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Jury selection gets to the heart of the matter in historic Trump trial

Donald Trump, the first former American president to serve appear before the criminal court, will be confronted with Tuesday à a slice of society New Yorker on the second day of her trial, entirely devoted to &agrav; the selection of jurors.

The Republican candidate in the November election against outgoing President Joe Biden is being sued for payments intended to buy the silence of former porn star Stormy Daniels, a few days before the 2016 election which he had won narrowly against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

After a first day dominated by procedural questions, notably the rejection by judge Juan Merchan of the request for recusal presented by the defense, the field is completely free for the selection of the 12 jurors who will have to decide unanimously whether Donald Trump is “not guilty” or “guilty”.

Of the first group of 96 potential jurors admitted into the courtroom Monday afternoon, two-thirds were immediately exempted, the vast majority because they declared themselves incapable of being impartial.

Jury selection gets to the heart of the matter in historic Trump trial

Stormy Daniels on May 23, 2018 in West Hollywood © AFP – Robyn Beck

The others, anonymous citizens thrown overnight into the frenzy of this unprecedented trial, a nurse in an oncology department, a bookseller, or even a lawyer, had to reveal entire sections of their lives in front of the court: their profession, their family situation, their sources of information or their hobbies.

The long questionnaire asks them to express their sympathies or prejudices towards the accused. This decisive stage of the trial, during which both the prosecution and the defense can each challenge a certain number of jurors without having to provide justification, could continue until next week, or even beyond.

But it is with the judge that Donald Trump claimed Monday evening to have “a real problem”, assuring that he would not have “the right to a fair trial”.

– Campaign account makeup –

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.

If he were found not guilty, it would be a major success for the Republican candidate, in the face of the “political persecution” orchestrated according to him by the Democratic administration of his opponent.

Jury selection gets to the heart of the matter in historic Trump trial

Demonstrators in front of the Manhattan court where Donald Trump is being tried, April 15, 2024 © AFP – Adam Gray

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.

Election law specialist Richard Hasen deplores the prospect that this case, “a minor campaign finance offense”, could be the only one brought to trial before the election, in a column in the Los Angeles Times.

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

In exchange, this the latter had agreed to remain silent about a fleeting 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 fraudulent maneuvers to hide information from voters a few days before the vote.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

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