NY judge won’t allow Trump to speak during closing arguments

Judge Juan Merchan is expected to bring jurors back into court Tuesday morning to hear closing arguments in New York v. Trump from Manhattan prosecutors and defense attorneys for former President Trump in his unprecedented criminal trial.

The jury has been away from the courtroom for a week, after the evidentiary portion of the trial concluded last Tuesday. Due to scheduling conflicts and the Memorial Day holiday, the jury will return at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to hear summations of the case from prosecutors and defense attorneys before deliberating on a verdict.

The Manhattan case, brought by District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump turned testy last Monday when defense attorneys made a second attempt to dismiss the case, saying no evidence had been presented by the prosecution to connect the former president to any falsification of business records.

Merchan still has not announced his decision on the matter.

Prosecutors needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified records to conceal a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic performer, in the lead-up to the 2016 election to silence her about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006.

The former president has maintained his innocence.

Merchan said he expects closing arguments will take the entire day Tuesday, and has asked jurors if they are able to stay late. It is possible closing arguments continue into Wednesday.

Merchan plans to charge the jury on Wednesday, and estimated his instructions for jurors will take approximately an hour. Merchan will then send jurors to deliberate.

Trump will be required to remain at the courthouse during deliberations, in case there is a note from the jury. The former president needs to be present for the reading of any jury notes.