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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Now: Jury Deliberating In Trump Criminal Hush Money Trial; Jury Reaches Verdict In Trump Trial. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 30, 2024 - 16:00   ET



JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they say again, the risk is low, but they do recommend farm workers to wear PPE, protective eye gear, masks because of the risk of this outbreak spreading among infected dairy cattle.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: All right. Good to know. Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much for the very latest on that. We appreciate it.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: And thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. A lot to monitor with the Trump hush money case in the jury's hands as we speak, make it a decision any moment.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thirty-four counts of falsifying records, 12 jurors, three notes to the judge, 11 hours down.

THE LEAD starts right now.

The Trump hush money jury is back behind closed doors, deciding the fate of the first ever U.S. president to face a criminal trial. A former juror from a different high-profile cases here to break down what's actually going on behind that door.

Plus, Boeing rolls out as sweeping new plan hoping to convince skeptical flyers that it is safe to travel on their planes. But it's not just a matter of Boeing planes that has so many flyers nervous. We're learning today about another near miss on the runway in a moment before takeoff. What is really going on at airports and in the skies?

And CNN's exclusive reporting on the dramatic negotiations between the U.S. government and Haitian gang leaders in the U.S. governments attempt to retrieve the bodies of two American missionaries killed by a gang last week.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Welcome to Donald Trump verdict watch, day two. The jury in the former president's unprecedented criminal hush money trial has now been debating his fate for more than 11 hours, 11 hours, and seven minutes, as you see there. Trump and his team were passing the time by rolling in a television to watch news coverage of the trial.

Hi, Mr. President.

This morning, he looked on as the court fulfilled seven requests that the jury made this morning and late yesterday. They got a refresher on their instructions from the judge and they got to rehear for specific parts of the trial, including testimony from both tabloid magnate David Pecker and former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, about a key 2015 meeting at Trump Tower.

Let's begin with CNN's Paula Reid, who is outside the Manhattan courthouse.

And, Paula, what do we know about the state of deliberations right now?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: We know nothing, Jake, we know absolutely nothing. The jury has been in there for five hours and we haven't heard a peak. We have colleagues who are inside the courtroom right now along with members of the public, just waiting for that buzzer to go off. That's when we know that the jury has something to say.

And, Jake, they could say anything. They could ask for equipment like they did earlier today. They asked for headphones, they could ask a logistical question. They could even ask us something again about the instructions, or they could have a verdict.

But, Jake, we have heard nothing from the jury and we are nearing the end of the usual business day here at court. Yesterday, the judge has raised the possibility that they would stay late today, maybe as late as 6:00, even later. But at this point, it's unclear how late they're going to go.

TAPPER: Paula, the jury has now heard back, read to them, re-read to them multiple parts of the testimony. Tell us more exactly about what these four excerpts were.

REID: Yes. It was interesting. They wanted to hear three specific pieces of testimony from David Pecker. Remember, he is, of course, the former head of the "National Enquirer". He was also the first witness that they heard from.

Now, they wanted to hear from him about a call he had with Trump about some details he testified to about the deal that was reached with Karen McDougal, then they also wanted to hear his version of the Trump Tower meeting. They also asked from Michael Cohen's version of events and what transpired in the Trump Tower meeting.

Now this is significant, Jake, because prosecutors allege that 2015, Trump Tower meeting where they all talked about how the "National Enquirer" could help Trump win the White House. Prosecutors alleged that was the first step in the conspiracy to help Trump win the White House in 2016, that ultimately resulted in this effort to cover up the hush money that was paid to Stormy Daniels.

Now the jury also asked to hear portions of the instructions that they'd received earlier yesterday and it was really interesting. They only asked you to rehear the instructions for count one, in addition -- in addition to some other things, they only wanted to hear the instructions for count one.

So if you take together the fact that they wanted to hear about the Trump Tower meeting way back in 2015, really, the first step in an alleged conspiracy and count one, that suggests that they could be approaching this incredible task in a linear chronological fashion.

But at this point, look, we, we really don't know what is happening inside that deliberation room, but we are watching and we are waiting for that buzzer to hear whatever it is the jury has to say.


TAPPER: All right. Paula, we'll come back to you when the jury hits that buzzer. Thanks so much.

Our panel is here to discuss and something to note. Every one of the jury's first four requests yesterday was for testimony that the prosecutor, Josh Steinglass, highlighted in his closing arguments on Tuesday.

Let's go through each one of these to discuss the significance. But, first, I want to ask you, Jamie Gangel, what does it tell you that the jury appears to be taking heat of multiple things that the prosecutor outlined is important?


TAPPER: We have no idea.

GANGEL: Paula just said --

TAPPER: Right.

GANGEL: -- we don't know anything. I will agree with Paula. I do think big picture it says they're taking it seriously and they're going into depth. Whether it's for one side's benefit or the other, we don't know.

Whether the jury took a poll and there's a mixed feeling about this, we don't know it. It could be anything, but they're taking it seriously.

TAPPER: Let's go to Stacy Schneider.

Stacy, the jury's first request was for a transcript of tabloid king David Pecker's testimony about a phone conversation he had with Trump about Karen McDougal. Karen McDougal that 1998 playmate to the plate -- playmate of the year, who alleged that she had a 10 to 11 months relationship, romantic relationship with Donald Trump. Here is what prosecutor Steinglass said about that on Tuesday. Quote: Now with all of the evidence and documents in this case, it's easy to lose significance of the loose sight of the significance of this phone call, this call makes it impossible for the defense to claim that Cohen was acting on his own, that he was taking it upon himself to work with AMI, the tabloid, a company, to purchase the Karen McDougal story.

This call proves that not only did the defendant know about it, but he actively participated. This is powerful evidence of the defendant's involvement wholly apart from Cohen.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY SCHNEIDER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, it's really important that the prosecution shows what Donald Trump's intent and motive was surrounding this alleged scheme or now it's been laid out to the jury as a conspiracy. Now, when you don't have a defendant testifying like Donald Trump, who did not take the stand, the jury can infer what a person since motive and intent was from other evidence, circumstantial evidence, conversations that get into the record about that Trump had with people along the course of this.

Now, there are lots of conversations that Michael Cohen testified about that he had with Donald Trump but as we all know and we've been talking about for weeks and weeks Michael Cohen has credibility issues and the jury has to decide whether they believe parts of his testimony or none of his testimony. So the prosecution can't take the risk that the jury is only relying on Michael Cohen.

So David Pecker is a great witness to show for the prosecution what Trump's motive and intent was because David Pecker did not have an ax to grind against Donald Trump. He referred to him as a friend on the stand. He doesn't have a motive to see Donald Trump convicted, unlike Michael Cohen who testified he wanted to see Trump behind bars and getting in this crucial phone call between Pecker and Trump about what Trump said is hugely important to what Trump's involvement was, as you just said, Jake, and whether or not Michael Cohen did this on his own to get credit from Donald Trump, from the Trump Organization or the campaign, that this was actually a conspiracy, alleged conspiracy right now that benefited Donald Trump and the campaign.

TAPPER: Ankush, the second request from the jury was for an excerpt of the transcript of the Pecker testimony, again, regarding the decision to not purchase the life rights of Karen McDougal story. Here's what Josh Steinglass had to say to the jury on Tuesday about that. Quote: So when AMI, the tabloid company, spent $150,000, or $125,000 to purchase the Karen McDougal life rights, it made a campaign contribution.

And David Pecker or the CEO of the tabloid company, told you exactly that and as he told you, his principal purpose in entering into the NDA, the nondisclosure agreement with Karen McDougal was to suppress her story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.

Let me ask you a broader question here that applies to this excerpt, and the excerpt we were just discussing with Stacy, both of these about Karen McDougal.


TAPPER: He's not on trial for anything having to do with Karen McDougal. He's on trial for things having to do with someone else, Stormy Daniels?

KHARDORI: Yes. So before I answer, let me just say, I also don't know.


TAPPER: Right, we don't know -- nobody knows noting as has been said.

KHARDORI: Right. Of course, you know, the prosecutor presented the story involving Karen McDougal sort of part of the start of a pattern of activity related to this sort of conspiracy surrounded the 2016 election. And I guess I would just to play devils advocate to go on the other side, and if I were skeptic of the government's case one of the things that I think Todd Blanche, Trump's lawyers did relatively effectively in his closing argument, which otherwise I thought was not so great was to question the scope of the conspiracy, the alleged catch and kill conspiracy, who was really involved?

What was the substance of the agreement was the scope of the agreement temporally? Was it just for McDougal? Was it for the entirety of the election? Did Pecker and Cohen's testimony line up to the extent that they were in certain conversations together?

So, I mean, if you were a skeptic of the government's case, these are similar questions you would be asking, which is looking at what was really happening, what was their agreement, what was their objective, and how far did it extend?

TAPPER: Elie, do you want to -- you want to try to the other side, the angels, the god's advocate, not the devils advocate? Like, let's say, I'm a skeptical juror, right? I'm like, great, you've proven a case that they're not trying to prove. They're not trying to prosecute a case about Karen McDougal. So who cares?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Because Karen McDougal leads directly to Stormy Daniels and the away the defendant, I would argue, with the way Donald Trump interacted with Michael Cohen and David Pecker in the Karen McDougal case, not identical to what they did with Stormy Daniels, but it sets the key parts in place.

And to Jamie's point with the first excerpt we saw, you see this again later. This shows that Donald Trump deputize Michael Cohen. He said to David Pecker, this is the guy you're going to be dealing with on these kind of things. It happened to McDougal and you see it happen again in Daniels.

So it's necessary background, sort of a ramp leading to the crime here.

TAPPER: So the jury's third and fourth requests both had to do with this Trump Tower meeting in August 2015, where Donald Trump, David Pecker Michael Cohen, all are. On Tuesday, Steinglass told the jury, as Mr. Pecker explained, the meeting began with Donald Trump and Michael Cohen asking what Pecker could do to help the campaign. And you have his testimony, read back any part of it, all of it, his description of the meeting.

He gave you a lot more detail about this meeting that Michael Cohen did it actually. During this Trump Tower meeting, they settle on three the key components of the meeting. So, and jury requests three and four are three is David Peckers version of the meeting. Four is Michael Cohen's version of the meeting. And Steinglass said, and I'll go to Stacy on this one, Steinglass said something along the lines. Have you have to look at this entire three entire conspiracy in the prosecutions view through the lens of the August 2015 Trump Tower meeting.

SCHNEIDER: Yeah, the August 15th Trump Tower meeting really started the action, allegedly, the prosecutions case says of aiding and abetting the campaign, because remember, you know, this whole trial in the beginning, everyone was questioning, well, catch and kill, isn't necessarily illegal. Celebrities have been doing it for a long time. They buy and bury information. If you can afford it, you can bury it.

The difference is in this case is that Trump was no longer just a celebrity at the time. He was now a candidate running for office. And he was therefore subject to specific laws.

One of the laws that didn't get a lot of play until the very end during the jury instructions but there's a New York state election law that says when two or more people conspire to promote a candidate to office by unlawful means, that is a crime. That really is a crime that I think the prosecution did prove up in their case about why Michael Cohen had had his fees run through the Trump Organization business and ties directly back to the 34 count indictment for falsifying business records.

So all of these things are -- this is such a complicated legal case because there are areas of law as to what the other crime is that was allegedly concealed in the business records.

So all of these things are important and the prosecution, I think the jury, by asking for these extra instructions that we've been talking about. I think its benefiting the prosecutions case as I see it right now.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks to one and all, on our panel, trouble in the skies and other close call on a runway and Boeing's new CEO outlines how he wants to get back on course.

Plus, what is the jury thinking? A woman who was in the room for another high profile New York case explains how a verdict is reached.

Stay with us.


[16:18:49] TAPPER: And we are back with our breaking news and continuing in coverage of the Donald Trump hush money cover-up trial.

We just learned that Judge Juan Merchan will dismiss the jury on time today at 4:30. What time is that? It's just in a few minutes.

Right before that announcement, Trump walked back into court and he made a quick comment to the cameras.




TAPPER: I want to campaign says the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

And a reminder, the judge is not allowing him to. The judge says he has to remain in the courthouse while the jury is deliberating.

For a take on what the jurists could be thinking right now, with me right now, Amanda Brainerd. She knows what its like to serve on a high-profile New York City jury. She was a juror in Harvey Weinstein's 2020 case where Weinstein was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape. She also recently wrote about her experience on that jury for U.S. News.

Amanda, thanks so much for joining us.

Obviously, we have no idea what's going on behind closed doors. But in almost 12 hours, jurors have come back with three notes, making seven requests of the judge. What does that tell you based on your experience on a high-profile jury?

AMANDA BRAINERD, FORMER WEINSTEIN TRIAL JUROR: It strikes me as completely normal.

They have a lot of information to parse through, a lot of instructions, and it's confusing.


We came back several times asking for -- what -- as they did, further instructions on the letter of the law from the judge and then later to hear testimony read to us again. In one case, we had really had to be sort of forensic in our investigation of certain parts of the evidence and piece together a puzzle that put together the story of one of the accusing witnesses and it wasn't presented to us. In a clear and straightforward manner, and it was only through long under trying to understand those pieces of evidence and listening to the testimony read again, that we were able to understand it and find what we were looking for.

TAPPER: So the jury -- you are part of the Harvey Weinstein case, you heard six weeks of time testimony. You took six days to come to a verdict.

What were you doing during those six days? Help us understand what goes on in a --

BRAINERD: Suffering. We were suffering.

TAPPER: You were suffering.

But I mean, did you did you come in and do a preliminary vote? What were you doing during six days where there were holdouts? Tell us -- tell us what happened.

BRAINERD: So, as I've mentioned, as I've mentioned, it was -- the first day was pretty chaotic, and we were much less on the same page than any of us probably anticipated. And it was really upsetting, disheartening.

And I mentioned that one of the jurors said, why don't we just call a hung jury now?

But one of the things that's so brilliant about our system when it works is that this jury has to be unanimous, and so did we. And so despite the differences in the beginning, we had to come up with a system that was organized and systematic for going through each of the counts.

So we appointed a single juror who was very common, even keeled, to run the proceedings, and we went through the counts one by one from start to finish. And if we got deadlocked as we did very frequently, we would address a different count and try to come to a consensus, and then we would go around the room and take a vote and write down the tally.

And as the week went on, the tally shifted. So I think one of the things that's important understand is there's a lot of assumptions about what is going on behind closed doors and really none of us can know because even in jury selection, the attorneys think that they are going to know how a certain juror, based on their education level or their news sources is going to feel in the deliberation room.

And in my experience, they were completely mistaken. You just do not know just because someone watches Fox News, you do not know how they're going to vote.

TAPPER: And the message box is backup for those following here.

And Trump's demeanor appears relaxed in the courtroom. We're told he's leaning back and chatting on and off with his attorney, Todd Blanche.

So, Amanda, how many counts was Harvey Weinstein facing and how many was he convicted of by your jury?

BRAINERD: As my recollection, if my recollection is accurate, he was facing five counts, but we found him guilty of two of the biggest ones. And it was four years ago, so I don't remember exactly the nuance, but I do know that we did not convict him on the first count and we did convict him on part of two other counts.

TAPPER: But it was the -- and the process. Let's talk about the ones that you didn't come to an easy agreement with to the degree -- that you're comfortable with discussing. How did you get from disagreement about account as specifically as you're comfortable being to agreements? That did you just talking about it. Why don't you believe this person? Why don't you believe that person like that kind of conversation?

BRAINERD: So, you know, everyone brings their life experiences into the jury room and not everyone reacts to the same data the same way.

For example, expert witnesses, not everyone trusts doctors. That was a big shock to me. So to put a doctor on the stand and have them give their evidence was not acceptable to some of the jurors. They just didn't believe the doctor.

And in addition, there were some drug use from one of the accusing witnesses and so different jurors had had completely different experience is with friends and family being addicted to drugs.

So everyone brings their backgrounds and their life experiences into the jury room and one of the things that's really interesting about that is its one of the most democratic spaces I can imagine because has -- you have to be unanimous. So you'll have to agree.

TAPPER: Small D democrat I should note for the people at home listening. Small D democrat.


Please continue. I'm sorry.

BRAINERD: So if you -- they assume that some a juror that has a higher level of education is going to have more sway over the less educated jurors and that's just completely erroneous because every single person in that room is equal.

TAPPER: Interesting stuff. Amanda Brainerd, thank you so much. Thanks as always for sharing your expertise being a juror on a high-profile New York case.

BRAINERD: Pleasure.

TAPPER: We're going to keep a watch on the end of the trial day.

Also ahead, Boeing's outgoing CEO tries to handle the company's baggage and offer a new route to ensure safety. Stay right here, if you're flying this summer.



TAPPER: To our national lead, and it seems like we can't go one day without hearing about another frightening moment involving air travel. The latest involves an American Airlines flight forced to abort takeoff yesterday to avoid possibly hitting another plane. This happened right here in Washington, D.C. at Ronald Reagan international airport, or is it national airport?

Either way, a United Airlines flight aborted takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare Airport Monday over are reported engine fire. Yikes!

And a spirit airlines flight headed to Florida, returned to Jamaica on Sunday over a suspected mechanical issue with terrified passengers told to put on their life vests and prepare for a possible emergency water landing. That's just in the last few days.

CNN's aviation correspondent Pete Muntean is here with more. He always brings such great news and I really -- I really always appreciate it.



TAPPER: I know. Where's your sight (ph)?


TAPPER: All of this comes as one of the biggest names in flights, obviously, Boeing is unveiling a plan to fix its what are called quality program -- problems.

MUNTEAN: This is a really huge moment for Boeing and it was really known for quality for a long time, but the 737 MAX crashes and the door plug blowout earlier this year really changed all of that for Boeing. And now there's this new plan to turn the ship around and reassure passengers who are worried about boarding a Boeing.


MUNTEAN (voice-over): In one of his last major acts as head of Boeing, CEO Dave Calhoun faced top regulators Thursday to prove the plane maker is getting back on course. It is the latest development as Boeing struggles to fix its tarnished reputation since the January 5th door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX Nine.

PILOT: Alaska 1282, need to declare an emergency, descending down to 10,000 just depressurized.

MUNTEAN: Now, Boeing is laying out its plan for the Federal Aviation Administration to stop what it calls quality control escapes, clearer instructions for workers on its assembly line, as well as improved training and tools.

Boeing also says it is committed to ending flaws caused by third-party suppliers. Contractor Spirit Aerosystems built the fuselage of the Alaska 737 MAX Nine, but Boeing workers bound to defect, triggering them to re-install the door plug, but leaving out for critical bolts to hold it in place.

FAA administrator, Mike Whitaker. MIKE WHITAKER, FAA ADMINISTRATOR: I don't know that I would characterize it as simple, building an airplane, but the quality management system has to be robust. The training of employees has to be sufficient. And this plan is comprehensive. It takes on all those aspects, and we're just going to monitor the implementation to make sure it's effective.

MUNTEAN: Now, the question is whether changes will be enough to satisfy regulators and the airlines whose slashed routes and froze hiring because planes are years behind schedule.

Troubles with the MAX date back to 2018 and 2019 when a pair of crashes linked to Boeing software killed 346 people. Prosecutors are now considering reopening criminal charges against Boeing.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said Wednesday that Boeing must get its act together.

ROBERT ISOM, AMERICAN AIRLINES CEO: Aircraft production, I think, is going to be limited. I think it's going to be limited for considerable amount of time. You know, we've talked about, you know, our issues with Boeing and there's still a lot more to go there.


MUNTEAN (voice-over): Boeing says this, its reforms are already underway that includes 7,500 new tools for workers, 400 changed work instructions, and 300 new hours of training. This does not mean Boeing is out from under the FAA's microscope. FAA chief Mike Whitaker says his inspectors remain on-site of the 737 factory in Renton, Washington.

There also be weekly meetings with Boeing and the FAA, quarterly meetings with the Boeing and the FAA administrator. The next one in September at the end of summer travel, Jake.

TAPPER: But just as a note, you still fly commercially?

MUNTEAN: Yeah. I still fly commercially all the time and I generally feel safe, although these are important issues.

TAPPER: Okay. Pete Muntean, thanks so much.

A CNN ex -- I got to get that on the record.


TAPPER: A CNN exclusive as gangs cause chaos in Haiti, how they agreed to return the bodies of two murdered American missionaries. The dramatic behind the scenes details, next.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news. TAPPER: And we have indeed breaking news for you right now. The jury in the Donald Trump hush money cover-up case has reached a verdict. The jury has requested 30 minutes to fill out the correct forms after reaching the verdict, but this minute -- this news came at 4:37, one minute ago, that the jury, after 11 hours and 43 minutes of deliberations, has reached a verdict. There are 34 counts -- to remind our viewers, 34 felony counts against Donald Trump for falsifying business records in the service of another crime allegedly.

And we don't know what the jury's verdict is. We don't know -- we don't have any idea and we're certainly not going to find out at least for another 30 minutes.

But this is a big breaking news.

Elie Honig is here.

So, as a general rule, and I don't know if this is even fair, but you can tell me if it's not. Okay?

Is -- this is relatively quick for a complicated 34-count indictment. Judge Merchan says, please let there be no reactions, no outburst of any kind when they read the verdict.


Good luck to you on that, sir.

The -- it is 11 hours, 43 minutes considered to me, it's short. Trump, by the way, Trump leaning back in his chair when the judges took the bench, he kept a straight face when the judge denounce there was a verdict.

Does this seem quick to you and does that usually mean not guilty? Guilty? Any ideas?

HONIG: This does not feel unduly quick or unduly long to me. And I will say this, here's one piece of good news for prosecutors.

There are three potential outcomes here, right, conviction or convictions of some sort, not guilty of some sort, but a hung jury is now off the table, right, and that would be a fear for me as a prosecutor from the start, because a certain small percentage of cases do hang. I think there was a heightened chance of a hung jury here, just given the nature of the defendant here, the fact that people tend --

TAPPER: Hang juries take a lot longer than 12 hours.

HONIG: And they wouldn't have said we have a verdict. So this is not a hung jury. And what were about to hear, it's really important to remember, there are 34 counts in this case. So the jury is going to read its verdict. One of those counts at a time, count one, count two, count three, all the way through.

Now, they might not necessarily find all guilty or not guilty. They could find different verdicts with respect to different charges but the thing that would give me a big sigh of relief right now is a prosecutor, again, all the qualifications, we have no idea what this verdict will be.

TAPPER: Right.

HONIG: It's not a hung jury.

TAPPER: It takes hung jury off the table and right now, just to give you some updates from inside the courtroom, Trump and Blanche are still chanting while they wait for the data end, and the judge is off the bench. Blanche has been smiling, laughing at what Trump is telling him.

Let's bring in CNN's Kaitlan Collins -- Kaitlan.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Jake, I mean, obviously, we don't know what to expect here. Were waiting to see what this verdict is, but I will say the Trump defense team that has been waiting along with their client Trump inside of this room and Trump's allies and his entourage, they thought they were about to go home for the day.

They thought because they got back from that lunch break. That's about 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. That's when there's no activity in the court. There was no note afterwards. There have been radio silence from the jury, and they had expected been expecting that they were about to be home for the day and deliberations were going to resume tomorrow.

And so, of course, no one knows what is happening inside that jury room, except for the jury itself. But now that there is word of a verdict, this comes as Trump himself has been sitting inside the courtroom for a few minutes. He's been chatting with his lead attorney here, Todd Blanche. They were kind of talking back and forth. Kara Scannell in the room said that they were sitting so close their shoulders were almost touching.

But really, they just been hanging out inside of this room across the hall from the courtroom where Trump is built to have this verdict read to him from this jury. They were eating pizza earlier. They were watching TV and just kind of waiting to see what this jury was going to decide, Jake.

So, obviously, this is a remarkable moment. You heard Elie there saying it's clearly not a hung jury since they do have a verdict here. The Trump team had been hoping that there would be a hung jury in this case. It seemed unlikely since the likelihood of those is not very high when you look at the percentages of how many hung juries there have been in the past.

But now, they are waiting to find out what this is going to look like. Obviously, they'd been planning on the political side for the outcome of this verdict, whether it is going to be a guilty or not guilty verdict, and how that's going to influence Trump on what he just mentioned when he was going inside the courtroom there, Jake, and he was saying, I want to campaign, as Trump was walking in there. And so quite a remarkable moment as they are waiting along with the

rest of us to see what this verdict is going to be. And I should note, Trump has been attending this trial every single day is required for him to be here. It's also required for him to be at the courthouse for this very reason that we are experiencing right now, which is that the verdict does have a jury.

I should note, Eric Trump is sitting in the courtroom behind his father. He is the only member of the Trump family that we have seen in court with Donald Trump today. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum was also here earlier. It's not even clear if he's still here. Other members of Trump's defense team.

Stacy Schneider is also joining us.

And, Stacy, I mean, obviously, we're just kidding this breaking news that the jury does in fact, having verdict. We've got about 30 minutes or so while we were waiting for them to fill out this form. So what is this process look like now that the jury has reached this verdict as they're filling out these forms where I know obviously, as we heard in the jury instructions, they'll come into the room. The jury foreman -- foreperson, juror number one, what will be the one who got to verbalize is this, but the judge will go through the list and ask each juror to confirm, yes, this is your verdict, whether it's guilty or not guilty.

SCHNEIDER: Yeah. What you just described is called polling the jury, and that happens second. So first, they'll actually read the verdict to each count. And then they'll go through each individual juror and ask them if it's true that that was the verdict that they had rendered.


The reason that is done is because it has to be unanimous verdict. Each and every juror must agree. And defense likes the individual jurors pulled at the end of the case.

If it's a guilty verdict because they want to make sure that each juror is firm on their decision, no one felt pressured. Sometimes jurors, it's happened before, where they've spoken out when they're pulled and said, was this your verdict as well individually? And if there's a little hesitancy, that might be explored. That's an odd occurrence. It has happened, it's not often.

I want to share with everyone when sort of old wives tale that defense attorneys use when juries are coming back into the room and Manhattan with a verdict, we always look at the expression of the jurors faces and whether or not they're looking at the defendant when they walk in the room. The reason for that is when the jurors returned to the box and all -- all get seated, which they have to be before the verdict is read out and court reopens, they usually pass or are right in the direction of the defense table.

And the old wives tale is, or the theory is, it's not scientific. But if the jurors are looking at the defendant, we tend to think that means a guilty -- a not guilty verdict, excuse me, if they don't look at the defendant, it means that they're nervous or anxious. They don't want to look him directly in the eye because they're about to drop the hammer on the defendant.

The other thing we look at in jurors when they all come back as a group into the jury box, when the verdict is ready to be the read is, are they jovial? Are they relaxed or are they somber? If they're relaxed, I've seen juries come back with a verdict on my cases if they're kind of laughing and they seem loosened up, I know it's a really good sign.

If they come back in the room and they're somber and they're not really looking. Some of them looked down, it's not a good sign. It could mean a guilty verdict.

COLLINS: And I've also have Paula Reid and Kristen Holmes here with me.

And, obviously, Paula, I think this is remarkable that the jury had three notes, two yesterday at third this morning, and then no more. I mean, we were waiting to see without maybe they have another question, they want to hear some more evidence and they're only notes and early questions or to reread testimony at the jury instructions read back to them and after that, they have now reached a verdict.

REID: Yeah. I think they have heard already. We thought for sure they would want to hear maybe additional portions of witness testimony read back to them, maybe those instructions, many of which were bogged down legalese read back to them, but I think we all need to take a second and pause.

This is a significant moment in the history of the United States. We are about to find out if a former president will become a convicted felon. This is the first case of its kind, and the fact that these deliberations move as quickly is quite shocking as someone who sat here for seven weeks and watch every second of it.

COLLINS: Yeah. I think we had I mean, what's also notable is how the reaction is playing inside the courtroom. Trump in his attorneys, they thought they were about to go home for the day. They thought they had more time.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) was going to the camera, as soon as this wraps, I was told there was no verdict. And that they're going back in there, that the jury is going to be released at 4:30 and they were ready to come back again tomorrow.

I mean, (INAUDIBLE) by Donald Trump's mood. He was laughing. He was slopping around Todd Blanche, writing him notes. He was feeling like he was going so go through this again, happy to be going home. This is very surprising to them.

COLLINS: I mean, we were sitting here and the judge brought the parties into the courtroom. He said, I'm going to go and release the jury around 4:30 p.m. This is about 4:20 or so. And then we were sitting here at -- well, it's been awhile since the

judge has come back into the room. You know, what's taking so long? Because typically he'd bring the jury in, tell him not to discuss the case and then say, okay, you can you can go home. We'll see you tomorrow morning.

And instead, he came back in the room. There was a note and he said that the jury told him they had reached a verdict and now Trump and his attorneys are quite still and they went from chatting and Trump and Todd Blanche kind of laughing and smiling one another to now oh, quite serious as they're about to find out what this jury --

HOLMES: (INAUDIBLE) Alina Habba, one of Trump's attorneys not in this case but previous cases, walked in with her mouth agape, that has been quiet, Eric Trump walked out of the room, then came back in and is now sitting behind his father again. I mean, clearly, they are scrambling right now because this was not expected.

Now, they had been expecting any moment all day for there to be a verdict but at this point, they just come to the conclusion there wasn't going to be one. It was time to move on.

Now, you just want to say one thing you mentioned this when were talking to Jake about the political ramifications of all of this. Donald Trump's team has been preparing for a guilty verdict since before this trial. They believe that they have been really on the messaging of saying this was election interference, saying this was linked to President Joe Biden.

They are trying to make sure this doesn't impact him in November, but the real truth is that we just don't know. This is uncharted territory.


We've obviously seen the polls. They haven't moved in the past when Donald Trump faces legal issues, but that doesn't mean anything in terms of a conviction or potential conviction.

COLLINS: And, Paula, obviously, what you had been reporting was that the Trump team was anticipating an Allen charge, that the jury would say, we can't -- we can't come to a decision, but judge would bring them in and say, I do really urge you to come to a unanimous decision that hasn't happened yet.

Clearly, whatever their decision is, they've reached to this verdict after not very long --


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: And welcome back.

We are keeping a very close eye on the Manhattan criminal courthouse, right now. It is judgment day for former President Donald J. Trump. There is a verdict in his case. We are standing by for the jurors to bring their decision in his hush money cover-up trial.

They will reveal their verdict just minutes from now. Mr. Trump is there in the courtroom. He is the only former U.S. president to ever face criminal prosecution, and he is now waiting to learn if he has been cleared or if he has been convicted. If you're just joining us, I'm Jake Tapper in Washington with CNN special live coverage of this incredibly consequential day in the history of these United States.

After more than 11 hours of deliberations, over two days, a dozen New Yorkers have decided the fate of the former president and the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee in the criminal case against him from the district attorney of Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, the judge has summoned everyone to the courtroom. And soon the judge will ask the foreman of the jury to confirm that the jury has reached a unanimous decision.

Then the verdict on each of the 34 criminal charges against Mr. Trump will be read allowed in court, one at a time, again, 34 state felony counts of falsifying business records, each one pertaining to an individual check or an invoice, or a voucher.

All of the charges in service of an alleged cover-up of money paid to former Trump fixer, Michael Cohen in connection with the purported Stormy Daniels hush money conspiracy. That's what's being alleged.

We have reporters in the courthouse. We will be bringing you the jury's decision on each of the 34 counts as close to real real-time as possible.

And let us begin with Dana Bash.

Dana, huge moment. And as Elie Honig points out, it is less than 12 hours and the only thing we know right now is that it's not a hung jury. It could be a mixed verdict. It could be an acquittal. It could be a conviction on all 34 counts.

But Donald Trump's defense team was hoping for a hung jury. They were hoping for one juror to at the very least as a strategy to refuse to convict. And they did not get that. Now that doesn't mean they didn't get an acquittal. We don't know.

But it is -- I -- it is quick.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's quick. And I think its fair to say that the nation is collectively holding its breath right now because we don't know, we don't have any idea except for the fact that they have made a decision that it's not going to be any form of hung jury or a subsequent mistrial and what we do -- the information that we have, it only is what we've been reporting all day and since yesterday, since the jury has gone behind closed doors, deliberating, when they have come back and ask for very specific transcripts to be read to them and that's it.

So what we have right now is the justice system working its way through the jury process? And you're going to have a former president, candidate for president again, sitting in a courthouse and a courtroom, listening to 12 average citizens announce what they decided in each of the 34 counts about his fate.

TAPPER: So, again, if you're just joining us, there has been a verdict in the Donald Trump hush money cover-up prosecution. We do not know what the verdict is. The jury has asked for 30 minutes to go through the proper forms that they need to fill out before they come back into the courtroom and reveal how they have ruled on these 34 different criminal charges.

Karen Friedman, Agnifilo, tell me because you are a veteran of the Manhattan district attorneys office, what is going on right now when they say they have to fill out the forms, what does that mean? And after they're done with that, what are we going to have take place in that courtroom?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So there's 34 counts on one or two sheets of paper. It's called the verdict sheet, and it's just a list of the counts in the order that they appear on the indictment. So count one will be first on down the line.


It'll have the charge, which is falsification of business records in the first degree and any identifier that Judge Merchan added to the verdict sheet to show what that count corresponds to, whether its a particular check, whether it's a particular invoice just for ease of reference, since it's all identical, the charges. And so, that verdict sheet will be -- has two different columns, guilty or not guilty.

It's not guilt or innocence.

TAPPER: Right.

AGNIFILO: They're not declaring innocence. What they're doing is they're saying if they vote not guilty, it means they unanimously believed that the prosecution did not meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and they have to fill out just check a box guilty or not guilty? The foreperson signs it.

TAPPER: All 30 -- they're 34 different forms?

AGNIFILO: There are 30 -- 34 different boxes is actually 68 different boxes, right, 34 guilty, 34 not guilty? It's a list.

TAPPER: Okay. So several pieces of paper?

AGNIFILO: It's probably. I don't think it would fit on one piece of paper, so I would guess a couple of -- but it's not like they're feeling thing out forums with names and addresses and security.

TAPPER: Right, so this is my -- this is my little, this is my little form. I don't know if we can zoom in on this. This is just to help me explain what they're about to decide.

Is it something like something like that?

AGNIFILO: Something like that. TAPPER: So, count one and then just two checks.

AGNIFILO: Correct, two checks guilty or not guilty. And so, a question would be if it was a clean sweep, guilty, or clean sweep not guilty. They could I don't think would need 30 minutes to have to fill that out.

So when they said they needed 30 minutes because it's literally just checking the boxes, it seems like and again, well know very soon that they want to make sure if they've -- they've found him guilty on some and not guilty on others, that it's corresponding to the right count, which is why they need in 30 minutes.

TAPPER: So I see. So if they were acquitting him altogether or convicting him altogether --

AGNIFILO: They could just go like this.

TAPPER: Right, two minutes. Can we get two minutes --

AGNIFILO: Exactly.

TAPPER: -- throughout this form? But they want 30 minutes that might, and again, we're just reading tea leaves here.


TAPPER: But in your experience as somebody who used to work for the Manhattan district attorney in your experience, that probably means they wanted be careful about how they fill out this form.

AGNIFILO: And when they're ready, what will happen is they will be -- they will all be brought back into the courtroom. The jury will sit in their designated seats. The foreperson of the jury will be asked to stand. They will stand up.

They will hand their verdict sheet to the court officer who will then walk it over to the judge. The judge will look at it and hand it back to the court officer who will hand it to the jury foreperson, and the judge will say, members of the jury, I understand you have reached a verdict. Is that correct? And they would say yes, it is.

Okay. As to either the clerk or the judge will say as to count one of the indictment, how do you find, and they will say guilty or not guilty. As to count two, how do you find? And they will go down the line.

TAPPER: Who's going to say that, the judge or the clerk?

AGNIFILO: It can be either the judge or the clerk. Just depends on a personal preference.

TAPPER: And just -- sorry to interrupt, and just to bring you the viewer or listener, the information as they do that, as the judge or the clerk says, on count one, how do you find in the foreperson the jury says guilty or not guilty. We will provide that to you in real time. So you will know count one seconds after it's been said. You will know count two seconds after it's been said, we will bring that to you live here on CNN.

The judge's clerk has entered the courtroom. As they await the jury, the defendant, former President Trump, and his attorneys, and the prosecutors are occasionally chatting among themselves. I cannot imagine the nerves in that room. The -- first of all, for the defendant and most especially for the defendant, former us president. This has never happened before, but also for everybody else in that room, the jurors, the lawyers, the prosecutors, the most important case of their lives and something of enormous consequence politically historically, legally.

LAURA COATES, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: And, of course, remember with the process of selecting the jurors, they were all audibly justifiably concerned about their safety, about how they be viewed if their identity was revealed in some way, anonymity has been a very big priority for this judge from the inception of this case, even having a juror have to leave and not be a part of the case longer because she was concerned -- he or it was concerned about their anonymity been compromised, and now there had been ready to deliver a verdict, as a matter of consequence. And how it will be received by the public given that we are 100 and what, 159 days away from a presidential election with the defendant as the person who will be on that ballot. It's an enormous moment.

It is for all defendants as well. Remember, the weight of the government against a person, the burden of proof that is required to convict somebody, these are all things are considered by defendant. He came out yesterday, to talk about and almost started manage expectations about even Mother Teresa could not have beat this case.

Now the burden of proof does not mean that it's a given that you will get a conviction or that the weight of the government and had then your name at the other end of against such as the people of New York.

But just think about this, this is the indictment in this case. This is how lengthy it was: 34 charges they had to go through each of them. Some involved ledgers, entries. Some involved invoices. Others involved personal checks.