Jury Selection Underway in Historic Trump Criminal Trial

Jury selection begins in historic criminal trial of former US President Trump in New York, marking the first time a former president faces criminal charges. The outcome could have significant implications for Trump's political future.

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Jury Selection Underway in Historic Trump Criminal Trial

Jury Selection Underway in Historic Trump Criminal Trial

Jury selection has begun in the historic criminal trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump in New York. The trial, which is related to hush money payments made during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, marks the first time a former U.S. president has faced criminal charges.

On the second day of jury selection, seven jurors were chosen , including four men and three women from diverse backgrounds. The jurors were questioned about their opinions of Trump and their ability to be impartial. If the current pace continues, opening arguments could begin as early as Monday.

Trump's lawyers have tried to remove several jurors for alleged anti-Trump social media posts, and the judge has agreed to strike two of them. The former president was admonished by the judge for audibly speaking and gesturing towards a juror during the proceedings.

Why this matters: The outcome of this trial could have significant implications for Trump's political future and the 2024 presidential election. It also sets a precedent for holding former presidents accountable for alleged criminal conduct.

The charges against Trump relate to a $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Prosecutors accuse Trump of falsely logging the payments as legal fees. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 state felony counts of falsification of business records.

The trial is expected to last about six weeks, and Trump must be present for the entirety. Prosecutors have filed a motion asking the judge to hold Trump in criminal contempt for violating a gag order with social media posts about anticipated witnesses.

Seven jurors have been seated so far, including an IT worker, an English teacher, and two lawyers. The jury forewoman is an oncology nurse. The judge has ruled that the jurors will remain anonymous to protect their safety.

Polls show that only about 2 in 10 Americans are confident the judges and jurors can be fair and impartial in the cases against Trump, reflecting skepticism about the legal system's ability to treat him evenhandedly. The trial is not being televised, but Trump is providing commentary on the proceedings, which is likely to be the most that many viewers of conservative media learn about the case.

Key Takeaways

  • Jury selection underway in Trump's historic criminal trial in NY.
  • 7 jurors seated, including diverse backgrounds; trial could start Monday.
  • Charges relate to $130K hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.
  • Trial could impact Trump's political future and 2024 election.
  • Polls show skepticism about the legal system's fairness towards Trump.