How Donald Trump has dealt with juries

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Three months ago, Donald Trump took the stand before a jury of nine in a New York courtroom without his typical bombast or ranting.
“The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom,” Judge Lewis Kaplan announced, in case any jurors had missed it.
“I mean, our whole case was about the fact that Donald Trump is unable to follow the law, unable to follow the rules.
“In terms of pretrial publicity in this county, this case stands alone,” Trump attorney Emil Bove said at Monday’s emergency appeals hearing.
But just having political views about Trump, for or against, won’t be a reason for potential jurors to be dismissed.
The political makeup of Manhattan also doesn’t mean Trump won’t have any supporters among the jury pool.
When Kaplan asked jurors a series of questions individually, Trump turned in his chair to watch each person speak.
While the jury was present, Kaplan tried to keep a tight rein on Trump as well as all of the attorneys involved.

NEUTRAL

Three months ago, in a New York courtroom, Donald Trump took the stand in front of a nine-person jury without using his customary bombast or ranting. The former president sparred with the judge and voiced complaints about the case in the E.C. without the jury’s knowledge. He provided brief, pre-written testimony for roughly three minutes in the Jean Carroll defamation case.

With the jury watching him, Trump managed to disrupt the trial the next day by storming out during Carroll’s attorney’s closing argument. Just in case any jurors missed it, Judge Lewis Kaplan declared, “The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom.”.

The jury’s $83.3 million verdict against Trump for defaming Carroll was returned that same afternoon; the columnist’s attorneys partially credit Trump’s protest for the large sum.

Attorney Roberta Kaplan for Carroll said to CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the time of Trump’s stunt, “I think it hurt him terribly.”. Essentially, the central argument of our case revolved around Donald Trump’s noncompliance with the law and regulations. He believes they are unrelated to him. “.

Trump will appear before a jury in New York starting on Monday, with even more at stake. The twelve-member jury and its six alternates will be selected from among hundreds of New Yorkers following a drawn-out jury selection procedure that may take longer than the trial’s first week.

Selecting a jury will not be a simple task when the accused is a former president who has been at the forefront of US politics for almost a decade and a longtime presence in the New York tabloids.

“The challenge facing the lawyers representing both the prosecution and Donald Trump is to determine how to select a jury that is impartial in the case—and good luck,” stated Steve Tuholski, a partner at Delphi Litigation Strategies who handles jury selection and witness preparation. I find it hard to believe that many people, particularly in New York, are still undecided about whether or not he is the Messiah or merely a snake. It appears that there is no reasonable compromise. “.

Even though Trump has campaigned in part on combining his legal risk with his presidential bid, the hush-money case is the first of potentially four criminal trials he will face. It may also be the only one before the 2024 election.

There will be great pressure on the presumed Republican nominee for 2024 to impress both the jury that will decide his guilt or innocence and the general public. The latter’s reaction to the first-ever criminal trial of a former US president may have a bearing on Trump’s chances of winning reelection in November.

The screening procedure.

Beginning on Monday, jury selection will take place in Judge Juan Merchan’s downtown Manhattan courtroom, with approximately 100 potential jurors being brought in at a time to be interviewed.

This week, Merchan made the questionnaire available to prospective jurors public. It includes a number of questions that could give the opposing attorneys a hint about their political stances.

The potential jurors and anyone in their circle are questioned about their news consumption habits, membership in organizations such as the Proud Boys, QAnon, and Antifa, and whether or not they have ever attended a Trump rally or an anti-Trump event. Prospective jurors will be questioned about their prior exposure to Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, as well as his books and podcasts, as well as whether or not they have read any of his writings.

In addition, questions about opinions regarding Trump’s treatment in this case and whether a former president can be prosecuted in state court will be posed to the jury pool members.

If the judge feels that the jury is not capable of reaching a just verdict, they will use the questions to remove them from the case right away. In a crucial step in the jury selection process, they will also be utilized by attorneys on both sides to remove jurors for any reason.

In addition to seeking jurors who are sympathetic to Trump, Trump’s attorneys will also be looking for anyone who might be a “independent thinker,” someone who is prepared to stand alone and let a jury hang, according to CNN legal analyst and former Manhattan district attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo. To be found guilty, the jury must vote unanimously.

“If you were Trump, you would want them to hang because there wouldn’t be a conviction before the election,” Agnifilo stated. “If you couldn’t get an acquittal, you would want them to hang.”. “You would want someone who is independent-minded and strong enough to stand their ground against the group. “.

According to Agniflio, the district attorney’s office will be looking for jurors who fit the following criteria: they should be constructive, productive individuals who regularly make decisions and have the ability to assess credibility. This group may include parents and office managers.

Parents must listen to what their children are saying and occasionally decide whether or not to believe them when it comes to telling the truth. This is why, according to the speaker, “sometimes parents are always good.”.

According to a person close to Trump, there is concern that some potential jurors may be choosing to participate in the former president’s trial for nefarious reasons.

Putting politics aside.

As per Trump’s legal team, the jury pool in Manhattan’s New York County is biased against him, making it impossible for him to get a fair jury. They attempted to postpone the trial so that the location could be changed to a different county this week, but their petition was rejected.

Emil Bove, the attorney representing Trump, stated during Monday’s emergency appeals hearing that “this case stands alone in terms of pretrial publicity in this county.”.

In Manhattan, 86 percent of voters supported President Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election. However, potential jurors will not be disqualified based solely on their political opinions, whether they support or oppose Trump.

“People will all have different opinions about Trump. That does not preclude them from being unbiased and fair in their assessment of the evidence and their burden, according to Agnifilo.

Furthermore, Trump’s supporters within the jury pool are not excluded due to Manhattan’s political makeup. Two potential jurors stated they thought the 2020 election was rigged, and three said they had given money to Trump’s campaign or an organization that supported it, during the Carroll defamation trial. The trial took place in a federal court, so the jury included members from Manhattan as well as portions of neighboring counties.

Not being able to be fair and impartial would not be affected, according to all three of those jurors.

During the jury selection process in the Carroll trial, Trump showed great interest in the panelists by turning to face the members of the gallery behind him and observing their responses to political questions. Trump swiveled in his chair to observe each juror answer a series of questions from Kaplan.

No identifying information about the jurors was shared with the attorneys representing either side or made public in the defamation case because the jury was fully anonymous.

Although Merchan has stated that in order to preserve privacy and prevent “exposing them to an atmosphere of intimidation,” identifying information about the jurors in the hush-money case will not be made public. The attorneys will be aware of the identity of the jury. “.

In his gag order, Merchan forewarned Trump that he was not permitted to speak publicly about the jurors involved in the proceedings or to give instructions to anyone else to speak publicly on their behalf.

a “dynamic and erratic circumstance.”.

The trial, which is anticipated to last six weeks, will be open to the public for the whole time once a jury is chosen.

In other words, they will be able to observe how the former president responded to the accusations made by the district attorney, as well as witness the testimony of Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen. Should Trump decide to testify, they will also be able to witness him testify and answer questions from the agency.

As Carroll was testifying in front of the jury during the defamation case in January, Trump’s actions at the defense table came under scrutiny when he called the case a “con job” and a “witch hunt.”. Carroll’s attorneys informed the judge of Trump’s remarks during a break in the proceedings, stating that they thought the jury could have heard them.

Trump responded by saying he would “love it” if the judge removed him from the trial after Kaplan chastised him and threatened to have him removed if he persisted in being disruptive.

Kaplan attempted to exert strict control over Trump and all of the participating attorneys during the jury’s presence. The judge took more time than the three minutes that Trump spent on the stand to negotiate his testimony outside of the jury’s view. “I want to know everything he is going to say,” Kaplan said to Trump’s lawyer.

Former federal and state prosecutor Elie Honig, a senior legal analyst for CNN, issued a warning, stating that Merchan might encounter a “much more dynamic and unpredictable situation” when Trump is put on trial for hush money.

“Whatever is revealed in front of a jury is final,” he declared. Even though a judge might tell a jury to ignore it, the bell cannot be undone. “.

It goes without saying that a jury may find both sides of the issue with Trump’s actions. A jury will frequently grow suspicious of witnesses who argue with the judge or fail to respond to questions, according to Tuholski, a witness preparation specialist.

“In my perspective, a witness’s behavior holds almost as much weight, if not more, than the actual testimony they provide,” the man stated.

Contributing reporters included Lauren Del Valle, Kristen Holmes, and Kara Scannell of CNN.

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