Trump trial loses juror who shared concerns about getting ID'd, judging fairly: Live updates

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. April 18, 2024. 

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

A juror in the New York criminal hush money trial of Donald Trump was excused Thursday after she shared concerns about her identity being made public.

The juror, who was seated Tuesday, said that on Wednesday she received multiple calls from people inquiring about whether she had been picked for the jury.

The juror added that she was concerned about her ability to be impartial.

“I don’t believe I can be fair and unbiased and let the outside influences not affect me in the courtroom,” the juror told Judge Juan Merchan.

The judge apologized and promptly excused her from the trial. He admonished journalists covering the trial to “apply common sense” and refrain from publishing identifiable information about jurors who are supposed to be anonymous.

Merchan also ordered the press not to report the answers to a question on the jury questionnaire about past and current employers.

The setback means that there are now six more jurors, plus six alternates, to be selected in the Manhattan Supreme Court trial. Lawyers for Trump and New York prosecutors are poised Thursday to question a new group of 96 prospective jurors.

Seven jurors were seated Tuesday, the second day of the trial centered on charges that Trump falsified business records in a scheme to silence porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

Despite one juror’s dismissal Thursday morning, the trial is still proceeding at a pace where opening arguments could start by Monday — a week faster than some legal experts predicted.

Trump is required to sit in court throughout the trial, which convenes on all weekdays, except Wednesday, and is expected to last around six weeks.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has denounced the trial as a political “witch hunt” and complained that it prevents him from campaigning against President Joe Biden.

But Trump has also used the media frenzy surrounding his trial — and his three other pending criminal cases — as an opportunity to spread campaign messages and attack his political foes. On Tuesday afternoon, Trump accused Judge Juan Merchan of “rushing” the trial.

He then traveled to a north Harlem bodega for a campaign stop aiming to suggest that his prosecutor, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is failing to stop crime in New York City because of his focus on the trial.

On Wednesday, Trump complained that his legal team was given “not nearly enough” chances to reject potential jurors. In fact, he received the exact number of strikes allotted under New York law.

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