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Trump criminal trial moves to the jury

May 29

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With closing arguments coming to a close, the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump is headed to the jury. And actor Robert De Niro speaks out against the former president at a campaign event for President Joe Biden. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

Trump criminal trial moves to the jury

The criminal trial of former President Donald Trump in New York will go into the hands of the jury Wednesday, May 29, after a day of closing arguments.

Both sides took their time Tuesday, May 28, in hopes of swaying the 12-person jury. Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche spent three hours on closing arguments, trying to discredit the defense’s star witness, Michael Cohen, describing him as “the human embodiment of reasonable doubt,” “an MVP of liars” and “the greatest liar of all time.”

The prosecution took nearly five hours for its closing arguments, claiming the former president committed “a subversion to democracy” and aiming to prove Trump is guilty of falsifying business records.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

This morning, the jury will receive instructions from the judge before beginning deliberations to reach a verdict in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

Robert De Niro speaks at Biden campaign rally outside Trump trial

As closing arguments in Donald Trump’s criminal trial took place inside a New York courthouse on Tuesday, May 28, a campaign rally for President Biden was held outside, with actor Robert De Niro in attendance.

De Niro, a longtime Democrat who recently voiced an ad for Biden’s campaign, spoke to reporters, criticizing Trump. Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee in the upcoming presidential election.

“When Trump ran in 2016, it was like a joke,” De Niro said. “This buffoon running for president ‘no never could happen.’ We’d forgotten the lessons of history that showed us other clowns who weren’t taken seriously until they became vicious dictators. With Trump, we have a second chance and no one is laughing now.”

De Niro was accompanied by two law enforcement officers who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, saying the riot was fueled by lies that the 2020 election was stolen.

Pro-Trump supporters could be heard chanting in the background during the Biden event. In response, the Trump campaign held a press conference soon after, with a spokesperson saying, “Donald Trump’s numbers are rising … the best the Biden campaign can do is roll out washed-up actors.”

Harvey Weinstein to appear in same NY courthouse as Trump trial

Harvey Weinstein is expected to appear before a judge Wednesday, May 29, in the same New York City courthouse as where the Trump trial is taking place. Weinstein is awaiting a retrial on rape charges after his 2020 conviction was overturned.

He was initially convicted of third-degree rape, but that conviction was tossed out in April by New York’s highest court, which ruled that the trial judge unfairly allowed testimony from other women not involved in the case.

Weinstein maintains that any sexual activity was consensual.

The former Hollywood producer had been serving a 23-year sentence in New York. Weinstein was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2022, where he is sentenced to serve 16 years.

The retrial in New York is expected to begin sometime after Labor Day.

Gaza aid deliveries suspended after pier damaged

Aid deliveries to Gaza have been suspended after a U.S.-built temporary pier became damaged by rough seas.

The $320 million pier, operational since May 17, has already faced several issues, including three U.S. service member injuries and four vessels being beached due to heavy seas.

Pentagon officials addressed the necessary repairs on Tuesday, May 28.

“Unfortunately, we had a perfect storm of high sea states and then, as I mentioned, this north African weather system also came in at the same time creating not an optimal environment to operate this JLOTS, this temporary pier,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said.

Army engineers are working to repair the pier, and officials hope it will be fully operational in just over a week.

South Africans vote in most competitive election since apartheid

South Africans began voting Wednesday, May 29, in the most competitive election since the end of apartheid.

Opinion polls suggest the African National Congress (ANC) may lose its parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years. Voters are voicing frustration over high unemployment, crime rates, power cuts and corruption.

Lines formed early at various polling stations, including a primary school in Soweto, where President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to vote.

The ANC, which has dominated elections since 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president, might now fall short of a majority, potentially requiring a coalition with smaller parties to govern. Despite these challenges, the ANC is still expected to win the largest share of the vote, likely ensuring a new term for President Ramaphosa.

MLB incorporating Negro League stats into record books

History is being made Wednesday in Major League Baseball as MLB officially incorporates the stats of former Negro League players into its record books.

In 2020, MLB announced it would be “correcting a long oversight” by adding the Negro Leagues. Because of these additions, Hall of Famer Josh Gibson will now become MLB’s new all-time career leader in batting average, surpassing Ty Cobb. Gibson will also surpass Babe Ruth in slugging percentage and and OPS.

“This initiative is focused on ensuring that future generations of fans have access to the statistics and milestones of all those who made the Negro Leagues possible,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

WITH CLOSING ARGUMENTS COMING TO A CLOSE — THE CRIMINAL TRIAL OF FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS HEADED TO THE JURY

“We’d forgotten the lessons of history that showed us other clowns who weren’t taken seriously until they became vicious dictators.

–AND ACTOR ROBERT DE NIRO SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THE FORMER PRESIDENT AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT FOR PRESIDENT BIDEN

THE MORNING RUNDOWN STARTS NOW.

TODAY IS WEDNESDAY, MAY 29TH.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

THE CRIMINAL TRIAL OF FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IN NEW YORK WILL GO INTO THE HANDS OF THE JURY TODAY – FOLLOWING A DAY OF CLOSING ARGUMENTS.

BOTH SIDES TAKING THEIR TIME IN HOPES OF SWAYING THE 12-PERSON JURY DURING TUESDAY’S PROCEEDINGS.

TRUMP’S ATTORNEY TAKING THREE HOURS FOR HIS CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN WHICH HE TRIED TO DISCREDIT THE DEFENSE’S STAR WITNESS MICHAEL COHEN —DESCRIBING COHEN AS QUOTE “THE HUMAN EMBODIMENT OF REASONABLE DOUBT”, “AN M-V-P OF LIARS” AND “THE GREATEST LIAR OF ALL TIME.”

THE PROSECUTION TAKING NEARLY FIVE HOURS FOR ITS CLOSING ARGUMENTS — SAYING THE FORMER PRESIDENT COMMITTED “A SUBVERSION TO DEMOCRACY” AS IT TRIES TO PROVE TRUMP IS GUILTY OF FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS.

TRUMP HAS DENIED ANY WRONGDOING IN THE CASE.

THIS MORNING THE JURY WILL GET INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE JUDGE AND THEN WILL BEGIN DELIBERATIONS AS IT LOOKS TO REACH A VERDICT IN THE FIRST CRIMINAL TRIAL OF A FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT.

AS CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN DONALD TRUMP’S CRIMINAL TRIAL WERE UNDERWAY INSIDE THE NEW YORK COURTHOUSE ON TUESDAY – A CAMPAIGN RALLY FOR PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN WAS BEING HELD OUTSIDE – WITH ACTOR ROBERT DE NIRO IN ATTENDANCE.

DE NIRO IS A LONGTIME DEMOCRAT WHO RECENTLY VOICED AN AD FOR BIDEN’S CAMPAIGN.

SPEAKING TO REPORTERS — THE ACTOR LASHED OUT AT TRUMP.

ROBERT DE NIRO | ACTOR

“When Trump ran into 2016, it was like a joke. This buffoon running for president ‘no never could happen.’ We’d forgotten the lessons of history that showed us other clowns who weren’t taken seriously until they became vicious dictators. With Trump, we have a second chance and no one is laughing now.”

DE NIRO WAS ACCOMPANIED BY TWO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO WERE AT THE CAPITOL on JANUARY 6TH – who say THE RIOT WAS FUELED BY LIES THAT THE 2020 ELECTION WAS STOLEN.

PRO-TRUMP SUPPORTERS COULD BE HEARD CHANTING IN THE BACKGROUND DURING THE BIDEN EVENT.

IN RESPONSE — THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN HELD THEIR OWN PRESS CONFERENCE SOON AFTER.

A SPOKESPERSON SAYING WHILE “DONALD TRUMP’S NUMBERS ARE RISING…THE BEST THE BIDEN CAMPAIGN CAN DO IS ROLL OUT WASHED-UP ACTORS.”

HARVEY WEINSTEIN IS EXPECTED TO APPEAR BEFORE A new york JUDGE THIS AFTERNOON– IN THE SAME COURTHOUSE WHERE FORMER PRESIDENT’S TRIAL IS TAKING PLACE.

WEINSTEIN IS AWAITING A RE-TRIAL ON RAPE CHARGES AFTER HIS 2020 CONVICTION WAS OVERTURNED.

HE WAS INITIALLY CONVICTED OF RAPE IN THE THIRD DEGREE — BUT THAT WAS TOSSED OUT LAST MONTH BY NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT, WHICH RULED THAT THE TRIAL JUDGE UNFAIRLY ALLOWED TESTIMONY FROM OTHER WOMEN NOT INVOLVED IN THE CASE.

WEINSTEIN MAINTAINS THAT ANY SEXUAL ACTIVITY WAS CONSENSUAL.

THE FORMER HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER HAD BEEN SERVING A 23-YEAR SENTENCE IN NEW YORK.

WEINSTEIN WAS ALSO CONVICTED IN LOS ANGELES IN 2022 WHERE HE IS SENTENCED TO SERVE 16 YEARS.

THE RETRIAL IN NEW YORK IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SOMETIME AFTER LABOR DAY.

AID DELIVERIES TO GAZA HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AFTER THE U-S-BUILT TEMPORARY PIER WAS DAMAGED BY ROUGH SEAS.

THIS IS JUST THE LATEST SETBACK FOR- THE 320-MILLION DOLLAR PIER – WHICH HAS ONLY BEEN OPERATIONAL SINCE MAY 17TH.

ALREADY THE PIER HAS SEEN THREE U-S SERVICE MEMBER INJURIES… AND FOUR VESSELS BEACHED DUE TO HEAVY SEAS.

PENTAGON OFFICIALS SPEAKING TO REPORTERS ON TUESDAY ABOUT THE REPAIRS NEEDED  —

SABRINA SINGH |  DEPUTY PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY 

“Unfortunately, we had a perfect storm of high sea states and then, as I mentioned, this north African weather system also came in at the same time creating not an optimal environment to operate this JLOTS, this temporary pier.” 

ARMY ENGINEERS ARE WORKING TO PUT THE PIER BACK TOGETHER AND OFFICIALS ARE HOPING IT WILL BE FULLY OPERATIONAL IN JUST OVER A WEEK.

YOU CAN FIND OUR LATEST STORIES ON THE ONGOING CONFLICT IN GAZA BY DOWNLOADING THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE.

VOTING began TODAY IN south africa — in THE MOST COMPETITIVE ELECTION SINCE THE END OF APARTHEID. (UH-PAR-TIDE)

OPINION POLLS SUGGEST THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS MAY LOSE ITS PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS. VOTERS ARE VOICING FRUSTRATION OVER HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, CRIME RATES, POWER CUTS, AND CORRUPTION.

LINEs FORMED EARLY AT VARIOUS POLLING STATIONS

THE A-N-C, WHICH HAS DOMINATED SINCE 1994 WHEN NELSON MANDELA WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT, MIGHT NOW FALL SHORT OF A MAJORITY, POTENTIALLY REQUIRING A COALITION WITH SMALLER PARTIES TO GOVERN.

DESPITE THESE CHALLENGES, THE A-N-C IS STILL EXPECTED TO WIN THE LARGEST SHARE OF THE VOTE.

FINALLY THIS MORNING – HISTORY IS BEING MADE TODAY IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – AS MLB WILL OFFICIALLY INCORPORATE THE STATS OF FORMER NEGRO LEAGUE PLAYERS INTO ITS RECORD BOOKS.

IT WAS IN 20-20 THAT MLB ANNOUNCED IT WOULD BE QUOTE “CORRECTING A LONG OVERSIGHT” BY ADDING THE NEGRO LEAGUES.

BECAUSE OF THE ADDITIONS – HALL OF FAMER JOSH GIBSON WILL NOW BECOME MLB’S NEW ALL-TIME CAREER LEADER IN BATTING AVERAGE – MOVING AHEAD OF TY COBB.

GIBSON WILL ALSO SURPASS BABE RUTH WHEN IT COMES TO SLUGGING PERCENTAGE.

BASEBALL COMMISSIONER ROB MANFRED SAYING THIS INITIATIVE IS FOCUSED ON ENSURING FUTURE GENERATIONS OF FANS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO THE STATS AND MILESTONES OF THOSE WHO MADE THE NEGRO LEAGUES POSSIBLE.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES FOR THIS WEDNESDAY.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW.

UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!