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Dozens of Trump trial jurors disqualified for lack of impartiality


Concerns about their impartiality have disqualified several jurors from Donald Trump's highly unusual criminal trial in New York.

Mr. Trump denies falsifying business records to cover a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, done just before the 2016 election that he won.


After the trial started on Monday, 60 of the 96 potential jurors reported that they had already made up their minds.


Jury selection is set for Tuesday and could last up to two weeks.


The discharges on the first day showed how difficult it was to find 12 jurors without prejudice for a case like this. It revolves around a high-profile sex scandal that includes an already former president who is a candidate again for the White House.


"I couldn't go through this," one potential juror said as she walked out of court.


According to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Mr. Trump ordered his former lawyer, Mr. Michael Cohen, to compensate Ms. Daniels $130,000 (£104,000) for her silence in response to an alleged affair that the former president denies happened.


The prosecutors argue that he sought to "unfairly influence" the election of 2016. Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty.


The jury selection process started in the afternoon. Initially, the judge removed jurors who raised their hands and said they could not be impartial, leaving around 34 people.


The remaining ones were then queried on a jury questionnaire with 42 questions, whether they were in the habit of reading the news, had attended Trump's rallies, and had read any of his books.


Eighteen of us, as a jury, will respond to the questions sequentially.


A guy from Midtown remarked he'd just read the Wall Street Journal. Another Upper West Side member added that he used the radio to listen to whatever was shouting in his washroom. Then, for a second time, But this time, he meant National Public Radio.


Both were dismissed immediately.


A woman was asked, "Please answer this: Do you feel strongly about the previous president, Donald Trump, or his candidacy at this moment, which would not allow you to be a reliable, impartial juror?"


His Secretary replied, "Yes," and he was dismissed, albeit for a reason his supporters disagreed and did not explain.


Due to the case's high-profile nature, the jury members in question shall, therefore, be completely anonymous. However, they are obviously known to Mr. Trump's legal team and prosecutors.


Court Silence

The accused has been silent throughout the day, talking to his lawyers in a whisper between short dispatches of severe looks on his face.


His team later denied suggestions the former president had been struggling to keep his eyes open or had even fallen asleep during the proceedings, telling the Independent: "That 100% fake news is being spun by 'Journalists' who were not even summoned to appear at court."


In this whole procedure, Mr. Trump used only three words on Monday morning before the judge, the Honorable Juan Merchan of New York, and all were "yes "when he was asked what kind of conduct is expected in a courtroom.


However, Trump, who was outside the courtroom, called the case nonsense and a "joke" [or attack] on America, respectively.


A question that aroused some curiosity among the attending lawyers was about Mr Trump's public statements on the case, which were also discussed for several minutes during the morning session in court.


Prosecutors said Mr Trump's tweets on his official social media account, Truth Social, had broken the sealing order the judge imposed upon him. The injunction requires Mr Trump to be restricted from making public statements and comments about the people related to the case and who can be considered witnesses.


The orders were expanded to relatives of the judges involved. Mr.Trump then attacked Justice Merchan's daughter on social media.

The District Attorney of Manhattan District Attorney's Office's request with Justice Merchan was to fine Mr Trump the $3,000 (£2,400) total for their three posts. And that goes as far as tweeting on Saturday that Michael Cohen, a lawyer who is slated to testify against him and also allegedly tried to suppress some of Mr. Trump's crimes during his presidential bid, is a "disgraceful attorney and felon."


The sitting Judge had marked the 24th of April as the hearing date and would make a judgment.


The judge spent the morning of the first day deciding what evidence could be allowed in court.


The back and forth between the defense and prosecution was audio monitoring concerning Mr Trump before the 2016 elections. In this clip, which was taken from a recording of NBC show Access Hollywood, the host (or Mr. Trump himself – I'm confused) talks about grabbing women by the genitals.


Prosecutors included an email thread between advisers of the Trump campaign and a Washington Post journalist who had broken the Access Hollywood story, which has the tape in its transcribed form.


The judge, however, refused to play the audio tape for the jury but allowed prosecutors to discuss what the ex-president uttered on the recording.


Mr Trump's supporters applauded him from time to time throughout the day, holding signs and chanting their approval loudly and repeatedly outside the courthouse.


They encompassed an ancient soldier playing The Star-Spangled Banner on a flute for hours and an archetypal Trump in a blond wig and red tie.


Among those, there were also sharply different opinions about the former president. One held a banner that stated: "Impeach Donald Trump now."


The Hussy Money trial is just one of four criminal trials the former president is involved in. However, it could be the only one to be tried and to go to a court trial before the 2024 presidential election, which is predicted to be the rematch between Mr. Trump, who is from the Republican party, and the incumbent, Mr. Biden, who is from the Democratic party.


If found guilty, Mr. Trump would be the first major party nominee to run as a convict seeking the highest office in America. No law restricts him from making such statements.


Justice Merchan also denied a defense request that Mr. Trump be excused from appearing at the court on the following Thursday so that he could participate in the Supreme Court hearings on his appeal of the charges against him in that rape investigation.


"Arguing before the Supreme Court is a big deal," Justice Merchan said before adding: Although there is a trial in New York Supreme Court, this is still one of the significant events. I'll be here next week so that I might see him."


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