Deliberations begin in Trump's criminal trial with request to relive key testimony

The first day of jury deliberations in Donald Trump's criminal trial concluded after the panel sent their first two notes to the judge Wednesday afternoon, just a few hours after beginning deliberations. They requested to rehear jury instructions, as well as rehear testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker about the August 2015 Trump Tower meeting where he agreed to identify negative stories for Trump, a phone call he says he had with Trump about the Karen McDougal deal, and his decision not to sell the rights to McDougal's story to Trump. The jury also asked to hear Michael Cohen's testimony about the same Trump Tower meeting. Judge Juan M. Merchan said it would take some time to gather the requested testimony and about a half hour to re-read it to the jury. Deliberations will resume Thursday morning.

The historic deliberations followed Tuesday's whirlwind of closing arguments, which stretched into the evening as prosecutor Joshua Steinglass accused Trump of intentionally deceiving voters by allegedly participating in a "catch-and-kill" scheme to bury stories that might obliterate his 2016 presidential bid.

The defense approached its summation much in the same way it approached cross-examination: by targeting the credibility of star witness Michael Cohen.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, charges which are punishable by up to four years in prison. He has denied all wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

At the heart of the charges are reimbursements paid to Cohen for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for not going public with her claim about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

Prosecutors say the reimbursements were falsely logged as "legal expenses" to hide the true nature of the transactions.

The case is the first of Trump's four indictments to reach trial and is the first-ever criminal case against a former U.S. president.

Currently:-- Cohen's credibility, campaigning at court and other highlights from closing arguments-- Rallies and debates used to define campaigns. Now they're about juries and trials-- Biden's campaign shows up outside Trump's trial with Robert De Niro and others-- Another big name will be at the courthouse in Manhattan on Wednesday: Harvey Weinstein-- Trump hush money case: A timeline of key eventsHere's the latest:Donald Trump continued to complain about the hush money trial as he left court Wednesday after the first day of jury deliberations.

"The judge ought to end it and save his reputation," Trump told reporters after conferring with his campaign and legal teams.

The former president also railed that "a lot of key witnesses were not called," even though his side ultimately chose to call only two witnesses to testify.

He said again it's "very unfair" that he has to be in court instead of out campaigning" and again labeled the case "a Biden witch hunt" and "weaponization."

Court in Donald Trump's hush money case has adjourned for the day. Proceedings will resume on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Judge Juan M. Merchan has returned to the bench in the Manhattan courtroom where Donald Trump's hush money trial is being held. Trump is also back in the courtroom.

"OK, where do we stand?" Merchan asked the lawyers, who have been sifting through trial transcripts to isolate portions requested by the jury.

After going through areas of agreement about how to respond to some of the jury's requests, the two sides are now asking the judge to settle disagreements about exactly which lines of David Pecker's testimony about the Trump Tower meeting will be read to the jurors.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass said the testimony that jurors want read aloud to them involves "a lot of little snippets that are not very long," but a total of about 35 pages.

One reason why the process of gathering requested testimony for the jury is somewhat painstaking is that witnesses aren't always asked about events in one fell swoop. Sometimes lawyers will return to a topic at different points in their questioning, and the same events can be covered again and again on direct examination and cross-examination. One of the goals of sifting through the transcripts is to ensure that no relevant testimony is left out.

The lawyers also want to make sure that testimony they feel isn't relevant to the jury's request is left out of whatever is read back to the panel. Opposing sides often debate what is and isn't pertinent.

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