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7 jurors chosen on Day 2 of Trump's hush money trial

Anadolu Agency AMERICAS
Published April 17,2024
Former U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters at the conclusion of the second day of jury selection for his criminal trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York, New York, USA, 16 April 2024. (EPA)

Day two of Donald Trump's hush money trial in the state of New York saw seven jurors sworn in as part of the jury that will weigh the first criminal charges ever against a former U.S. president.

The panel of seven jurors was selected on Tuesday out of a pool of 96 prospective members during a somewhat contentious process that prompted New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan to sternly admonish Trump for what he called "hostile" behavior toward one of the jurors questioned about her social media activity, according to media outlets.

"He was gesturing, and he was speaking in (their) direction," said Merchan. "I won't tolerate that. I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom."

The judge has already expanded his gag order in the case, barring Trump from speaking about witnesses as well as family and staff of both the district attorney's office and the court.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is asking the judge to sanction the former president for violating that gag order. A separate hearing is scheduled next Tuesday in which Trump could be slapped with fines and the potential of jail time for future gag order violations.

The former president is facing 34 criminal charges related to his alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election by paying hush money through his then-attorney and handler, Michael Cohen, to silence stories of his sexual trysts with several women, including porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include falsifying business records to make those hush money payments.

Jury selection will resume on Thursday with a new panel of 96 prospective jurors on deck who could end up on the panel for the trial, which is expected to last about six weeks.

A total of 12 jurors and six alternates will ultimately be selected for the jury.

The judge has ruled that all jurors will remain anonymous to the public and their addresses will remain unknown to the defendant for safety reasons.