Criminal Trial on Trump’s New York Hush Money

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TL/DR –

Former President Donald Trump’s first criminal trial has begun in Manhattan Criminal Court, where he will appear as a defendant four days a week. On the first day, it was noted that there was difficulty in jury selection, with half of the 96 prospective jurors dismissed due to perceived bias. Other key points from the day include the defense’s strategy to slow proceedings, a charge against Trump for allegedly violating a gag order, and the judge’s ruling that the “Access Hollywood” tape cannot be played in court but actress Karen McDougal can testify.


Trump’s Criminal Trial Begins: Key Points From Day One

The first day of the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump emphasised the fact that the presumptive Republican nominee for president will be attending court as a defendant four days a week. Here’s a rundown of the day one key points of People of the State of New York vs Donald Trump.

Donald Trump with his legal team before his trial in Manhattan Criminal Court

Challenges in jury selection: The court ushered in 96 potential New York jurors, more than half of whom expressed their inability to remain impartial, leading to their prompt dismissal. None of the remaining potential jurors claimed to have read books authored by Trump or Michael Cohen or have engaged in any work or volunteering for Trump.

Defense strategy to delay proceedings: The defense will likely raise multiple objections and sidebars, aiming to preserve all issues for appeal. This fits into Trump’s overarching legal strategy, which has employed appeal after appeal to delay the trial’s commencement. The defense aims to slow down the legal proceedings, set to last six to eight weeks, especially with the 2024 election looming.

Media outside of Manhattan Criminal Court

Allegations of gag order violation: Prosecutors have requested that Judge Juan Merchan sanction Trump for reportedly violating a gag order that forbids discussing case witnesses, the District Attorney’s office, or court staff. A hearing on this motion is slated for next Tuesday.

Karen McDougal will testify but “Access Hollywood” tape is disallowed: Judge Merchan has sided with the prosecution in permitting Karen McDougal, an actress alleging an affair with Trump, to testify. The court will also allow the introduction of National Enquirer stories that criticize Trump’s adversaries as evidence. However, the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape will not be permissible in court due to its prejudicial nature. Further sexual assault allegations against Trump, made public after the “Access Hollywood tape” revelations in October 2016, will also be excluded.

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