adult-film actress ahead of the 2016 election.


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