Trump hush money trial live updates: Two seated jurors removed as jury selection continues

Supporters and protesters rally outside Trump’s criminal trial

Donald Trump is back in court for day three of his hush money trial at the New York County criminal court in Lower Manhattan.

Proceedings in the trial were gathering pace with seven jurors confirmed — though this morning two were excused, with one concerned over her identity being revealed.

Judge Juan Merchan was hoping the remaining jurors and alternates could be selected by the end of the week with opening statements to begin on Monday — that now seems in doubt.

Yesterday it was revealed that if the former president takes the stand he can be asked about previous allegations of misconduct and crimes – including instances of sexual abuse and fraud.

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg posted a list that includes “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment” that his office “intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of” Mr Trump should he testify.

Mr Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election to ensure her silence about an alleged affair in 2006. He denies the affair and has pleaded not guilty.


How the peremptory challenges were used today

Each side has ten peremptory challenges they can use to strike potential jurors with no cause.

Today, the prosecution struck B784 and B555 and has two more strikes left.

The defence team struck B502, B675, B680 and B782 — they have no more strikes.

The prosecution then struck B496 and B744, using up the last of their strikes.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 21:33


Judge Merchan has brought in B430 to question her about past social media posts.

She says she doesn’t remember making these posts.

The Judge asks her to read them aloud, at one point she calls Trump a “sexist narcissist”…

She says words to the effect of: “Yikes, that sounds bad, sorry guys.”

She acknowledges that these were not very kind and says that she was in a different mental space at the time.

“I don’t believe in presidential immunity, but that’s a different case I understand that.”

She is apologising to Trump now for making “such harsh posts” saying that it wasn’t appropriate.

B430 says she would “withdraw” using the term “racist” to describe Trump. She says she did not like the way he treated “females” at times but that she has less extreme views now.

Judge Merchan says he doesn’t want to take the chance and he grants Necheles challenge for cause.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 21:25


Number of jurors back up to seven

B565, the Hell’s Kitchen investment banker, is now Juror 2.

B470 is now Juror 4 — this brings the number of jurors to be seated back to seven.

Necheles challenges Seat 11 B430, who said that she does not have opinions on Trump.

Team Trump argues that social media posts from her in 2020 reveal she “harbours a deep hatred for him”.

The Judge is reading aloud pages of commentary this potential juror may or may not have made or re-posted from 2016 until the Covid pandemic.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 21:16


Judge Merchan denies the challenge to juror B675 for cause stating that the issue is more with her husband’s relationship with Necheles, not her own.

There are no more challenges for cause.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 21:08


B675 is now in the courtroom and being questioned by Judge Merchan.

She explains that she met Necheles 15 years ago and she stayed at her home and didn’t even remember that she met her — it was her husband who reminded her that she knew Necheles.

Judge Merchan also clarifies that her husband’s article about Trump was a review of Haberman’s book and therefore not his own opinion about Trump.

Ariana Baio18 April 2024 21:03


Attorneys move to strike potential jurors for cause

“We started the day with 7, and now we’re unfortunately down to 5,” Judge Merchan says as challenges for cause on the prosecution side begin.

Seat 1 (B623 – the attorney who discussed the case with her colleagues) is dismissed because she can’t be impartial.

That is all for the prosecution and the defence steps up.

Necheles informs the judge that Seat 4 (675) did more than just meet her 15 years ago: “She stayed at my house”

Necheles challenges her and she is asked to return to the court.

Necheles says B675’s husband also wrote a negative article about Trump. When pressed by the judge as to what it was she replies that it was a book review about Maggie Haberman’s book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.

There is laughter from the press.

Ariana Baio18 April 2024 21:01


Third panel of prospective jurors sworn in

While attorneys review their notes, Judge Juan Merchan is swearing in the third panel of approximately 100 jurors ready for when they are needed tomorrow.

He instructs them not to read, watch or talk to anyone about the case and excuses them until tomorrow.

Both sets of attorneys are reviewing their notes for “for cause” challenges and peremptory strikes on the remaining members of the second panel of jurors.

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 20:47


Alex Woodward reports from the court:

Trump has now heard several rounds of opinions coming directly from his fellow New Yorkers, who all have pledged to remain impartial while not being shy about his policies and his personality. Today, while staring directly at them, he heard “outrageous,” “self-serving,” and “pretty amazing.”

Oliver O’Connell18 April 2024 20:38


“Sometimes the way [Trump] may carry himself in public leaves something to be desired,” says one potential juror.

She spends some time forcefully getting across that she’s a centrist, but that her personal feelings won’t get in the way of her impartiality.

She said that her “family background comes from totalitarian regimes”.

The potential jurors are now leaving the room so that the attorneys can discuss what they have learned.

Ariana Baio18 April 2024 20:35


The juror who worked as a university administrator says “I’ve had feelings in both directions” about Trump, adding that she once saw him and Marla Maples shopping for baby things.

Juror 639, the man originally from Lebanon said he doesn’t have strong feelings about Trump. “I’m more interested in my hobbies”

When asked if he has strong opinions about Trump, Juror 555 says “Not strong opinions but as a wannabe hockey player I still thank him for fixing that Wollman Rink,” referring to the ice rink in Central Park.

Juror 500 says she doesn’t have strong opinions on Trump but doesn’t like “his persona”, calling him “selfish” and “self-serving”.

She adds that Trump is “not my cup of tea”.

Trump turns to Emil Bove and says something, then folds his arms tight and leans back in his chair.

Juror 744 says he doesn’t have strong opinions on Trump, but: “Some policies are bad some are outrageous.”

Juror 789 says something similar about his policies: “There are things I’m in favour of, things I’m not in favour of.”

Juror 496 says Trump being our president was “pretty amazing” and praised Trump’s rise to fame and his business.

“I mean, he was our president. Pretty amazing. He’s a businessman in New York. He forged his way. He made kind of history. … I started as an entrepreneur as well … I made a lot of things happen like he did. I view that as a positive thing.”

Ariana Baio & Alex Woodward18 April 2024 20:28

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