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Photo Credit: Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters

More potential jurors dismissed in second day of Trump hush money trial

As Monday’s court session was drawn to a close, not a single juror had been selected in Donald Trump’s hush money trial. Dozens of jurors were sent home due to the fact that they said that they could not be impartial within minutes of questioning. Composing a fair trial in Manhattan is proving to be quite difficult. This morning, more prospective jurors were dismissed. “There’s nobody in the country who doesn’t have an opinion one way or another,” former Manhattan prosecutor Jeremy Saland said, “But those in New York have been exposed to Donald Trump and his father and children for literally generations, from every tabloid to the internet to Home Alone. A jury should be fair no matter what, listen to the evidence, and hold prosecutors to the burden. So, no easy task.”

Due to the high-profile nature of the case, as many as 500 people from Manhattan and neighboring Roosevelt Island could be chosen as prospective jurors. From this group, the defense and the prosecution, overseen by Justice Juan Merchan, will select 12 jurors and several alternates to be seated. The identities of the jurors will be secret to the public, however, Trump and his team will know their identities.

“Everyone, anyone, no matter who you are, no matter whether you wear blue or red goggles, needs to give the former president the same rights that any of us do, which is that he’s innocent until proven guilty,” says Saland.

Judge Merchan has stressed that jurors will not be dismissed based on political affiliation alone. “The issue is if the juror can be impartial and reach a verdict consistent with the law,” he said in February. Prosecutors and Trump’s legal team can challenge those that they don’t want to be included on the jury; Each side has 10 “peremptory” challenges, jurors that they can dismiss for no particular reason. However, both sides have unlimited dismissal over those that have cause.

The court can hire experts to comb through prospective jurors’ social media accounts to see if they are dishonest in their questioning. Both sides are in search of jurors who have not made up their minds on the case as of yet.

As of this morning, there has not been a single juror selected.


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