Full 12-Person Jury Selected And Sworn In For Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial — Update

UPDATE: A 12-person jury has been selected for Donald Trump’s hush money trial.

“We have our jury,” said Judge Juan Merchan, after several days of lengthy questioning of prospective jurors on the panel.

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Jury selection is not over, as the process now moves to selecting alternates. One was selected later in the day today, with as many as five more to go.

And even as the additional jurors were sworn in this afternoon, issues can still be raised. Earlier today, two of the seven jurors who already had been sworn in were excused from the case. One of the jurors raised issues about her ability to be impartial and over the disclosure of some of her personal information; the other was excused after prosecutors raised issues over a prior arrest.

Trump himself continued to blast the case. “I’m sitting here for days now, from morning til night in that freezing room. Freezing,” he told reporters.

“The whole world is watching this hoax,” Trump added, as he once again falsely suggested that Joe Biden was orchestrating the prosecution.

Trump’s team waged numerous objections throughout the day to potential jurors. One older white woman had posted on social media that Trump was a “racist, sexist” and narcissist. “This is not a person who could be fair,” Trump’s attorney said.

With Trump watching, the woman said that she could not remember the posts, but “I certainly can understand concerns by defense counsel.” She said that the posts were from the 2016 cycle, when she was “in a disturbed frame of mind.” Merchan excused her for cause, saying he wanted to error on the side of caution.

“I don’t think we need to take a chance with this juror,” Merchan said.

Trump watched as some prospective jurors criticized him.

“He seems very selfish and self serving,” said one woman. “I don’t really appreciate that from any public servant.” She said that how he “portrays himself in public” was “not my cup of tea.” The woman, though, was seated on the jury.

Just before the court adjourned, Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche sought to find out the names of the first three witnesses that prosecutors plan to call. But Joshua Steinglass, the assistant district attorney, refused.

“Mr. Trump has been tweeting about the witnesses,” Steinglass said, per a pool report. “We’re not telling them who the witnesses are.”

The judge said that he “can’t blame them,” as prosecutors have cited numerous Trump Truth Social posts as potential violations of the judge’s partial gag order.

Blanche offered to “commit to the court and the People that President Trump will not Truth about any witnesses.”

“I don’t think you can make that representation,” the judge said.

Blanche then offered another idea: give the witness names to the lawyers but not share them with Trump.

The judge declined.

PREVIOUSLY: Judge Juan Merchan has excused another juror from Donald Trump’s hush money trial, leaving five selected for the panel so far.

Prosecutors had raised concerns about the juror’s prior arrest. The juror was excused after the judge huddled with attorneys on both sides.

Jury selection is continuing, but the process will take longer with the excuse of the most recent juror and another one earlier today.

PREVIOUSLY: Judge Juan Merchan directed media outlets to limit reporting on information about jurors in the Trump hush money trial.

Merchan excused one of the seven jurors selected so far after she complained of getting messages from friends and family members questioning her identity as a juror. She then said that she did not think that she could be fair and impartial.

Merchan has restricted the names of the jurors as they are questioned in open court. But other information, like their backgrounds and workplaces, have been disclosed as they have been questioned as part of the jury selection process.

The judge said that he is going to have the answers to questions about employers redacted from the court record, but he also asked press in the courtroom and an overflow room not to report on them.

“It’s become a problem,” the judge said, the a pool report, as he asked media outlets to use “common sense.”

The judge also complained about reporting on personal characteristics of jurors, specifically mentioning reporting that one of the jurors had an Irish accent. He asked that media outlets stick to what is entered into the court record, even if the proceedings are public.

Some major media outlets have identified jurors’ employers, but The Washington Post later removed the information. Yet even if mainstream outlets show restraint in the personal details of jurors, an array of blogs and right-wing outlets also are chiming in on the case and have raised criticisms of Trump’s ability to get a fair trial in heavily Democratic New York City.

The excusal of the juror means that six so far are seated in the case. Jury selection is continuing today, with an additional six needed along with alternates.

Meanwhile, prosecutors raised additional concerns about violations of a gag order. Trump’s attorney Emil Bove argued that the former president’s reposting of others’ comments do not violate the order. On Truth Social, Trump posted a quote from Fox News host Jesse Watters, who had identified the occupation of the now-excused juror. Watters said, “They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury.”

The gag order restricts Trump’s comments on jurors and potential jurors along with others in the case.

PREVIOUSLY: Donald Trump arrived at a Manhattan courthouse this morning for the third day in his hush money trial, but there are new questions as to whether he will be admonished in any form after posting an attack on potential jurors.

On Truth Social on Wednesday, Trump posted a quote that Fox News host Jesse Watters, one of his long time defenders, made on air. The quote read, “They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury.”

Judge Juan Merchan’s partial gag order restricts Trump from commenting on jurors or potential jurors, as well as expected witnesses in the case and courtroom staff. Prosecutors already are asking the judge to fine Trump for violating the order for his attacks on his former attorney Michael Cohen and former porn actress Stormy Daniels.

As in most trials, judges are particularly protective of jurors, with Merchan shielding the public disclosure of the names of the jurors. The judge on Tuesday warned Trump’s attorneys, “I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom.” That followed Trump’s audible muttering as a prospective juror was being questioned.

So far, seven people have been sworn in to serve on the jury in the case, with additional selections slated for today and Friday. The judge has said that he expects opening statements on Monday.

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