Trump’s hush-money trial enters fourth day after difficult jury-selection process

4th day of Trump’s hush-money trial

4th day of Trump’s hush-money trial – difficult jury-selection process

Prospective jurors were grilled on myriad facets of their lives, with one raising concerns her identity had been discovered.

Donald Trump is set to appear in court for the fourth day of his hush-money trial on Friday,

With 12 jurors and one alternate already selected and five more alternates to be chosen before jury selection wraps up.

The process had proved complicated because of the polarizing and high-profile defendant.

The prospective juror had been grilled on their political leanings, their social media posts and many other facets of their lives.

On Thursday one juror raised concerns that her identity had been discovered, especially after she had been described in the media.

She was excused, and Judge Juan Merchan ruled that some identifying characteristics such as a juror’s place of employment could not be made public.

4th day
Trump’s hush-money trial enters fourth day after difficult jury-selection process

Trump has been present throughout, sitting largely impassively in court,

but his Truth Social media account has been posting up a storm, leading to multiple accusations by prosecutors that

the former US president has violated a gag order and should be held in contempt of court.

A hearing is set to be held on that issue on 23 April.

The case centres on a $130,000 payment that Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen,

made during the 2016 election campaign to Stormy Daniels to prevent her claims of an affair with Trump from becoming public.

Prosecutors say Trump obscured the true nature of the payments in internal records

when his company reimbursed Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 and is set to be a star witness for the prosecution.

Trump has denied an affair with Daniels, and his lawyers argue that the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal expenses.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The trial is the first criminal trial of a former US president to hit an American courtroom.

Three other cases on Trump’s conduct during the January 6 insurrection,

his treatment of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home and his attempt to subvert the 2020 election in Georgia are also playing out. Still, Trump’s lawyers have so far successfully delayed them.

Despite his legal problems, Trump remains virtually guaranteed to win the Republican nomination for president

and face off against Joe Biden in November once again.

Trump tends to be narrowly ahead of Biden in head-to-head polling, particularly in the key swing states that will help determine who gains the White House.

4th day Jury selection to resume Friday to pick remaining alternates

Jury selection to resume Friday to pick remaining alternates
Jury selection to resume Friday to pick remaining alternates

Defence attorneys and prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will question a third panel of potential jurors Friday in former President Trump’s hush-money case to select the remaining alternates.

On Thursday, 12 jurors and one alternate juror were seated after a long and arduous process that saw two jurors dismissed.

At least one more alternate is needed before the historic criminal trial of a former U.S. president can begin.

Those selected must attest that they can set aside their personal views and impartially weigh the charges against Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution,” and maintains his innocence.

The former president is expected to testify during his trial. “I tell the truth,” Trump said last week when asked about his possible testimony.

Trump is the first president in United States history to stand criminal trial.

Who is Judge Juan Merchan?

4th day
Manhattan Judge Juan M. Merchan, 61, presides over Trump’s hush money case.

Manhattan Judge Juan M. Merchan, 61, presides over Trump’s hush money case.

Merchan, originally from Colombia, has served on the New York Supreme Court since 2009, overseeing felony criminal cases.

He previously served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office in the 1990s and worked in the New York State Attorney General’s office, among other roles.

Merchan has previously overseen high-profile cases, including in 2012 the case of the “soccer mom madam,”

when a woman named Anna Gristina was charged with running a high-end prostitution ring in Manhattan.

He also presided over the Trump Organization’s 2022 criminal trial involving charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records,

and he is currently overseeing a case involving Trump supporter Steven Bannon on charges

that he defrauded donors to build a wall along the nation’s southern border.

Trump has railed against Merchan on Truth Social, including last month when he called on

the judge to recuse himself and cited Merchan’s daughter and her work as a political consultant for Democratic politicians.

“Judge Juan Merchan, who is suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome has now issued another illegal, un-American, unconstitutional ‘order,’ as he continues to try and take away my Rights,” Trump posted on Truth Social last month after he was given a gag order limiting what he could publicly say about the case.


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