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‘Jurors Get Freaked Out’: CNN Analyst Predicts Six Alternates Will Be Needed In Trump Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A prominent CNN legal analyst has predicted that six alternate jurors in former President Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ case will ultimately be needed as the trial progresses.

During a Thursday segment on the network, Elie Honig told host Anderson Cooper that the court will need a minimum of a half-dozen alternates in case several jurors get sick, become “spooked, or “freaked out” to the point where they cannot go on.

The same day, the court seated 12 jurors and one alternate, with five more alternates expected to be seated on Friday, reports said.

Honig said that Judge Juan Merchan moved quickly through jury selection, adding he thinks “it’s a good sign for the speed with which we can get this trial in.”

Cooper then asked how many alternates Honig thought the trial might need.

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“The law says you can have up to six. I think in this case, I would want all six because, look, we lost two seated jurors today,” Honig said. “Now, it gets harder legally, once the jurors are sworn in, it gets much harder for a judge to release a juror. But jurors get sick. Jurors get freaked out. Some of them could be spooked by a social media post. So, they’re gonna need all six.”

Cooper then responded: “If jurors who are actually seated start to ‘freak out,’ as you say, and just try to get off, those alternatives would fill in. And if the alternates are exhausted…then you got a mistrial?”

Honig said that was true but added that although he did not believe all six would ultimately be needed, “we’re going to cycle through all six,” adding “that would be quite extreme.”

“But I would bet we’re going to lose one or two along the way. Whether someone gets Covid, someone sees something on the news that they’re not supposed to see — jurors do drop out once in a while,” said the former federal prosecutor-turned-analyst.

Two of the seven jurors previously seated were dismissed on Thursday due to concerns about potential media leaks of their identities.

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Earlier, an attorney and spokeswoman for the former president attacked the New York justice system and, in particular, those involved in prosecuting her client in a case involving years-old payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

In an interview with Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt, lawyer Alina Habba alleged that there is a “coordinated effort” between officials in the Democratic super-majority state and the Biden administration to legally hamstring the current president’s political rival.

Habba has also accused U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland of being the “puppeteer” behind President Joe Biden’s Justice Department. She claims that the Department is working with Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office to revive the case against Trump, which had been dropped five years ago by the federal Southern District Of New York.

“[Garland’s] the puppeteer, effectively, and so is the current president, or resident, as I call him, in the White House. Truly, there is obviously a coordinated effort. There’s no question about that,” Habba told Schmitt.

“Back in the day, this case was looked at, it was investigated, charges were not brought. Indictments were not made because they knew the case was not real,” Habba said. “Then [Trump] ran for office. They bring the charges. If you look at that timeline alone, I wanna know how they’re gonna wipe this story away because it speaks volumes. You didn’t bring the charges. You said there was no story.”

Trump was still president when the Southern District opted not to pursue charges.

“And then he runs for office, and they bring an indictment on this case,” Habba added. “And that case that’s going forward in April is another disgrace and shows the demise of the state of New York, which I used to love.”

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