Hush Money Trial: 500+ New Yorkers Considered as Jurors; Trump to Know Names of Chosen, Public Won’t

Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests at a rally on April 02, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. At the rally, Trump spoke next to an empty lectern on the stage and challenged President Joe Biden to debate him. The Wisconsin primary is being held today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
3:39 PM – Friday, April 5, 2024

Notices were recently sent to several hundred residents of Manhattan, asking them to appear at the borough’s criminal court on April 15th. Unbeknownst to them, they are being considered as potential jurors in one of the most prominent criminal trials in U.S. history.


Donald Trump will be allowed to know the names of the chosen jurors at his upcoming trial. However, the public will not. Jurors’ safety could be jeopardized if Americans discovered who was responsible for the final verdict.

Additionally, “Only Trump’s lawyers and prosecutors will be allowed to know the addresses of the jurors’ homes and workplaces, Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said,” according to Ny1

“Access to the courtroom by the public and the press will not be tempered in any way as a result of these protective measures,” Merchan wrote.

When former President Donald Trump’s trial begins, Manhattan prosecutors and his attorneys will examine over 500 prospective jurors, two sources have revealed. This is a startling amount that reflects the complexity of the case.

Before interrogating several of them one-on-one in court, the lawyers will read over their extensive questionnaire responses in an effort to come to a consensus on who should be chosen. It’s a rigorous procedure meant to identify potential jurors who are unable to set aside their prejudices. This process could take weeks.

The final jury roster will consist of 12 members with a few alternates. The mission will be to determine whether the former president engaged in illegal business record falsification following his attorney’s payment of “hush money” to an adult film star only days prior to the 2016 election.

He has entered a not guilty plea in response to 34 criminal counts.

According to former Manhattan prosecutor Duncan Levin, this trial stands out even in a city that has witnessed numerous celebrity trials.

“This particular person may be the most famous defendant who has ever lived,” said Levin, a private attorney.

Levin previously represented Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer.

According to Levin and others involved in the case, the objective will not be to remove anyone who labels themselves Democrats or Republicans, but rather, to identify a group of individuals “who haven’t already made up their mind about this case, and who can be trusted to render a verdict based on the evidence,” CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers have proposed a different location instead of Manhattan, which is comprised of mostly liberal and leftist residents. Manhattan’s reputation as a Democratic bastion prevents him from receiving a fair trial, according to the attorneys.

One of the nation’s foremost experts on the jury system, Cornell Law School professor Valerie Hans, claims that the voir dire procedure, which selects jurors, “is not a perfect vehicle to uncover juror biases.”

According to her, jury selection could very well be affected by the almost unprecedented level of public and media attention that Trump’s case has gotten.

“There is substantial research indicating that it can bias jurors in a couple of ways: it can shape how jurors interpret evidence in the case, and it can increase the weight and influence of statements made during deliberation that are consistent with the pretrial publicity,” Hans stated.

In pretrial proceedings and filings, Trump’s attorneys have expressed dissatisfaction over media coverage that could have affected jurors’ opinions of the case. However, Hans and the prosecution claim in their own documents that Trump has deliberately sought out this attention.

“In most criminal cases, pretrial publicity is predominantly based on news coverage of police activity or prosecution statements, so the effect in typical cases is biasing against the defendant,” Hans said. “However, in the Trump ‘hush money’ case, he and his supporters have argued publicly, repeatedly and loudly that the criminal litigation against him is a political witch hunt.”

Pace University Law School Professor Bennett Gershman, who is also a former New York prosecutor, chimed in and gave his opinion on the matter.

“There may be people who want to be on this jury, who may see it as a historic moment in American history, and they want to be there. They may be predisposed one way or the other, but don’t want to say it,” said Gershman.

For this reason, as potential jurors sit in court, attorneys will hire experts to comb through their potential jurors’ public online profiles. According to them, it’s a significant step in the jury selection procedure.

“What you do now with these jurors is you have a jury consultant, and they’re sitting there with a laptop and they go through all the social media stuff, they Google them and they see who the hell they are,” said Aidala, whose firm represents former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Share this post!