Trump trial: Full jury sworn in, setting the stage for opening arguments to begin Monday

The full jury, including alternate jurors, has been selected and sworn in former President Trump’s criminal trial in New York City, setting the stage for opening arguments to begin next week. Twelve jurors were seated on Thursday at the end of the third day of jury selection. By mid-day Friday, all alternate jurors had been selected and sworn in. TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL: MEET THE JURORS WHO WILL HEAR BRAGG’S CASE AGAINST THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATEJudge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the trial, instructed jurors ahead of the weekend not to discuss or to research anything relating to the former president’s case. TRUMP SAYS BIDEN ‘SHOULD BE IN JAIL’ AND ‘ON TRIAL,’ WHILE BLASTING NY CASE: ‘THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING’Merchan said opening arguments will be delivered by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s team and Trump defense attorneys. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution” and maintains his innocence. The former president is expected to testify during his trial. “I tell the truth,” Trump said last week, when asked about his possible testimony.Trump is the first president in United States history to stand criminal trial.The former president is governed by a gag order, which Merchan imposed upon him last month before the trial began. Merchan ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about witnesses concerning their potential participation or about counsel in the case — other than Bragg — or about court staff, DA staff or family members of staff.Merchan also ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about any prospective juror or chosen juror.Bragg has argued in the first week of the trial that Trump has violated his gag order more than seven times, and wants him to pay a $1,000 fine. Bragg, in his motion, urged the judge to warn the former president that another violation could be punishable by up to 30 days incarceration. Trump and his defense attorneys have argued that the former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee should not be bound by the gag order, and said it violates his First Amendment rights, as well as the First Amendment rights of his supporters. The judge is expected to rule on whether Trump actually violated the order by early next week. The former president has blasted the case this week. “The whole world is watching this New York scandal,” Trump said, calling it a “spectacle.” TRUMP JUROR PREVIOUSLY ARRESTED FOR RIPPING DOWN RIGHT-LEANING POLITICAL ADS DISMISSED FROM TRIAL”It is political and it is a shame—it is a shame,” Trump said Thursday after court finished for the day. The former president blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as “out of control” and said Judge Juan Merchan who is presiding over the case is “highly conflicted.” “The whole thing is a mess,” he said. TRUMP SAYS CRIMINAL TRIAL IS HAVING ‘REVERSE EFFECT’ AS HE CAMPAIGNS AT NEW YORK BODEGA, VOWS TO SAVE CITYTrump has blasted the case as election interference and has said Democrats and allies of President Biden, his 2024 opponent, want to keep him off the campaign trail. Trump, though, held a campaign event in Upper Manhattan Tuesday evening at a Harlem bodega. He highlighted crime in New York City and said he would work with Democratic lawmakers in the city to fix the city’s issues, should he be elected. Trump was greeted at that bodega by a massive crowd of supporters chanting “four more years.” The former president said that he thinks being confined to the courtroom will have a “reverse effect” to what he said the Democrats are hoping for, and feels it will energize his base and new voters ahead of the 2024 election. 
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