12 jurors have been picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial. Selection of alternates ongoing
Image via AP.

Donald Trump court
The Judge also scheduled a hearing on the prosecution’s request for contempt sanctions for Trump.

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York, and the court quickly turned to selecting alternate jurors.

The rapid progress Thursday afternoon propelled the case closer to opening statements and weeks of testimony in a case charging the Republican ex-President with falsifying business records to suppress stories about his sex life in the final days of the 2016 election.

The jury includes a sales professional, a software engineer, an English teacher and multiple lawyers. The case centers on $130,000 Trump’s lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid to porn actor Stormy Daniels. Trump faces 34 felony counts. He denies any wrongdoing.

Earlier in the day, two other jurors were dismissed, one after expressing doubt about her ability to be fair following disclosure of details about her identity. Another juror was let go over concerns that some of his answers in court may have been inaccurate.

In other developments, prosecutors asked for Trump to be held in contempt over a series of social media posts this week, and the Judge barred reporters from identifying jurors’ employers after expressing privacy concerns.

The jury selection process picked up momentum Tuesday with the selection of seven jurors. But on Thursday, Judge Juan Merchan revealed in court that one of the seven, a cancer nurse, had “conveyed that after sleeping on it overnight she had concerns about her ability to be fair and impartial in this case.”

And though jurors’ names are being kept confidential, the woman told the Judge and the lawyers that she had doubts after she said aspects of her identity had been made public.

“Yesterday alone I had friends, colleagues and family push things to my phone regarding questioning my identity as a juror,” she said. “I don’t believe at this point that I can be fair and unbiased and let the outside influences not affect my decision making in the courtroom.”

A second seated juror was dismissed after prosecutors raised concerns that he may not have been honest in answering a jury selection question by saying that he had never been accused or convicted of a crime.

The IT professional was summoned to court to answer questions after prosecutors said they found an article about a person with the same name who had been arrested in the 1990s for tearing down political posters pertaining to the political right in suburban Westchester County.

A prosecutor also disclosed that a relative of the man may have been involved in a deferred prosecution agreement in the 1990s with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Trump’s case.

Because the juror was questioned Thursday at the Judge’s bench, off-microphone and out of earshot of reporters, it was not known whether the man confirmed or denied either instance was connected to him.

Twelve jurors and six alternates must be seated to hear the trial. Merchan said Tuesday that opening statements could begin as soon as Monday.

The process of picking a jury is a critical phase of any criminal trial but especially so when the defendant is a former President and the presumptive Republican nominee. Prospective jurors have been grilled on their social media posts, personal lives and political views as the lawyers and Judge search for biases that would prevent them from being impartial.

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.

After dismissing from the jury the nurse who had already been selected, Merchan ordered journalists in court not to report prospective jurors’ answers to questions about their current and former employers.

“We just lost, probably, what probably would have been a very good juror for this case, and the first thing that she said was she was afraid and intimidated by the press, all the press, and everything that had happened,” Merchan said after dismissing the juror.

Prosecutors had asked that the employer inquiries be axed from the jury questionnaire. Defense lawyer Todd Blanche responded that “depriving us of the information because of what the press is doing isn’t the answer.”

The District Attorney’s Office on Monday sought a $3,000 fine for Trump for three Truth Social posts they said violated the order. Since then, prosecutors said he made seven additional posts that they believe violate the order.

Several of the posts involved an article that referred to former Trump lawyer Cohen as a “serial perjurer,” and one from Wednesday repeated a claim by a Fox News host that liberal activists were lying to get on the jury, said prosecutor Christopher Conroy.

Trump lawyer Emil Bove said Cohen “has been attacking President Trump in public statements,” and Trump was just replying.

The Judge had already scheduled a hearing for next week on the prosecution’s request for contempt sanctions over Trump’s posts.

The trial centers on a $130,000 payment that Cohen made shortly before the 2016 election to Daniels to prevent her claims of a sexual encounter with Trump from becoming public in the race’s final days.

Prosecutors say Trump obscured the true nature of the payments in internal records when his company reimbursed Cohen, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2018 and is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution.

Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels, and his lawyers argue that the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal expenses.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. He could get up to four years in prison if convicted, though it’s not clear that the Judge would opt to put him behind bars. Trump would almost certainly appeal any conviction.

The hush money case is one of four criminal prosecutions involving Trump as he vies to reclaim the White House, but it’s possible that it will be the sole case to reach trial before November’s Presidential Election.

Appeals and other legal wrangling have caused delays in cases charging Trump with plotting to overturn the 2020 election results and with illegally hoarding classified documents.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press



    April 18, 2024 at 5:40 pm

    Good evening America,
    Relax Your Sphincters as we (The Good Guys) have 4 of the 12 on the jury which are going to fail to convict thus resulting in a “Hung Jury” letting Trump roll on to The White House.
    The next 8 years will of course belong to Ron DeSantis.
    Thank you America, as you can all see we are totally looking forward to a guranteed 4 + 8 = 12 glorious “Sphincter Relaxing” years of a Sage Republican in The White House.
    *Queue Loud Patriotic Music to Whizz all Dook 4 Brains Leftists Off*

    • rick whitaker

      April 18, 2024 at 6:21 pm


    • MarvinM

      April 21, 2024 at 6:05 pm

      Well now, one of these two things is definitely not going to happen.

      Either Trump will retake the White House in 2024
      Ron DeSantis will win the White House in 2028 (and presumable you think 2032 as well).

      But both can’t happen.


      Because if Trump wins 2024, he’ll run again in 2028, and Ron will lose again to him like he did this year. What, you say? Trump won’t be allowed to run because of term limits? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …. (stops to take a breath) … ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .
      You crack me up.
      That won’t stop him (see 6th, January 2020). He gets to the White House again, he will not go out willingly. Doesn’t matter if a Ron DeSantis Republican would follow him. Trump will not let go of that power. He’s shown us that already.

      • Dont Say FLA

        April 24, 2024 at 3:03 pm

        You’re not wrong, Marvim.

        And the scariest part is that when The Donaldzzzzzzz croaks, we would get Supreme Leader Don Junior.

        Man I really shouldn’t have typed that about The Donaldzzzzzzz presumptive successor upon his demise.

        Now i have my own barf all over my keyboard. Yuck!

  • Speedy Gonzalez

    April 18, 2024 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks earl American, my cousin SloPoke, says you are a smart man and maybe he can name himself SloPoke Pitts American. We love USA WE love Trump we love Earl. Speedy and SloPoke Pitts American.

    • rick whitaker

      April 18, 2024 at 6:20 pm


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  • Sundance

    April 22, 2024 at 9:07 pm

    The story here is 130.000 and who payed taxes or who had the responsibility to do so

Comments are closed.


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