Retired Judge Says Trump Jury Deliberations Won’t Set Any Records: ‘That’s About All We Can Say’ | Video

LaDoris Hazzard Cordell talks to CNN’s Jake Tapper

The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money case in New York ended their first day without a verdict after 4 ½ hours of deliberations. In a conversation with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell said that while it’s not easy to predict how long it could take the 12 members of the jury to reach a verdict, “I can tell you definitely about the length of jury deliberations, they will be longer than the shortest deliberations on record, and they will be shorter than the longest.”

“The shortest deliberation on record was in 2004, where a jury heard testimony about this person who was charged with cultivating 23 marijuana plants,” Cordell said. “The jury went in the deliberation room and came out after 60 seconds. That is the shortest jury deliberation, and they acquitted.”

“The longest is in the 1990s in LA, in federal court, where there was a six-month jury trial. The jury deliberated four and a half months. So I can tell you, it will be longer than the 60 seconds, and it’ll be shorter than the four and a half months. That’s about all we can say about jury deliberations,” she added.

The jury ended today’s deliberations with two requests: to rehear part of the testimony from key witnesses and to rehear the judge’s legal instructions. It is unlikely that Judge Merchan will reread the 50 pages of instructions he gave the jurors ahead of time, and jurors are not allowed to take written instructions with them into deliberations in the state of New York.

The latter issue is unique to the state, Cordell added. “I’m sitting here listening to CNN today and the reports from the court and just shaking my head. Shaking my head for, number one, the jury instructions,” she explained. “In California, it’s discretionary. A judge can give copies of the instructions to the jurors. I always did that every jury trial, and I presided over a lot of them in the nearly 20 years I was on the bench.”

The solution, she continued, is to “Give them the jury instructions. So I read through, actually skimmed through, the jury instructions that Judge Mershan read to the jurors. The reasonable doubt instruction alone is one and a half pages. It’s just absurd to me.”

Watch some of the interview below:

Cordell also questioned New York’s decision to not digitize court transcripts, which would have made the process of finding and sharing specific passages of testimony significantly easier.

The jury asked to reexamine testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker about an August 2015 meeting at Trump Tower in which Pecker promised to be the “eyes and ears” of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Jurors also asked to rehear Pecker’s testimony about a phone call from Trump in which the two discussed rumors that a rival outlet offered to buy former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story that she had a year-long affair with Trump.

The jury also requested a third piece of testimony about Pecker’s decision to walk back his plan to sell the rights to McDougal’s story to Trump through a company Cohen had set up for that purpose. “I called Michael Cohen, and I said to him that the agreement, the assignment deal, is off. I am not going forward. It is a bad idea, and I want you to rip up the agreement,” Pecker testified. “He was very, very, angry. Very upset. Screaming, basically, at me.”

Watch part of the interview with Judge Cordell in the video above or at CNN.

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