Jury Selection Continues in Trump's Historic Criminal Trial

Former President Trump's historic criminal trial in Manhattan is underway, with jury selection ongoing and opening statements expected soon. The case involves hush money payments and could have significant political implications.

Geeta Pillai
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Jury Selection Continues in Trump's Historic Criminal Trial

Jury Selection Continues in Trump's Historic Criminal Trial

The first criminal trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump is underway in Manhattan, marking a historic moment in American history. Trump faces 34 felony counts related to falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

On the second day of jury selection, seven jurors were seated , including four men and three women from diverse backgrounds. The jurors have expressed varying opinions about Trump, with one finding him "fascinating and mysterious" while others aim to be impartial. Trump's lawyers attempted to remove several potential jurors due to alleged anti-Trump social media posts, but the judge only agreed to dismiss two.

Judge Juan Merchan admonished Trump for audibly speaking and gesturing towards a juror during a discussion of her social media activity. The judge has been working to keep the proceedings moving quickly, with jury selection expected to conclude by the end of the week. Opening statements could begin as early as Monday, depending on the pace of seating the remaining jurors.

Why this matters: The criminal trial of a former U.S. president is a historic event that could have significant implications for Trump's political future and the 2024 presidential election. The outcome of the case may also impact public trust in the American legal system and its ability to hold powerful individuals accountable.

Trump has vowed to continue his efforts to have Judge Merchan removed from the case, claiming he is "highly conflicted." The Manhattan district attorney's office has filed a formal request to hold Trump in contempt over recent social media posts targeting key witnesses. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next Tuesday.

During the trial, Trump remains alert and engaged, whispering to his attorneys and closing his eyes at times. When asked about violating the gag order prohibiting him from discussing witnesses, Trump stated, "I don't believe I did. The order is unconstitutional." He also said he will decide after the trial if he thinks the jurors can be fair.

Key Takeaways

  • Trump's first criminal trial underway in Manhattan on 34 felony counts.
  • 7 jurors seated on second day, with varying views on Trump.
  • Judge admonished Trump for speaking to a juror, aims to move quickly.
  • Trial could impact Trump's political future and public trust in the system.
  • Trump claims judge is "highly conflicted," DA seeks to hold him in contempt.