Mon. May 20th, 2024

Judge in hush money trial admonishes Trump after he appears to speak during questioning of a prospective juror

By 37ci3 Apr17,2024


The first seven judges have been selected for the Donald Trump jury hush money trial Tuesday amid battles over old Facebook posts and calls from prospective jurors to “shut it up” and a judge’s warning not to try to intimidate panelists who will decide the former president’s fate.

“I will not intimidate any jurors in this courtroom. I want to clear this crystal” New York State Judge Juan Merchan Trump and his attorney, Todd Blanche, said outside the presence of the jury. Merchan Blanche said that while he was 12 feet away from your client, his client “audibly” said something to the jury.

Merchan said he did not know what Trump was saying, but told jurors he was “groaning” and “gesturing” and ordered Blanche to talk to her client about his behavior. Blanche then whispered something in Trump’s ear.

The incident highlights Trump’s penchant for acting out in court and the problems his lawyers have with keeping him under control. He he spoke out loud E. Jean Carroll before the jury and at one point during the libel trial spun civil fraud trial – voluntarily participated in two trials. His presence is required in a criminal case and the trial can last up to eight weeks.

The current drama came on the second day of jury selection as seven jurors were selected for the case. The jury is anonymous, so their names were not used in open court, but the panelists included a lawyer, a salesperson, an oncology nurse, an IT consultant, a teacher and a software engineer. The seven were sworn in and asked to return to court on Monday.

Blanche complained that some potential jurors they questioned were not as fair as they represented themselves.

“There are a number of jurors that we have posted on social media that are very contrary to what they said when asked if they were impartial,” Blanche told the judge, who tried to hit them for cause.

He noted that one potential juror posted a video from the day Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election.

In the video, the woman says: “I have to get in the car and sound the horn.” “There’s a real dance party on 96th Street.”

Trump’s lawyers claimed that the video will consist of a rally against Trump. During the initial questioning, the woman denied that she participated in any rallies or agitation events.

Called for personal questioning, he said it was a “celebratory moment” in the city and could be impartial.

After slamming Trump for his behavior toward him, Merchan said he found him “trustworthy” and refused to shoot him for cause. Trump’s lawyers later used one of their subpoenas to fire him.

Merchan removed another potential juror after Trump’s lawyers brought up old tweets from 2017, when the man said, “Good news!! Trump loses court fight over illegal travel ban!!!”

“Take him out and lock him up,” one tweet read.

The search for a 12-member jury and six replacements who would be “fair and impartial” to Trump, a polarizing New York native and former commander-in-chief, gained momentum Tuesday.

“Everybody and their mother has an opinion about this case and what the right outcome should be,” prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told a panel of potential jurors who went through a preliminary round of questions from the judge. “We need jurors who can put aside strong feelings and focus on the evidence.”

“This is not a referendum or a popularity contest for Trump’s presidency. This case is about whether this person broke the law or not,” he said, pointing to Trump.

“Can you all tell the difference between believability and cuteness?” he added later, as a preview of what prosecutors’ opening statements might look like. Prospective jurors said they could.

Blanche asked some of the jurors how they felt about her client, while others tried to avoid the question.

One replied, “That’s not important,” while another said, “I’m here to judge the facts presented, not the individual.”

Trump sat down to hear responses from a group of everyday New Yorkers, some of whom discussed their friends’ negative opinions of him and another who recalled watching the old NBC show “The Apprentice” in high school. Another said: “I find her adorable!”

“He walks into a room and sets people off in one way or another,” said a potential juror, “and he makes things interesting.”

The individual questioning came after several potential jurors said they could not serve because they felt they could not be impartial. Among them was a man who suggested he couldn’t be impartial because he was from Texas, worked in finance and grew up around Republicans. “I believe I have some unconscious bias,” he said. A second juror apologized after telling Merchan that he had thought a little overnight and decided “I can’t be fair and impartial.”

Another said, “As much as I want to serve New York and one of our great presidents, I can’t because of my job.”

Among the initial interrogators was a man who worked for a software company. He said he followed Trump on Twitter while he was president and read two of his books, including The Art of the Deal, which elicited a big smile and a nod from Trump. The district attorney’s office used two subpoenas to fire him and another Art of the Deal reader who worked in the real estate industry.

Prosecutors also challenged the defense to throw out a former corrections officer who questioned whether Blanche could be fair even if the defense asked no questions. The man said he could. “This is not showmanship. This is real life. Human life is in danger. The country is on the line. This is serious,” he said.

politics political politician
Former President Donald Trump smiles at a jury during his trial in New York state court on Monday.Pool via Jane Rosenberg/AP

Shortly before entering the courtroom, Trump told reporters he had done nothing wrong and attacked Merchan as a “Trump-hating judge.” He also complained that the job was taking him away from the presidency: “I have to be in Pennsylvania, Florida, and a lot of other states right now.”

trump, Presumptive Republican nominee begged for the presidency not guilty to 34 fraudulent business records related to hush money payments to porn stars in the closing days of the 2016 presidential election. A low-level offense is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Jury Selection a slow start on mondayMore than half of the 96 potential jurors summoned to a Manhattan courtroom said they could not be “fair and impartial” when it came to Trump.

Merchan estimated the jury selection process would take a week or two. Court is not held on Wednesdays, so proceedings will resume on Thursday morning. The trial is expected to be adjourned for Easter next week.



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By 37ci3

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