Jury Bias Hinders Selection in Trump Trial

(NationRise.com) – Former President Donald Trump’s trial is off to a rough start as the court struggles to find a partial jury.

Nearly half of the 100 prospective jurors had to be sent home on April 15th after they admitted that they could not be objective in their judgment of Trump. The vetting process involves a questionnaire with 42 questions that include details about political opinions, media consumption, and employment history. Trump’s legal team requested changes to that document, but the request was denied.

Social media posts were also scrutinized. The initial seven jurors were finally appointed on April 16th. Todd Blanche, the attorney representing Trump, expressed concerns that some jurors were lying about their impartiality. The trial is taking place in Manhattan, a heavily blue area. Both the prosecution and defense will have an opportunity to select alternate jurors after 12 have been appointed.

Judge Juan Merchan, the Michael Bloomberg-appointed justice who has previously presided over trials against Trump, was quick to admonish the former president ahead of proceedings. He accused Trump of “muttering” and “gesturing” towards a juror from a distance of about 12 feet. Merchan followed up on the supposed incident by telling Trump and his legal team that juror intimidation would not be tolerated.

Merchan also warned Trump not to disrupt proceedings or miss any of his trial dates. Doing so, Merchan said, may result in an arrest warrant. Trump’s legal team has accused Merchan of political bias and requested that he be recused from the case. They cited his daughter’s employment with a marketing firm that works with several Democratic hopefuls. Merchan denied the request on the grounds that insufficient evidence was provided.

The trial could last up to eight weeks, limiting Trump’s ability to campaign for his 2024 presidential bid. Proceeding will occur four out of five weekdays each week except for holidays. Trump maintains his not-guilty plea while claiming that his charges are politically motivated. The dozens of felony charges have failed to stifle Trump’s polling performance.

On April 18, two of the initial seven jurors were removed. One expressed concerns over being identified in the public eye and her ability to remain impartial. The other was dismissed after being questioned over a previous arrest.

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