Judge Instructs Jurors They Need Not Believe Trump Is Guilty To Convict Him

NEW YORK, NY — As the criminal trial involving former President Donald Trump winds to a close, the presiding judge instructed jurors that they don’t have to believe Trump is guilty to convict him. (The Babylon Bee, May 30, 2024) 

The reminder from Judge Juan Merchan was issued to the jury as closing arguments began, with the judge clarifying that Trump doesn’t necessarily have to be guilty of a crime in order for the jury to find Trump guilty of a crime.

“Don’t get hung up on whether or not he’s ‘guilty’ of anything,” Judge Merchan instructed jurors. “Words like ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’ or ‘evidence’ are really just for show, anyway. The important thing is that you listen to the closing arguments with an open mind and an unwavering commitment to handing down a guilty verdict. Remember, believing Trump is guilty is not important. Declaring him guilty — that’s what you’re all here for.”


Comedy is only really funny if it is grounded in some truth …

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27 Responses to Judge Instructs Jurors They Need Not Believe Trump Is Guilty To Convict Him

  1. Julie says:

    The crime cannot be articulated. That’s farcical, is it not?

  2. Garry Stannus says:

    Thank you, Andrew. I’m still having difficulty with understanding your use of the word ‘articulated’.

    You’ve written: “the crime that was meant to tie the charges together that could not be articulated is still unstated; it isn’t falsifying business records 8 years ago”.

    Here is a link to the charges for which he was indicted:

    Here is the first of the thirty four charges:

    THE GRAND JURY OF THE COUNTY OF NEW YORK, by this indictment, accuses the defendant of the crime of FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS IN THE FIRST DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law §175.10, committed as follows:
    The defendant, in the County of New York and elsewhere, on or about February 14, 2017, with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof, made and caused a false entry in the business records of an enterprise, to wit, an invoice from Michael Cohen dated February 14, 2017, marked as a record of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, and kept and maintained by the Trump Organization.

    …and so on, 34 times. Separate charges, not apparently reliant on what you refer to as one ‘other crime’ meant to tie the charges together?

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Counsels’ opening and closing addresses … but I don’t have the time to dig it all out myself. I did hear that Trump can’t appeal until he’s been sentenced. It’s a pity that he didn’t take the stand, but perhaps he was wise in electing not to do so. Look what happened to Sue at her trial.

    An Appeal?

    Appeal strategy?

    While Trump said Friday morning he plans to appeal the verdict based on “many things,” legal observers speculate his team’s approach may come down to a few options.

    In New York, falsifying a business record is illegal in the first degree when the “intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”

    While the jurors had to unanimously agree on an intent to commit another crime, they did not have to agree unanimously on what that underlying crime was, according to Merchan’s instructions to the jury prior to deliberations.

    Merchan said jurors could consider three options for the other crime: violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act; falsification of other business records; or, violation of tax laws.

    Obus said a “non-frivolous argument” that Trump’s team might use is that one of those underlying crimes was a federal, not a state crime.

    “That’s the kind of argument that we might see on appeal — the argument being that New York courts don’t have the authority to prosecute the case with that being the object crime because it’s a federal crime,” Obus said. “I don’t think that’ll be successful.”

    In addition to the challenge regarding federal election law, Shane T. Stansbury of Duke Law told States Newsroom in an interview Friday that he expects to see Trump’s legal team challenge evidentiary issues.

    “For example, I would expect that the defense would make a claim that the salacious testimony by Stormy Daniels about the details of her sexual encounter with Donald Trump was unfairly prejudicial,” Stansbury said.

    Also, Trump’s lawyers might challenge the judge’s decision to strike from defense attorney Todd Blanche’s closing statement a plea he made to the jury, asking them to not send Trump “to prison.”

    The charge against Trump could, or could not, result in prison time.

    “You can imagine the defense saying that that correction may have prejudiced the jury. Now, I should say that those kinds of evidentiary issues are a much steeper climb for the defense,” Stansbury said.

    [see the Georgia Recorder @ https://georgiarecorder.com/2024/06/01/an-angry-trump-pledges-to-appeal-this-scam-conviction-as-republicans-vow-resistance/%5D

    In trying to get closer to understanding your ‘use of the word ‘articulated’ and your “the crime that was meant to tie the charges together that could not be articulated is still unstated; it isn’t falsifying business records 8 years ago” … I think that the second element of the Georgia Recorder’s…

    “Merchan said jurors could consider three options for the other crime: violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act; falsification of other business records; or, violation of tax laws.”

    …might be that which explains what you think is ‘unarticulated’. That is, that the other 33 charges in the indictment are the successive crimes committed on each occasion ‘from-the-first-to-the-second-to-the-third’ and so on of the 34 crimes alleged in the indictment.

    If my reading of the indictment is correct, then your complaint of “the crime cannot be articulated” is misconceived – in my view it is articulated by each of the successive 33 charges … all 34 four of which have been found to be proven… not a ‘one charge covers all’, but the ‘another crime‘ referred to in the indictment is the next in the series of ‘false entries’.

    We will watch the appeal with interest! (Smile!)

    • andrew says:

      As you point out, “While the jurors had to unanimously agree on an intent to commit another crime, they did not have to agree unanimously on what that underlying crime was, according to Merchan’s instructions to the jury prior to deliberations.” I’d say that was a failure of due process but never mind me.
      I also await the appeal with interest – and a smile :)

  3. Garry Stannus says:

    Thank you, Andrew. I don’t understand your ‘…the crime cannot be articulated.” I do appreciate that Trump’s lies and his hyperbole should not serve as justifying a wrongful conviction – wrongful convictions are rotten things.

    But it is not good enough to assert that Trump has been wrongfully convicted … as some do assert. Such assertions need to be backed up by reasoned argument.

    Where – or how – was his conviction wrongful?

    Susan Neill-Fraser was wrongly convicted (that’s my assertion for which I will give reasons):

    More than one miscarriage of justice occurred during her trial:

    -She was denied the right to have Meaghan Vass recalled to the stand after Detective Sinnitt gave evidence which seemed to contradict that which Meaghan had earlier given in the court.

    -The admissibility of evidence accepted by Justice Blow is questioned … Phillip Triffett, for example …

    -Justice Blow’s own failure alert the jury to the matter of the glove … asserted by the DPP as containing the DNA of the accused yet in reality containing that of Bob Chappell’s son.

    There is much that Sue Neill-Fraser’s jury did not hear … indeed those jury members probably believed that they’d heard all the evidence and so forth…

    But, they had not heard some of the evidence – and/or were told to disregard it – and they certainly were unaware of what those later years of hearings preparatory to the second appeal were to reveal.

    Maybe Donald Trump is innocent of the charges which he faced. I wouldn’t know…

    However, if, as you seem to suggest, if Trump has been wrongfully convicted, I would ask you for some details. By the way, I saw something online some time ago which might be of interest to you. Perhaps you already know of it, perhaps not. I can’t disclose it here, online, but please, ‘give me a ring’!

    • andrew says:

      An appeal sets out to show that the accused has not received a fair trial.
      Just a few I have heard about:
      – leading election law specialist, a former head of the Federal Election Commission no less, stopped by judge Merchan from testifying for defence
      – Trump’s lawyer Blanche said they could appeal the timing and location of the trial in Manhattan were unfair to Trump and the pre-trial publicity about the case “made it very difficult” for the jury to “evaluate the evidence … independent of what they knew coming in.”
      – DA Melvin Bragg ran for election on a promise to ‘get Trump’ – evidence of prejudice
      – the charges were impermissibly upgraded from (out of time) misdemeanour to felony
      – the crime that was meant to tie the charges together that could not be articulated is still unstated; it isn’t falsifying business records 8 years ago
      – Stormy Daniels testimony irrelevant but prejudicial; judge agreed AFTER she testified …followed by refusal of motion to declare mistrial
      – Michael Cohen was previously convicted of making false statements. The defence argued he shouldn’t be relied upon

      Then there is Merchan’s apprehended bias as a Democrat donor, etc

      • Heinrich says:

        Lewd Lascivious and Outrageously Deceitful Deception from a Democrat Beak ! Get Trump ! The classic DA (dpp) and Judge team work used on a jury to bamboozle with exciting tales of Shakespearean fantasy “boudoir strumpets” and totally legal (no crime) , don’t tell the missus for cry sakes ! That’s one secret assignation video I don’t want to watch – thank you !

  4. Pv says:

    We create what , in future , will be our History .
    I’m not just talking about the US.
    Every country has skeletons in the closet.
    The State against Donald Trump trial is , believe it or not , the tip of the iceberg.
    Pandora’s box is open. !

  5. Pv says:

    Today I felt sick. It took me back to Corrupt DPP incompetent and biased judges in Australia. Juries who come up with a verdict as directed by a corrupt judge are not a jury at all. What was their role , if they can’t make up their own minds based on their view of the weight of evidence. Donald trumps conviction required the abuse of power to succeed . The judge , prosecutor , and everyone involved , were part of a conspiracy to Pervert The Course of Justice . That crime and its repercussions are commensurate with Treason. Charge them all. Disbar the lawyers . We demand Real Justice. Pv I’m angry.

  6. Garry Stannus says:

    Trump in his own words [https://tinyurl.com/kd9wmfeu]:

    These are bad people. These are, in many cases, I believe, sick people. When you look at our country, what’s happening, where millions and millions of people are flowing in from all parts of the world, not just South America, from Africa, from Asia, from the Middle East, and they’re coming in from jails and prisons, and they’re coming in from mental institutions and insane asylums. They’re coming in from all over the world into our country, and we have a president and a group of fascists that don’t want to do anything about it. [https://tinyurl.com/35sw47ut]

    Just so you understand, this is all done by Biden and his people, maybe his people, more importantly, I don’t know, if Biden knows too much about it, because I don’t know if he knows about anything, but he’s nevertheless the president, so we have to use his name, and this is done by Washington, and nobody’s ever seen anything like it.

    ‘Referring to judge Juan Merchan, Trump said, “He wouldn’t allow us to have witnesses, he wouldn’t allow us to talk, he wouldn’t allow us to do anything. The judge was a tyrant.” ‘ [https://tinyurl.com/bd6nk6z2]

    Trump ‘runs at the mouth’. That last statement of his contains untruths … there were two defence witnesses and Trump himself chose not to take the stand, despite being told by the judge that he could do so. [https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/4677194-trump-hush-money-trial-witnesses/]

    Just for some ‘top-up’ reading, try ‘Surreal scenes as jurors in New York trial tell Trump what they really think’ [https://tinyurl.com/yw9hwsyu].

    • andrew says:

      None of that excuses or justifies a wrongful conviction, especially when the crime cannot be articulated. “The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.” – Plato

  7. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    ” Hush Money “, in my book is an euphemism for Blackmail. Perhaps she was disappointed with the amount Trump paid her because she asked him for more ? In my opinion , just a slut who suffered no injury to her reputation . I wonder how much she received to testify against him ? Neither Bill Clinton or Nixon were prosecuted. Why not ?

  8. Owen Allen says:

    Ok, get a grip, it had to be this way, but it won’t stick. The appeal will have it over turned. Not my prophecy, but legal facts on a doco today.
    And today I had to disturb a pro palestine demonstration in Lismore outside Jannelle Saffins office, Member of NSW Legislative Assembly. The footpath was completely blocked off soI had to excuse myself and walk ” on the stage, so to speak” in front of the gullibles in the gutter and the 2 speakers against the building. Just as well I wasn’t a Jihadist, they all would have gone.

  9. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    Ex-Italian Prime Minister Belusconi was involved in sex scandals and convicted of multiple cases of Tax Fraud , but, this did not prevent him from being re-elected to parliament after a period of time. How many skeletons in the cupboard have Trump accusers , etc got ? The main witness for the prosecution is a PROVEN liar, yet his testimony has been accepted to convict Trump !

    • Heinrich says:

      Scusi – Every Italian politician is involved in a sex scandal – `e normale ! Like living at home with your mother to cook for you until you are 30 .

    • Heinrich says:

      Don’t spose any of youse got Stormys phone number – can I record the transaction as miscellaneous on my company’s credit card (tax deductible entertainment allowance) or should i just pay cash or but coin ?

  10. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    Biden with his gafes is an embarrassment. How Putin and Xi, etc are laughing that the USA has such a leader and that the USA is tearing itself apart. Horrible miscarriage of justice today. America should hang its head in shame. The biased judge, etc are worse than Trump. Wake up Australia because this sort of thing is already happening in WOKE Australia where within a few years Whites will be the minority and I predict we will have the same sort of “justice “meted out to us because the young have been taught to hate us because we’re White, and to hate our Christian religion and European culture because we are ” White Oppressors “. Islam is the fastest growing religion in Australia and immigration from the Middle East and Africa is out of control while Australians sleep in cars !

  11. Garry Stannus says:

    The Not-the-Bees-Knees (Babylon Bee) satire has been met with the proper and well-deserved response:

    ‘Jury finds Trump guilty on all of 34 charges’.

    O, frabjous day!

  12. andrew says:

    Well, I just heard the real verdict: guilty. Satire becomes prophecy.

  13. Pv says:

    In the Irish Dog Trials , how many were found guilty. ? This sounds a little bit like the Salem witch hunts. When they were on a ship they tied suspected witches hands and . feet together and threw them overboard . If they survived the keel haul , they were obviously witches and would then be burnt alive . A win win situation. Don’t worry about guilt or innocence behind the outcome as long as it’s guilty and Donald trump can then be keelhauled. Democracy is at an end in the USA by the hand 🖐️ f a judge and the so called justice system. What is the difference between a lawyer and a tick ? ….A tick drops off when you’re dead. Heaven help us if the Demicraps get away with this one PV

  14. Owen Allen says:

    I am pleased to read it is a ham up, but the Babylon Bee, have they been reading Tasmanian/Australian Nightmares. It actually makes us all in Australia look stupid, accepting what they dish out. Owen.

  15. Heinrich says:

    They can’t be serious ? Declaring him guilty — that’s what you are all here for.”
    Holly Cow – delight and dismay
    followed by – OMG!
    The judge didnt actually say that did he
    Andrew ? Are you being funny ?
    Personally, I think that Trump is
    “Lunatical” is some ways – but great fun !
    Find the Old Establishment has lost the plot (and bloody boring) In that same vein – the Donald seems to communicate well those other Lunatics
    In Moscow and Peking. However, (as usual) might be best to keep Trumpy away from that Nuke Button .

    • andrew says:

      I’ve republished this from the Babylon Bee … a satirical publication :)

      • Heinrich says:

        Andrew -Thought you may have been reading from Judge Blows private papers
        His Learned Advice to the SueNeil-Fraser jury – speeches he agonised over for there lack of clarity ? You will deliver the required guilty verdict – is that clear ?

  16. Owen Allen says:

    Oh come on Andrew, we all know you are a bit slow, but April Fool’s day was 2 months ago. But, some have been saying lately, that some people call black, white, and bad, good. Is it the marijiuana and cocaine they have been using over the years, or is this woke, utter foolishness. This actually could not happen in a better place and time. America will not stand for it, and neither should they, and neither should we in Australia. Owen.

  17. gail yvonne churchill says:


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