Helena Lyng Blak
5 weeks ago

Trump Trial: First Seven Jurors Selected

In a historic case, jury selection begins for the trial of former President Donald Trump over alleged hush money payments.
lev radin / Shutterstock.com
lev radin / Shutterstock.com

On Tuesday, April 15, 2024, the first seven jurors were selected to decide on the so-called ‘hush money’-case against former president Donald Trump.

According to Reuters, the presiding judge emphasized a zero-tolerance policy for any attempts to intimidate potential jurors, highlighting an incident where the ex-president was “audibly muttering” during the questioning of a prospective juror.

It is an exceedingly difficult trial for jury selection. On Monday, the judge dismissed over 50 of the 96 prospective jurors, as they expressed concerns about their ability to judge the case impartially.

The jury selection process is expected to last up to two weeks, possibly longer. The final jury will consist of 12 members and up to six alternates.

‘Hush Money’-Case

The charges, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, allege that Donald Trump orchestrated payments through his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential race to prevent her from disclosing an alleged affair.

Trump faces charges of manipulating business records to mask the reimbursements made to Cohen and implementing an unlawful scheme to influence the 2016 election’s outcome.

Charges in the case were filed in March 2023. Trump is charged with 34 counts in total: 11 related to fake invoices, 11 related to checks and 12 related to accounting records.

First of Four

This Manhattan trial is historic as it is the first ever against a former president and is the first of four criminal cases expected to go to trial against Trump.

It is furthermore the first of four criminal cases expected to go to trial against Trump. 

The next case to go to trial will be the case of Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of attempts to retrieve them from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. He was charged with 40 counts in the case whose trial date is set for May 20. 

The remaining two cases both concern Trump’s alleged efforts to reverse or overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump was charged in both cases in August 2023, but no trial dates have been set yet. 

Whether and how these trials and their outcomes will affect the year’s upcoming presidential election remains to be determined.

According to The Economist, as of April 17, the latest polling averages show that Biden and Trump are tied in the presidential race.

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