Jurors Seated for Donald Trump Trial: Who Are They

Twelve of Donald Trump’s peers – seven men and five women – have been chosen to decide the first-ever criminal trial of a former US president.

Three jurors, all men, have careers in finance. Two jurors, both men, are practicing attorneys. Two other women, both of whom are health workers.

On Thursday afternoon, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan selected the 12th juror in Trump’s criminal case in Manhattan.

Two men chosen in the afternoon filled seats vacated earlier in the day. One seat was vacated by a woman who feared publicity, another for more mysterious reasons.

One of the six alternate jurors, a woman, was also chosen.

“We have our jury,” Merchan announced to the courtroom after the 12th juror was chosen.

Merchan still has to choose five additional alternate seats, a process that will likely be completed as early as Friday. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, the judge said.

Trump’s lawyers questioned jurors about their feelings toward the former president. One woman — who said her apartment was previously burglarized and she had a “close friend” who was convicted of financial fraud — said she didn’t like Trump’s “persona.”

Trump was “very selfish and self-serving” and “not my cup of tea,” she said.

But she thought she could put those feelings aside for the trial, she told lawyers.

“I don’t like some of my colleagues, but I’m not trying to sabotage their work,” she explained, sparking a burst of laughter from the jury box.

Others left a decidedly less colorful impression. One of the lawyers chosen to serve is a middle-aged white man who works at a large law firm but claims to know “virtually nothing about criminal law” because he only handles civil cases.

Then there’s a guy who loves the outdoors and says he doesn’t really follow the news, but listens to podcasts about behavioral psychology.

“It’s my little hobby,” he said.

Many jurors are difficult to categorize.

There’s a man who says he knows “little” about Trump’s criminal cases and gets his news from the New York Times, the Daily Mail, Fox News and MSNBC.

Another is a young black woman who said her friends have strong opinions about Trump, but that she is “not a political person” and appreciates that he “speaks his mind.”

“I would prefer that in a person rather than someone who is in power and we don’t know what they are doing behind the scenes,” the woman said.

In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump sits alongside his attorney Todd Blanche during the second day of jury selection of his criminal trial in New York, April 16, 2024.

In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump sits alongside his attorney Todd Blanche during the second day of jury selection.

Christine Cornell via AP Pool

Trump was more attentive to the jury selection process Thursday than earlier in the week, when he frequently sat down, closed his eyes and appeared to fall asleep.

The courtroom was noticeably colder than in previous days, something Trump complained about throughout the day.

He would sometimes wrap his arms around himself, as if trying to stay warm. He also looked at the prospective jurors in the jury box, turning his body and draping his arm over the back of his chair.

Thursday’s jury selection process got off to a worrying start after prosecutors said Trump sought to intimidate potential jurors through a post on Truth Social, asking that he be tried for contempt. One of the jurors who had been chosen earlier in the week withdrew, saying he was concerned about his ability to be impartial given the public attention to the case.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office say Trump illegally falsified business records by concealing secret payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress and director. The purpose of those payments, prosecutors say, was to silence her about an affair she says she had with him before the 2016 election so he wouldn’t lose potential female voters.

Although jurors were not expected to completely ignore Trump and the hush money controversy, they were asked a series of questions designed to determine whether they could set aside any preconceived opinions and deliberate on the case based on evidence presented at trial.

After all chosen and potential jurors were dismissed for the day, defense attorney Todd Blanche acknowledged that testimony could begin as early as Monday.

Blanche asked if prosecutors could reveal who they planned to call as witnesses first so the defense could prepare.

“It was a courtesy gesture that we did,” replied prosecutor Joshua Steinglass.

“But Mr. Trump tweeted about the witnesses,” lamented the prosecutor, adding that he would not give the names of the first witnesses that far in advance.

Blanche asked if that would change if the defense promised that Trump wouldn’t “true” anything about witnesses on social media.

“What if he made that promise?” » asked Blanche.

“That he wouldn’t tweet about any of the witnesses?” the judge responded. “I don’t think that’s a promise he can make.”

As Trump left the courtroom Thursday, he complained about the indictment and the coldness of the courtroom.

“I’ve been sitting here for days now, from morning to night, in this freezing room,” Trump said in the hallway.

“Freezing. Everyone was freezing in there and stuff,” he said. “And here’s your result. Look at this. Every single one of them is stellar. And that’s a very, very bad thing. A very bad thing.”


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