Trump’s criminal trial is a precedent in American history News

Today, Monday, the United States is witnessing a unique moment in its political history as a trial begins in New York Donald Trump Concerning illicit funds, it is the first criminal trial of a former president, and the first of 4 other indictments, directed against a presidential candidate, who will spend his days in court during the day, and continue his election campaigns at night.

The trial appears, to some extent, to be a trial of the American judicial system itself, as it struggles with an accused who used his enormous fame to attack the judge, his daughter, the prosecutor, some witnesses and the prosecution, all while criticizing the legitimacy of the court, which Trump considered a legal structure that had been seized by his political opponents, as he always insists.

Against this background, dozens of ordinary American citizens are scheduled to be summoned today, Monday, to a special room in the criminal courtroom in New York, to determine whether they can serve, fairly and impartially, on the jury.

“The ultimate issue is whether potential jurors can assure us that they will set aside any personal feelings or biases and render a decision based on the evidence and the law,” Judge Juan M. Merchan wrote in an April 8 memorandum.

Judge Juan Merchan rejected Trump’s lawyers’ demands to postpone the first-ever criminal trial against a former president for at least 90 days and ordered jury selection to begin on April 15.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records for payments on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to ensure that adult film star Stormy Daniels would not go public about a sexual encounter.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged effort to keep salacious — and, he says, false — stories about his sex life from surfacing during his 2016 campaign.


The accusations revolve around payments worth $130,000 made by Trump’s company to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid this amount on Trump’s behalf to prevent porn actress Stormy Daniels from appearing in public, a month before the election that took place in November 2016, with her allegations of a sexual encounter with… Married business tycoon.

Prosecutors say the payments to Cohen were falsely recorded as legal fees to hide their actual purpose, but Trump’s lawyers say the payments were actually legal expenses, not a cover-up.

Trump himself portrays the case, and other indictments against him elsewhere, as a “massive weaponization of law enforcement” by prosecutors and Democratic officials, asserting that they are “engineering sham charges in hopes of derailing his presidential run.”

The businessman-turned-politician and head of state faces a trial that could see him imprisoned for up to four years if convicted, although a non-prison sentence may also be possible.

Regardless of the final outcome, the trial of a former president and current candidate represents an extremely dangerous moment for the American political system, as well as for Trump himself.

Such a scenario would have seemed unthinkable to many Americans, even for a president whose tenure left a series of unusual precedents, including being impeached and acquitted twice by the Senate.

It is possible that an external scene coincides with the scene inside the courtroom, especially since a local Republican group planned to organize a pro-Trump march on Monday, indicating the possibility of a repeat of what happened last year after Trump was summoned last year, as the police broke up small skirmishes between his supporters and the demonstrators near the court.

Trump’s lawyers lost their bid to dismiss the money case and have sought several times since then to delay it, leading to a series of last-minute appeals court hearings last week.

Juror testing

Among other things, Trump’s lawyers contend that the Democratic-majority Manhattan jury was tainted by negative publicity about Trump, and that the case should be moved elsewhere.

The appeals judge denied an emergency request to postpone the trial while the request to change venue goes to a group of appeals judges, who are scheduled to consider it in the coming weeks.

Manhattan prosecutors countered that much of the publicity stemmed from Trump’s private comments and that voir dire would reveal whether potential jurors could put aside any preconceptions they had.

Prosecutors said there was no reason to believe that 12 fair and impartial people could not be found among Manhattan’s population of nearly 1.4 million.

The process of selecting these 12 jurors, in addition to 6 alternates, will begin with dozens of people being deposited in the Merchan courtroom. They will only be known by numbers, as he ordered their names to be hidden from everyone except prosecutors, Trump and their legal teams.

After hearing some basics about the case and jury service, potential jurors will be asked to raise their hands if they believe they cannot serve or be fair and impartial. Those who do will be exempt, according to Merchan’s filing last week.

The rest will be eligible for cross-examination, and the 42 pre-approved interrogations — sometimes multiple answers — cover the basics of the background but also reflect the uniqueness of the case.

Examples of such questioning include: “Do you have any strong opinions or strongly held beliefs about former President Donald Trump? Or the fact that he is a current presidential candidate, that would interfere with your ability to be a fair and impartial juror?”

Others ask about Trump’s attendance or anti-Trump rallies, their opinions on how he should be treated in the case, news sources, and more — including any “political, moral, intellectual, or religious beliefs or opinions” that might “sway” a potential juror’s opinion.

Based on the answers, lawyers can ask the judge to exclude people “for cause” if they meet certain criteria — such as inability to serve or be impartial — and lawyers can also “peremptory appeal” to eliminate 10 potential jurors and 2 potential alternates without giving notice. the reasons.

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