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No jurors selected on first day of ex-President Donald Trump's New York criminal trial

IANS | April 16, 2024 03:14 PM

NEW YORK: Former US President Donald Trump is due to return to court on Tuesday after no jurors were selected on the first day of the former president's criminal hush money trial in New York.

The process of whittling down hundreds of people to 12 jurors and six alternates began on Monday, dpa news agency reported.

Judge Juan Merchan brought in a first batch of 96 potential jurors to the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse. More than half were immediately dismissed after saying their personal bias prevented them from being fair to Trump.

Dozens more people will go through a similar process on Tuesday. Those remaining will then face more detailed questioning by the judge and attorneys in the coming days, with the whole exercise lasting as long as two weeks.

When Trump was introduced as the defendant, he turned and stared at the potential jurors. He is required to be in the courtroom all day for the entire length of the trial, which could last another eight weeks after the jurors are picked. The historic proceedings will not be televised.

Trump is the first former president in US history to stand trial on criminal charges. The case stems from payments made to an adult film actress ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump, who leads a sprawling real estate business, is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of a scheme involving his former lawyer Michael Cohen to conceal the $130, 000 pay-off made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels said the money was given to keep her quiet about an affair she had with Trump in 2006. He has admitted to paying her on the eve of the 2016 election to stop her "false and extortionist accusations" but denies any sexual encounter.

Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, faces a maximum of four years behind bars if convicted.

He is facing three other criminal trials as well as several civil lawsuits.

The Republican is set for an election rematch with incumbent President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in November.

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