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Judge Rebukes Trump for Jury Intimidation on First Day of New York Trial

In a highly charged moment during the jury selection process of Donald Trump’s hush-money trial, the presiding judge issued a stern rebuke to the former president, cautioning against any form of juror intimidation.

Justice Juan Merchan of the New York Supreme Court expressed his concerns clearly and loudly after observing Trump’s interactions in the courtroom. 

He emphasized that such behavior would not be tolerated, especially if it could influence the impartiality of the jury.

“I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom. I want to make that crystal clear,” the judge said.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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The incident occurred during the questioning of a potential juror who had posted content on social media that the defense deemed hostile. 

Trump’s audible comments directed towards this juror prompted Judge Merchan’s sharp reprimand.

Todd Blanche, Trump’s attorney, was instructed to ensure his client’s compliance with courtroom decorum.

Following a brief conversation with Trump, Blanche reassured the judge that the former president was made aware of the expectations.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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By the end of Tuesday, the selection process saw seven jurors — four men and three women — confirmed to serve on the trial. 

The selection is scheduled to continue through the week, with a pause on Wednesday.

This is not the first instance of Trump’s outspoken nature causing disruptions in court. 

During a previous trial involving E. Jean Carroll, another judge had to remind Trump to keep his voice down, highlighting a recurring challenge in managing his courtroom behavior.

Trump’s behavior at past trials, such as the defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll, where he was fined heavily for defamatory statements, underscores the ongoing issues related to his conduct in legal settings.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Acknowledging the potential intimidation of having a high-profile defendant like Trump directly in the proximity of jurors, Judge Merchan adjusted the setup to mitigate any undue pressure on the prospective jurors.

The trial focuses on allegations that Trump falsified business records to conceal payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to secure her silence about an affair in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

With jury selection expected to extend over two weeks and the trial projected to last about a month, the courtroom dynamics and Trump’s behavior continue to be under close scrutiny, with the world watching how justice will unfold in this unprecedented case.

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