More Than 50 Potential Trump Jurors Dismissed

They said they couldn't be fair or impartial
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2024 12:06 PM CDT
Updated Apr 15, 2024 4:30 PM CDT
As Trial Starts, Trump Scores a Win and a Loss
In this courtroom sketch, Donald Trump smiles at the jury pool   (Jane Rosenberg/Pool Photo via AP)

Developments on the first day of Donald Trump's historic criminal case in New York:

  • Dozens of potential jurors dismissed. More than 50 of the 96 potential jurors brought in for a preliminary round of questioning were immediately excused after raising their hands to indicate they couldn't be fair or impartial, reports the New York Times. The fail rate was "surpassingly rare," the Times reports. Before the trial ended for the day, Judge Juan Merchan questioned nine potential jurors, CNN reports. He dismissed a woman who said she had strongly held beliefs about Trump and excused a man who said his child is getting married on June 8.
Earlier in the day:
  • A Trump loss: Merchan rejected another request from the former president to recuse himself from the hush-money trial, reports the Hill. Merchan said Monday the new motion was based on "a series of references, innuendos, and unsupported speculation." Trump has previously railed against the judge as "highly conflicted & corrupt" on Truth Social.
  • A Trump win: Merchan rejected prosecutors' request to bring up before the jury years-old accusations of sexual assault against Trump, describing them as "rumors" and "complete gossip," per the Times.

  • The Access Hollywood tape: Merchan reaffirmed his ruling that the infamous Access Hollywood tape could not be played for jurors, but he said prosecutors could read Trump's remarks from the tape aloud, ABC News reports.
  • Gag order: Prosecutors asked the judge to fine Trump for social media posts over the weekend about Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels that they say violate the former president's gag order about attacking witnesses. Merchan has yet to rule on that.
  • Timeline: Jury selection could take two weeks, meaning the first "substantive testimony" in the case might not come until May, reports Politico. The trial is expected to last about two months, and Trump is expected to be in court for most of it.
  • Primer: The AP has a what-you-need-to-know explainer about the case.
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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