Potential Trump trial jurors dismissed because of bias against former president

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the second day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 16, 2024.

Mary Altaffer | AFP | Getty Images

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

More potential jurors were dismissed Tuesday from the New York criminal hush money trial of Donald Trump after saying they could not be fair in judging the former president.

“I don’t think I can be as impartial or unbiased as I thought I could be,” one prospective juror said before being excused in Manhattan Supreme Court on the second day of jury selection.

Eight others were dismissed Tuesday morning, including multiple who said said they could not be impartial to Trump.

The dismissals underscored the challenge of prosecuting the polarizing Republican presumptive presidential nominee in New York City.

On Monday, more than 50 would-be jurors were promptly excused because of self-professed bias against Trump. That was more than half of the first panel of 96 prospective jurors who were brought in to the courtroom that day.

Despite the dismissals on Tuesday, the jury box by 11:35 a.m. ET was filled with 18 potential jurors who had completed a 42-question survey without being excused.

Those people will face questions from attorneys for Trump and prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The process of selecting 12 jurors and six alternates alone could take two weeks or more. No jurors have been seated yet.

Trump is charged in the case with 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to hide a $130,000 hush money payment by his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump later reimbursed Cohen in monthly installments that were falsely labeled, Bragg alleges.

Bragg accuses Trump of trying to influence the 2016 election by buying the silence of Daniels, who says she had a one-time sexual tryst with Trump in July 2006. Trump has denied having sex with Daniels at that time, which was four months after his wife Melania Trump gave birth to his youngest son, Barron Trump.

Just before entering the courtroom Tuesday, Trump defended the payments to Cohen.

Read more about Donald Trump

“I was paying a lawyer and marked it down as a legal expense, some accountant, I didn’t know, marked it down as a legal expense, that’s exactly what it was,” Trump said. “And you get indicted over that?”

Trump also railed against the trial judge, Juan Merchan, calling him a “Trump-hating judge” who “shouldn’t be on this case.”

His attorneys on Monday got chilly responses from Merchan when they asked to adjust the trial schedule so that Trump can attend other personal and legal matters.

Those events include a Supreme Court hearing on his request for presidential immunity in another criminal case, and Barron’s high school graduation.

Merchan did not reject those requests outright, but also did not immediately grant them.

The trial is set to last around six weeks, with proceedings taking place four days a week.

Trump is required to be in court throughout the trial, potentially interfering with his presidential campaign plans.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top