Donald Trump in court: Twelve jurors have been chosen

Even before it begins, the trial against former US President Donald Trump is considered historic. After some difficulties, the jury has now been fully selected.

The twelve-member jury in the historic New York criminal trial against former US President Donald Trump for covering up a hush money payment has been determined. “We have our jury,” Judge Juan Merchan said Thursday after jury selection was previously stalled. Now only six replacement jurors need to be appointed, the judge said.

The first criminal trial in history against a former US president concerns a hush money payment to the former porn actress Stormy Daniels, which Trump is said to have covered up by falsifying business figures. Judge Juan Merchan is aiming to begin opening statements on Monday. According to his plans, the jury selection should be completed by the end of the week.

Trial against Donald Trump: Verdict should be made before the US election

By Tuesday, jury selection had progressed quickly: seven jury members had been selected by then. There was a one-day break in the process, and on Thursday the selection process initially moved backwards. One woman selected was excluded again after she raised concerns her identity had been revealed. Judge Merchan ordered that the jurors remain anonymous to protect them from bribery attempts and even physical violence.

A short time later, the judge dismissed another juror after prosecutors discovered he had not told the full truth in his questioning. Jury selection is a complicated procedure because the prosecution and defense must ensure that there is no bias among the members in favor or against the defendant.

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The hush money trial is expected to last around six to eight weeks, so the verdict will be handed down well before the election on November 5th, in which the Republican Trump wants to run again against the Democratic incumbent Joe Biden.