Trump Could Face 'Sandoval Hearing' Friday

He slams gag order as trial resumes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2024 10:26 AM CDT
Trump Slams Gag Order as Trial Resumes
Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Friday, April 19, 2024.   (Spencer Platt/Pool Photo via AP)

Donald Trump's hush-money trial resumed Friday with five alternate jurors to select before opening arguments can begin on Monday. On Thursday, the process of selecting 12 jurors was completed and one alternate juror was chosen. Judge Juan Merchan is also expected to hold what's known as a Sandoval hearing, in which a defendant in a criminal case is made aware of what questions they could face if they choose to testify, NBC News reports. In a court filing, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg said if Trump testifies, his office would like to bring up issues including Trump's civil fraud case and the sexual abuse and defamation lawsuit from E. Jean Carroll to "impeach the credibility" of the defendant.

  • The Hill reports that Trump slammed the gag order against him when he arrived at the courthouse Friday. "The gag order has to come off. People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order, just to show you how much more unfair it is," Trump, who is banned from talking about witnesses, jurors, court staff, and the judge's relatives, told reporters. "They've taken away my constitutional rights to speak, and that includes speaking to you."

  • Maggie Haberman at the New York Times writes: "Trump appears to have fallen asleep in court again. It happened several times just now. His eyes were closed for extended periods and his head dropped down twice." Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post, however, writes that Trump "lowered his eyes for stretches, but didn't appear to be asleep. When a potential juror mentioned she'd read his book, he immediately turned to look at her."
  • At the end of the day on Thursday, the DA's office rejected a request from Trump attorney Todd Blanche to name the first three witnesses they plan to call. CNN reports that assistant DA Josh Steinglass acknowledged that the prosecutors often name witnesses they plan to call. But, he said, Trump has been posting about witnesses on social media so "we're not telling him who the witnesses are." Merchan said, "I can't fault them for that."
  • The AP reports that Merchan has ordered news organizations not to report on jurors' past and present employers or other details that could make it easy to identify them. Some outlets have reported details "including what Manhattan neighborhoods potential jurors lived in, what they did for a living, what academic degrees they had earned, how many children they had, what countries they grew up in, and what their spouses did for a living," the AP notes.
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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