Home » Trump trial live: Jury selection derailed as one juror excused for impartiality concerns and second is no-show

Trump trial live: Jury selection derailed as one juror excused for impartiality concerns and second is no-show

by John Jefferson
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Supporters and protesters rally outside Trump’s criminal trial

Donald Trump is back in court for day three of his hush money trial at the New York County criminal court in Lower Manhattan.

Proceedings in the trial were gathering pace with seven jurors confirmed — though this morning one was excused over concerns her identity was revealed. Judge Juan Merchan still appears hopeful that the reing jurors and alternates can be selected by the end of the week. Opening statements could then begin on Monday.

Yesterday it was revealed that the former president can be asked about previous allegations of misconduct and crimes – including instances of sexual abuse and fraud – if he takes the stand.

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg posted a list that includes “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment” that his office “intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of” the former president should he testify, according to a court filing.

Mr Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election to ensure her silence about an alleged affair in 2006. He denies the affair and has pleaded not guilty.

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Alex Woodward reports from the courthouse about the judge’s earlier comments:

“There’s a reason this is an anonymous jury and we’ve taken the measures we’ve taken,” Judge Merchan said about losing juror #2.

Describing jurors “kind of defeats the purpose” after that anonymised process.

He directed the press to use “common sense,” saying that writing anything about physical descriptions, including accents, “serves no purpose.”

“I really don’t see how that advanced any interest whatsoever,” he said.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 15:22

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Second jury panel begins

Per pool reports: “The 96 new prospective jurors are entering the courtroom. In order to make room for them, Jason Miller and another Trump aide have moved to the second row behind the defence table. Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung has left the courtroom.”

As the new panel files into the courtroom, some of the jurors are “looking up surprised to see Trump at the defence table. Trump appears keenly attentive to those potential jurors seated in the jury box,” according to the pool.

As previously mentioned, this panel has already been sworn in, so Judge Merchan welcomes the new jurors and thanks them for their promptness.

A pool reporter notes that “when the defence is introduced to the potential jurors seated in the audience, Trump does not stand up like his legal team does to turn and face them”.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 15:04

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Full story: Juror excused from Trump panel in hush money trial over anonymity fears

One of the jurors chosen to be on the panel for Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial has been dismissed after expressing fears of her identity being released.

Ariana Baio report from the court in Lower Manhattan:

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 14:58

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Concerns over juror 4

Now we’re hearing concerns about juror #4, who was directed to be at the courthouse at 9.15am and is still not here.

Here’s what we know about him:

Juror 4: An IT consultant from Puerto Rico who has lived in New York City for 40 years. He has been married a “long time” and has two grandchildren. He joked that he has “no spare time” and his family is his hobby.

“I find him fascinating,” he said of Mr Trump on Tuesday. “He walks into a room and he sets people off. I find that really interesting. … Certainly he makes things interesting.”

ADA Joshua Steinglass says they think he may be the same person who was arrested in the 1990s in Westchester for tearing down political advertisements. It also seems that his wife was previously accused or involved in a corruption inquiry and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with… ta-da… the Manhattan DA’s office.

So they want to ask him about that stuff to see if: 1) If he’s the same guy, in which he would’ve lied about one of the questions on the survey about interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and 2) what to do about him.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 14:54

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Prosecutors ask judge to sign off second contempt motion

Alex Woodward reports from the courthouse:

Prosecutors are asking for the judge to sign off on another contempt motion, saying Donald Trump violated the gag order seven more times this week.

They also point to last night’s post: “‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,’ Jesse Watters.”

This came after the judge warned Trump in person on Tuesday about intimidating jurors.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 14:48

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Raskin rinses Comer on Biden impeachment nonsense

The Maryland Democrat once more knocked it out of the park yesterday as he called on James Comer to finally show his hand in the spurious House impeachment inquiry into the president, strongly suspecting the chair is bluffing and has absolutely nothing to play.

Joe Sommerlad18 April 2024 14:45

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In a brief statement, the juror explains her thinking, saying that just yesterday alone, she had friends, colleagues, and family push things to her phone questioning whether the articles about jurors were referring to her. She said at this point she doesn’t believe she can be fair and unbiased and not let the outside influences bear on her.

Judge Merchan directs the press to refrain from writing about physical descriptions and descriptors (for example, if someone has an accent) to prevent the jurors from being identified.

“We just lost what probably would have been a very good juror for this case,” Judge Merchan says.

Going forward, answers to questions regarding employment will be redacted from transcripts and the press is directed to not report on those answers.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 14:41

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Juror 2 has been excused

Proceedings take a step backwards first thing on Thursday.

Juror #2 who was seated on Tuesday has been excused.

Ariana Baio reports from the courthouse:

Judge Merchan begins by going over preliminary matters. Apparently, Juror #2 called to convey concerns that she cannot be impartial. She says that after leaving court yesterday, her identity became known to her friends, family and colleagues who figure out who she was.

She is excused from jury duty.

Here’s what we know about her:

A native New Yorker and an oncology nurse who lives with her fiance in the Upper East Side. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and taking her dog to the park and gets her news from The New York Times, CNN, and Google. On Tuesday, she said that “nobody is above the law”.

“I’m here to hear the facts, both sides,” she said.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 14:34

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Jury selection will resume momentarily

Ariana Baio is reporting for The Independent from court:

Jury selection will begin momentarily, attorneys have just sat down and we are waiting on Judge Juan Merchan

Donald Trump is also seated with Todd Blanche talking to him.

The second panel of 96 jurors was sworn in on Tuesday, so things should get moving pretty quickly this morning.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 14:21

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MSNBC anchor praises ‘wonderfully poetic’ Trump prosecutor

Joy Reid was singing the praises of Alvin Bragg yesterday, who has become the first person in American history to bring a president to trial and has stood up to plenty of personal abuse from the defendant in the process.

Here’s what she had to say about him.

MSNBC reporter Joy Reid praises ‘wonderfully poetic’ Trump prosecutor

MSNBC host Joy Reid said it was “wonderfully poetic” that a Black Harvard graduate was the first to criminally prosecute Donald Trump. In the New York hush money trial, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg charged the former president with 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election to secure her silence about an alleged 2006 affair. “[Bragg is] the very kind of person that his former staff, the people who worked for him, Stephen Miller et cetera, want to never be at Harvard Law school. But he was. And he came out and graduated and he’s prosecuting you, Donald,” Reid said.

Joe Sommerlad18 April 2024 14:15

Read the full article here

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