“Donald Trump, the former president and front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records after an investigation into hush money paid to a porn star. A photo taken by a photographer in the courtroom showed Trump sitting at the defense table, flanked by lawyers. Five photographers were to be admitted to the courtroom before the arraignment to take pictures for several minutes. Trump’s lawyers had urged the judge to block any videography, photography and radio coverage, arguing it would worsen “an already almost circus-like atmosphere.”
After the arraignment the former president tore into the judge’s supposed anti-Trump sentiment on Truth Social and said the new location would be ‘very fair and secure’, as protesters and the world’s media swarmed the Manhattan court where he turned himself in this afternoon.
He also noted that Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan, 34, worked for Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign, deepening the alleged bias against him.
“Noor Salman is not guilty of helping her husband, Omar Mateen, carry out the mass shooting that claimed 49 lives at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, a jury decided Friday. The 12-member jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for about 12 hours over three days.
Salman was also acquitted of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors accused her of lying to the FBI agents who investigated her husband’s mass murder, which he carried out in support of a foreign terror group, the Islamic State.
Had she been convicted, Salman, 31, would have faced up to life in prison. Prosecutors sought to prove Salman helped Mateen prepare for the attack, joining him as he scouted possible targets and bought guns and ammunition. They also said Salman concocted a cover story to tell Mateen’s mother after he left their Fort Pierce apartment to commit the attacks.”
Sources who followed the trail state that some of the prosecutorial evidence didn’t hold up under scrutiny. and that he police didn’t provide a convincing admission of guilt. It will also be interesting to hear from jurors how they weighed the information that Mateen’s father was an FBI informant.
Speculation is that the prosecution damaged itself badly by withholding that information.