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Legal Expert Throws Cold Water On DA Bragg’s ‘Hush Money’ Case Against Trump

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


A noted legal expert has cast new doubts on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s ‘hush money’ case against former President Donald Trump as the trial is set to begin on Monday.

“Look, politics is going to play a dominant role in this case because it’s a politically charged case. If I’m Trump’s lawyer, I’d love to have law enforcement on the jury. I’d love to have people who have had a bad experience with the legal system. Those are the people they’ll be looking for,” Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday ahead of Monday’s trial, which will begin with jury selection.

“I think what Biden Democrats and the media underestimate is the intelligence of American voters. They see these dirty legal tricks for exactly what they are: a pernicious attempt to steal an election through an abuse of our system of justice. And I think it’s backfiring. A growing number of people see Trump as a victim, not a villain, and it’s fortified his support,” Jarrett continued.

On Monday, Trump will make history as the first ex-president of the United States to face trial in a criminal case. This follows his indictment in March 2023 by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, after an investigation into allegations that he falsified business records. The charges are connected to payments made to silence adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a relationship with Trump in 2006, a claim he has denied. The payments were made during his 2016 presidential campaign, Newsweek reported.

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Jarrett’s remarks were made after a letter was sent to both the prosecution and defense on April 8 from Judge Juan Merchan, presiding over the case, in which he outlined 42 questions to be posed to potential jurors ahead of the jury selection process.

These inquiries aimed to gauge the jurors’ media consumption habits and their participation in pro—or anti-Trump demonstrations. The selection process will exclude questions regarding the potential jurors’ voting past or any financial contributions to political campaigns.

A jury consultant based in Texas, Robert Swafford, has pointed out that the potential jury could play a significant role in the prosecution of Trump.

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He stated that a jury verdict in the case would need to be unanimous, so a single juror who is a fervent supporter of Trump could prevent it.

“If one true believer, a MAGA supporter, manages to get on the jury, then it won’t matter how much evidence the prosecution brings to bear. That juror will sit there until the kingdom comes and says not guilty. And that juror will derail the case because a verdict must be unanimous in a criminal trial,” he said, adding that the defense and prosecution will both carefully scrutinize prospective jurors for bias, though that may be hard to detect.

“I’m sure that both legal teams are doing research on the prospective jurors’ social media accounts, their voting records, any prior criminal convictions, and credit histories—everything that can be searched in a database,” Swafford said.

“But at the end of the day, if someone scrubbed their social media or their activity on internet forums, those online trails would become very hard to find. If someone simply denies they have certain biases, that is even more difficult to disprove,” Swafford added.

Neama Rahmani, the President of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, acknowledged that jury selection will present a significant challenge for the judge.

“Jury selection alone will be challenging because everyone knows Trump and has an opinion about him. Judge [Juan] Merchan may have to go through hundreds of potential jurors to find 12 who can be fair and impartial,” he previously told Newsweek.

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