Jury begins to take shape in Trump’s “hush money” trial

A courtroom jury box

The first seven of the 18 jurors needed for Donald Trump’s hush money trial have been selected. The selection was made after lawyers grilled the jury pool about their social media posts, political views and personal lives to decide who can sit in fair judgment of the former president.

The jurors selected so far are an information technology worker, an English teacher, an oncology nurse, a sales professional, a software engineer and two lawyers. The sales professional, who is originally from Ireland, will also serve as the jury foreman.

Trump was present for the jury selection. He was admonished by Judge Juan Merchan for muttering while one was questioned. Trump stepped up efforts to discredit the proceedings and the legal system itself. On his way out of the courthouse, Trump railed against the case to reporters. He accused Judge Juan Merchan of “rushing” the trial and continued to deny any wrongdoing. “We are going to continue our fight against this judge,” said Trump, who pushed unsuccessfully to have Merchan removed from the case.

Eleven more jurors must be sworn in before opening statements begin. The jury will consist of 12 people and up to six more will be needed as alternative seats. The process could take a few more days but despite Trump’s best efforts to delay prosecutions until November, opening arguments could begin as early as next week. This is the first of Trump’s four criminal cases to reach trial and perhaps the only one that could return a verdict before voters cast their ballot.

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