"We Have Our Jury": All 12 Jurors Seated For Trump Trial

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Apr 18, 2024 - 09:05 PM

Update (1705ET): All 12 jurors have been selected for Trump's NY hush money trial following the dismissal of two people earlier in the day.

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he returns from a recess in his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 18, 2024. (Brendan McDermid/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

As part of the process, dozens of jurors were almost immediately excused after admitting they couldn't be fair or impartial during the trial (and the rest lied, of course).

"We have our jury," said Judge Juan Merchan, after the 12th juror was selected. As The Hill notes:

One primary juror is originally from Lebanon and retired.

Another lives on the Upper East Side and said while she does “have opinions,” she does “firmly believe I can be fair and impartial.”

A third was born in Ohio and works in e-commerce. The fourth is from California and just watches “late night news.” And the fifth is a physical therapist who listens to podcasts related to sports and faith.

The first of six alternate jurors was also selected. She is a woman who grew up in England and Hong Kong.

There are five alternates left to select.

Let the games begin!

*  *  *

Authored by Chase Smith via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A second juror who was seated on the jury for former President Donald Trump in the Manhattan ‘Hush-Money’ Trial earlier this week was excused on Thursday, after prosecutors said that someone with the same name was arrested in the 90s for “tearing down political advertisements.”

The Associated Press also reported that this juror, an IT consultant who previously described President Trump as “fascinating and mysterious,” failed to disclose his wife was allegedly a previous participant in a corruption inquiry by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Earlier in the day, a juror was dismissed after saying she had concerns about her ability to be fair and impartial and had concerns about her identity being made public.

The two were sworn in earlier in the week with five others, including one alternate, on the second day of the trial.

The two dismissals by New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan reduce the number of seated jurors to five. A total of 18 jurors need to be seated before the trial begins, six of which will be alternates.

AP described the scene in the Manhattan courtroom on Thursday morning as “frenetic,” as prosecutors also asked the judge to hold President Trump in contempt of court over social media posts they claim violated a gag order by Judge Merchan.

Second Dismissal

The second dismissal Thursday came when prosecutors raised concerns the juror may have not been forthcoming during jury selection when a question was asked whether he had ever been accused of or convicted of a crime, AP reported.

The juror was summoned to the court to answer questions after an article was found regarding a person with the same name being arrested in the 1990s for tearing down political campaign signs supporting conservative candidates in Westchester County, a suburban county of New York.

The prosecution also disclosed the man’s wife may have been involved in a deferred prosecution agreement with their office, also in the 1990s.

AP reported that the questions by Judge Merchan were “off-microphone” and thus his responses to the judge’s questions were not fully known, along with whether or not he confirmed or denied the allegations were indeed connected to him.

Thursday’s events bring a roadblock to an already difficult task of finding enough jurors to seat in the largely liberal Manhattan jury pool who are found to be able to decide President Trump’s fate fairly and impartially.

Inside the court, there’s broad acknowledgment of the futility in trying to find jurors without knowledge of Trump. A prosecutor this week said that lawyers were not looking for people who had been “living under a rock for the past eight years.”

But Thursday’s events laid bare the inherent challenges of selecting a jury for such a landmark, high-publicity case. More than half the members of a group of 96 prospective jurors brought into the courtroom were dismissed Thursday, most after saying they doubted their ability to be fair and impartial.

Earlier Dismissal

Early in the morning, Judge Merchan reported that the woman also known as “Juror 2” had slept on the decision to sit on the jury overnight and informed the court she wished to be dismissed.

She was brought into the room and said after thinking about it, she has friends, colleagues, and family that “push things” and outside influences that would likely affect her impartiality. She added that she had been identified as a juror from news reports.

The juror, an oncology nurse, said her family and friends had questioned her about whether or not she was a juror based on media reports. The judge in turn ordered journalists to refrain from publishing information about the juror’s current and prior jobs.

Justice Merchan said, “As evidenced by what’s happened already, it’s become a problem,” according to AP. The answers also will be redacted from court transcripts.

Prosecutors additionally asked for the employer question to be removed from the questionnaire for jurors, while the judge disagreed with the argument and said it was necessary information.

Other Developments

Also in court on Thursday, prosecutors asked for the 45th president to be held in contempt for what they said were social media posts that violated a gag order that bars him from attacking witnesses.

Those posts, prosecutors argued, included an article referring to witness and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as a serial perjurer and another by a Fox News personality that liberals were disguising their true motives to be seated on the jury.

Mr. Trump’s attorney said that Mr. Cohen had attacked his former boss in public and the president was replying to those attacks.

On Monday, when Justice Merchan asked 96 prospective jurors if they couldn’t be fair and impartial in the trial, more than half of them raised their hands. They were then dismissed.

The Case

The legal case against President Trump involves an alleged $130,000 payment made by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult performer Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, to keep her claims of having an affair with the president from becoming public.

President Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges, asserting that it’s part of a longstanding and widespread effort to prevent him from being reelected. Earlier this week, President Trump wrote on Truth Social and told reporters that being in court every day will hamper his campaign, noting that he won’t be able to visit potential battleground states with just months to go before the November election.

The trial is expected to last upwards of eight weeks. Of that, the jury selection process could last as long as two weeks, analysts speculate.

The New York case is one of four criminal prosecutions the former president faces. The other cases stem from his alleged mishandling of classified information and activity in challenging the results of the 2020 election.

He has pleaded not guilty to those charges, too, although it’s not clear whether the three cases will make it to trial before November.

The federal election case was placed on hold by a Washington-based judge as the appeals process plays out. In the documents case in Florida, the federal judge has yet to reschedule a new trial date.

In Georgia, the former president has appealed state election-related charges in Fulton County, putting that case on hold. It came amid allegations that the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, engaged in inappropriate behavior that the defendants say should have led to her dismissal.

Jack Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this article.