The second day of jury deliberations in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial continued similarly to the first, with jurors requesting that Judge Juan Merchan repeat parts of a 53-page instruction booklet, which he refused to provide in writing. One portion being requested is an explanation of Merchan’s unusual metaphor about rainfall.

Per CNN, Merchan told the jury on Wednesday: “For example, suppose you go to bed one night when it is not raining and when you wake up in the morning, you look out your window; you do not see rain, but you see that the street and sidewalk are wet, and that people are wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas. Under those circumstances, it may be reasonable to infer, that is conclude, that it rained during the night. In other words, the fact of it having rained while you were asleep is an inference that might be drawn from the proven facts of the presence of the water on the street and sidewalk, and people in raincoats and carrying umbrellas.”

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If observers found Merchan’s storytelling skills a little lacking, they aren’t alone. His rain metaphor is among nearly 30 pages being read back to the jury Thursday morning after jurors expressed frustration when being asked to essentially memorize dozens of pages of instructions. An NBC legal correspondent noted on Wednesday that Merchan and both sides in the case failed to reach an agreement about providing the jury with written instructions and transcripts of testimony, with some fearing that physically reading the words of witnesses could cloud their memories about the trial itself.

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During the trial, Merchan also informed the 12-member jury that they did not need to all agree unanimously to find the former president guilty on all 34 felony counts. He used the example that three groups of four jurors could each find Trump guilty of different crimes, and he would consider that a “unanimous verdict.” Legal experts and attorneys have blasted those instructions, with some calling them patently unconstitutional.

The trial, which has captured the nation’s attention due to its high-profile defendant, concluded its jury instructions on Wednesday morning. After a brief sidebar discussion between Merchan and the attorneys, the jury was dismissed to begin deliberations in the unprecedented legal showdown.

David Oscar Markus, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, expressed disbelief on CNN regarding the judge’s instructions, which took more than an hour. “The jury must be overwhelmed,” Markus said. “To have all of these instructions just read to them without them getting a copy is going to be overwhelming for them.”

In most cases, jurors are provided with a written copy of the instructions to consult during their deliberations. However, in this instance, they will only have their notes and the ability to request that the instructions be read again, a situation that Markus strongly criticized.

“It’s crazy that the lawyers were not able to discuss the instructions in their closings yesterday,” Markus added. “Typically, lawyers can go through the instructions and explain why they’ve met them or why the government hasn’t met them.”

The absence of the critical discussion phase means jurors are left to piece together the legal puzzle on their own, a daunting task given the complexity and significance of the case. “The jurors right now must be wondering what all this is about,” Markus explained.


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.