Judge Scolds Trump, Suggesting He May Have Intimidated Prospective Juror


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The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s criminal case for hush money reprimanded the former president’s lawyer for interrupting the jury selection and cautioned against intimidating potential jurors.

“He was gesturing and muttering something. He was audible. He was speaking in the direction of the juror. I will not tolerate that,” New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan told Trump’s lead lawyer, Todd Blanche, raising his voice.

“I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom. I want to make that crystal clear,” the judge added.

Shortly after a potential juror was questioned regarding what Blanche described as her “hostile” social media posts, she received the warning on Tuesday afternoon.

Blanche mentioned that the potential juror had presented herself as unbiased earlier on Tuesday. The defense cited Facebook videos in which she alluded to revelries in New York City streets following the election of now-President Joe Biden in 2020.

Merchan complained that the juror was “maybe 12 feet” from the defense table when Trump became “audible.”

Merchan instructed Blanche to speak with Trump, sitting next to him, about “his behavior.”


“My client is aware,” Blanche told the judge after whispering into Trump’s ear briefly.

Trump is on trial in New York City on felony charges regarding a 2016 payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

In April of last year, Trump entered a not guilty plea to a 34-count indictment that accused him of fabricating business records concerning a hush money payment to Daniels that his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to her in an attempt to improve his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

With a 6-8 week trial duration anticipated overall, jury selection may take up to two weeks.

Six jurors have been selected to serve in the criminal trial of Donald Trump for hush money. They represent a diverse cross-section of New York City, as per their biographical information. For security reasons, their identities are being kept private. Here is a brief sketch of each juror.

ABC News noted:

Juror No. 1 is a middle-aged salesman who immigrated to the United States from Ireland. He lives in West Harlem and said he normally gets his news from the New York Times, Daily Mail, Fox News and MSNBC. In his spare time, he said he enjoys doing “anything outdoorsy.”

Juror No. 2 works as an oncology nurse at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She lives with her fiancé and enjoys taking her dog for walks in the park. She said she gets her news from The New York Times, CNN, Google, and Facebook.


Juror 3 is a corporate attorney who moved to New York from Oregon five years ago. He has worked at two major white-shoe law firms in New York. He said he normally gets his news from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Google. In his spare time, he said he enjoys hiking and running.

Juror No. 4 said he finds the former president to be “fascinating and mysterious.” Originally from Puerto Rico, he has lived in the Lower East Side for the last 40 years. He is a self-employed IT consultant who attended one year of college and has been “married for a long time.” He normally gets his news from the Daily News, The New York Times, Google.

Juror No. 5 was the only potential juror who raised her hand when lawyers asked if they had ever heard of Trump’s other criminal cases. A life-long New Yorker, she currently works as an ELA teacher in a charter school and lives in Harlem. She normally gets her news from Google and TikTok but said that she “doesn’t really care for the news.”

Juror No. 6 is a software engineer who works for the Walt Disney Company, which is the parent company of ABC News. She grew up in New York City and lives in Chelsea with three roommates. She said she gets her news from The New York Times and TikTok. In her spare time, she said she enjoys plays, restaurants, dancing, and watching TV.

Trump, who denies any wrongdoing in the New York criminal case, has repeatedly criticized it as a politically motivated witch hunt.

Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan, the presiding judge in Trump’s hush money case, made his first crucial ruling shortly after the historic proceedings began on Monday.

Merchan started the trial by denying Trump’s motion for recusal, telling the court that the former president’s arguments lacked basis.

Trump has accused the judge of being biased against him and called on him to recuse himself from the case.

The former president has also repeatedly attacked Merchan’s daughter over her political consulting work, which includes employment at a Democratic firm that worked with Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.

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