Trump hush money trial: Juror excused after saying she does not think she can be fair


One of the jurors selected and sworn in earlier this week to serve on the jury for former President Trump’s criminal trial was excused Thursday morning after she said she no longer believed she could be fair. 

Seven jurors were selected and sworn in on Tuesday during the second day of jury selection. The court does not meet on Wednesdays for the Trump trial, and reconvened for the third day of jury selection Thursday morning. 

Juror #2, a woman who lived on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and works as a nurse, returned to court Thursday morning and said that after further thought, she had concerns about being fair and balanced in the case. 

A court sketch depicts the second day of former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Jury selection for the alleged hush money case remains ongoing. (Christine Cornell)

“I definitely have concerns,” she said, noting that her family and friends questioned if she was serving on the jury. “I don’t think I can be fair.” 

She also said she thought that “outside influence” would “interfere.” 

The woman also noted that she did not want aspects of her identity to be reported. 

Judge Juan Merchan excused her and warned the press about covering the trial. 

Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings on the second day of jury selection at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump returned to the courtroom Tuesday as a judge works to find a panel of jurors who will decide whether the former president is guilty of criminal charges alleging he falsified business records to cover up a sex scandal during the 2016 campaign. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)

“You can write about anything on the record, but apply common sense when writing about jurors using physical descriptions and descriptors,” Merchan said.

POTENTIAL TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL JURORS BEING ASKED 42 QUESTIONS

Merchan directed the press to refrain from writing about anything that can be observed with eyes in order to “ensure jurors remain safe.”

“We lost what would have been a good juror,” Merchan said, adding that she was “afraid of being intimidated.” 

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump returns to a New York courtroom Tuesday as a judge works to find a panel of jurors who will decide whether the former president is guilty of criminal charges alleging he falsified business records to cover up a sex scandal during the 2016 campaign. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

After the departure of juror #2, six jurors have been sworn in. Twelve more jurors are needed before opening arguments can begin. 

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution” and maintains his innocence. The former president is expected to testify during his trial. 

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“I tell the truth,” Trump said last week, when asked about his possible testimony. 

Trump is the first president in United States history to stand criminal trial. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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