Donald Trump thought he could reject unlimited jurors – and now he’s surprised

Donald Trump thought he could reject unlimited jurors – and now he’s surprised

In his trial for concealed hush money payments, Donald Trump is relying on delaying tactics. But this is now failing because of a restriction – which Trump apparently knew nothing about.

Because Donald Trump falsely tried to disguise hush money for porn star Stormy Daniels as a business expense, he faces a prison sentence in a trial in a New York court. Jury selection is already difficult. But apparently not difficult enough for the ex-president.

“I thought the strikes should be unlimited when we select the jury?” Trump said on Wednesday on his short message service Truth Social about the limitation on the targeted expulsion of individual candidates during jury selection. “Then I was told that we only have ten. Far too few,” he continued to complain.

Donald Trump wants to sort out jurors

Juries are an integral part of US criminal proceedings; they decide the guilt or innocence of the defendant. The selection is often a challenge; in Trump’s process it is like a Herculean task: the candidates should be as unbiased as possible and, ideally, know nothing about the case. That would be difficult in a case against a former president, even if he were not as polarizing as Trump. The fact that it’s a Republican candidate in Democratic New York and Trump has been hated in his hometown for decades makes it almost impossible.

The first days of the process were correspondingly slow: more than half of the first 96 candidates were screened out in the first two days of the process because they themselves signaled bias. But that was obviously not enough for Trump: together with his lawyers, he had another six candidates removed by hand. Now he only has four more strikes left.

And he will need them: Only seven jurors have been selected so far, in the end twelve and six replacement candidates will have to be found. The next round with 96 additional candidates is scheduled for Thursday.

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Trump’s delaying tactics in court

It fits with his tactics that Trump would prefer to sort out people indefinitely. The presidential candidate and his lawyers repeatedly rely on blocking and delaying his numerous legal proceedings. The obvious goal: to postpone possible verdicts against Trump until after the presidential election in November.

The fact that this tactic is not possible when selecting a jury in New York is due to special state regulations. The number of jurors that can be selected by the two sides without any special justification is linked to the seriousness of the accusation. The most serious charge against Trump in this case – falsifying business documents – is at the lowest level, which only allows ten strikes.

The demand for unlimited expulsions is met with amusement among criminal lawyers. “Then no one would ever choose a jury,” criminal lawyer Samantha Chorny wondered to “CNBC.”

Attack on the court

Trump’s perception of the legal process is already very flexible. Before the trial began, up to two weeks were expected for jury selection – which Trump complained of as election interference. He complained that because he had to appear in court every day, he could not campaign. When the responsible judge, Juan Merchan, announced on Monday that at the current pace the regular proceedings could possibly begin next Monday, that didn’t sit well with the defendant either. The process was “rushed,” Trump complained to the judge.

In any case, Trump seems to have every right to attack the judge. At Truth Social he even approached Merchan’s family and was then banned from speaking. The judge also made his opinion clear with regard to the jury: “I will not allow any threats to the jury in my courtroom. I want to make that very clear,” he warned the defendant on Tuesday. “I will not tolerate this.”


Source: Stern

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