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Trump hush money trial jury seated, opening statements to start Monday

The 12-person jury and six alternates have been chosen to hear Donald Trump's hush money case.
Trump hush money trial jury seated, opening statements to start Monday
Posted at 6:32 AM, Apr 19, 2024

Twelve jurors and six alternates have been selected for former President Donald Trump's hush money trial in New York.

After four days of jury selection, Judge Juan Merchan informed the jurors that they should be prepared for opening statements to begin on Monday.

As Merchan wrapped up jury selection on Friday, a man outside the courtroom set himself on fire. The New York Police Department said the man appeared to be motivated by conspiracy theories unrelated to the Trump trial. After people gathered in the area helped put the fire out, the man was taken to a hospital, where he is reportedly in critical condition. 

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The fire outside the courtroom was just part of an emotional day at the Manhattan courthouse. 

Several potential alternate jurors became emotional as they answered questions Friday. One potential alternate juror broke down in tears, saying, "I'm so nervous and anxious." That juror was dismissed. Another potential alternate juror asked to be excused after hearing the questions, saying she's not sure she can be impartial.

The jury selection process has encountered a couple notable speed bumps. Thursday started with seven jurors, but two of the seven were dismissed.

One juror raised concerns that they could no longer remain impartial after their identity became known. This prompted Merchan to redact employment information on jurors' questionnaires as he asked the media to refrain from reporting on a juror's place of work.

A second juror was dismissed after prosecutors found that the person may have been arrested in the past for removing political advertisements. Prosecutors claimed that the juror may have lied on the questionnaire when asked if they had ever been arrested.

Trump faces 34 felony counts in a New York court for falsifying business records related to payments to cover up alleged extramarital affairs. 

Trump has lamented that the trial is "very unfair," criticizing the judge for continuing to impose a gag order that prohibits him from talking about certain individuals tied to the trial. 

"What's happening here with the judicial system is an outrage," Trump said as he left the courthouse Friday. 


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