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Jury selection accelerates at Donald Trump trial

Photo: Kena Betancur Agence France-Presse Donald Trump complained of being prevented from campaigning because of this trial.

Andréa Bambino – Agence France-Presse and Selim Saheb Ettaba – Agence France-Presse in New York

8:26 p.m.

  • United States

The Manhattan court on Tuesday managed to choose seven of the twelve citizens charged with trying Donald Trump in the historic trial which impacts the former US president's campaign to return to the White House.

Once the hearing was over, the Republican presidential candidate immediately went to a convenience store in Harlem, to campaign on one of his favorite themes, insecurity , and denounce immigration.

Welcomed by his supporters who shouted “four more years, four more years”, he accused the Manhattan prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, of “doing nothing” against crime and of wasting his time with a lawsuit against him.

Since Monday, and for the first time in the history of the United States for a former president, Donald Trump has been on trial in a case of payments to buy the silence of a former porn star, Stormy Daniels, a few days before 2016 election which he won narrowly against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.


In the courtroom, at the end of the second day of hearing, six jurors, some feverish, others smiling, were invited by Judge Juan Merchan to fill a row of their boxes, before take the oath in court, standing with your right hand raised. Just after, a seventh was selected again.

All of them, anonymous citizens plunged overnight into a historic affair, saw their lives scrutinized: first by answering a long general questionnaire on their profession, family situation, sources of information, centers of interest, and their opinion on Donald Trump, before submitting to even more detailed questions from the prosecution or the defense, who tracked down any sign of possible bias against the defendant, even in their publications on social networks.< /p>

“The question is not whether anyone agrees politically with your client. The question is whether they can judge him fairly and impartially,” the judge reminded the defense.

Call to order

The magistrate also issued a sharp warning to the defendant, who seemed to whisper a few words to one of the potential jurors.

“I will not allow jurors to be intimidated in my courtroom,” Judge Juan Merchan told Donald Trump’s lawyers, urging them to rein in their client.

To be complete, the panel must have five more jurors and six alternates, but the judge intends to move forward and wrap up the process in a week, so that the opening arguments of the prosecution and the defense can begin on Monday.

In the middle of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump, 77, must silently attend this long and tedious jury selection process, while his rival Joe Biden is campaigning on the ground in his city native of Scranton, in the state of Pennsylvania (northeast), crucial for the November election.

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“I should be in Pennsylvania and Florida right now, in many other states, in North Carolina, in Georgia, campaigning,” Donald Trump protested, before sit in his prison chair.

More than three years after leaving the White House in chaos, he theoretically faces a prison sentence. This would not prevent him from being a candidate in the presidential election on November 5, where he dreams of revenge on Joe Biden, but would project the campaign into the unknown.

False accountants

If he were found not guilty, it would, however, be a major success for the Republican candidate.

Especially since he managed through appeals to postpone his three other criminal trials, two for illicit attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 election, and one for supposedly managing casual access to classified documents.

Donald Trump is charged with falsifying accounting documents for his company, the Trump Organization, which allegedly aimed to hide, under the cover of “legal fees”, the payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels by his personal lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen.

In exchange, the latter had agreed to keep quiet about a sexual relationship with the billionaire in 2006. Donald Trump has always denied this relationship and his defense ensures that the payments were in the private sphere.

But prosecutor Alvin Bragg intends to demonstrate that these are indeed fraudulent maneuvers to hide information from voters a few days before the vote.

“No one can seriously dispute that the reason he (Michael Cohen, Editor's note) and Trump came up with this scheme was to deprive voters of information that could have changed the outcome of a extremely close election,” explained judicial analyst Norman Eisen for CNN.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116