Judge releases jury questionnaire for Trump hush money trial

Photo of author

By journalsofus.com

The judge supervising the former president donald trumpThe New York hush money case passed a jury selection questionnaire and instructions for potential jurors in the trial, which is is scheduled to start next week.

in a letter On Monday, state Judge Juan Merchán gave attorneys in the case a jury questionnaire consisting of 42 numbered questions on a variety of topics. The form does not ask about party affiliation, political contributions or voting history.

Merchan rejected Trump’s lawyers’ argument that potential jurors’ political affiliations and whether they like Trump matters to jury selection, saying that “contrary to defense attorneys’ arguments, the purpose of jury selection is No to determine whether or not a potential juror likes one of the parties.”

“These questions are irrelevant because they do not address the issue of the potential juror’s qualifications,” Merchan wrote. “The ultimate question is whether the prospective juror can assure us that he will put aside any personal feelings or biases and make a decision based on the evidence and the law.”

The form asks potential jurors numerous questions, including:

  • Their neighborhoods, professions, employers (present and past), marital status, hobbies and interests, and relationships with other people who have been victims of crime or, alternatively, have worked in places like the FBI or prosecutors’ offices or in criminal law.
  • Whether due to “political, moral, intellectual or religious beliefs or opinions,” they could not follow the judge’s instructions or issue a verdict.
  • If you have read either Mark Pomerantzthat Michael CohenThe books about the alleged crimes and/or the investigation that led to the hush money case and whether what they read or heard through the audiobook “affects their ability to be a fair or impartial juror in this case.”
  • About their personal, family, or close friend ties to Trump or the Trump Organization before addressing whether they have participated in certain activities that would reflect political support for Trump or “any anti-Trump group or organization” and/or extremist movements.
  • If they practice “a religion that would prevent them from serving on the jury on any particular day or night of the week”; Merchan noted in his letter that if any observant Jews are selected as jurors, the court will not meet during Passover.
  • What they read, watch and listen to in terms of media consumption, followed by a list of options to check out, including The New York Times, New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, as well as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Newsmax. and social media platforms such as Facebook, X, TikTok and Truth Social.

Merchan suggested in his letter that the question of political affiliation “can be easily deduced from the answers to other questions,” but cautioned attorneys in the case “not to seek to expand the degree of intrusion beyond what is relevant and has already been made.” been approved.” “

Trump’s lawyers and the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday evening.

The dispute over political preferences has has also been raised in Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, with his lawyers and prosecutors fighting over revelations about political affiliation in a questionnaire for potential jurors there.

Triumph pleaded not guilty in Manhattan last year after he was charged with 34 felony counts of falsify business records regarding money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In addition to detailing the jury questions, Merchan also said Monday that potential jurors will be informed before entering the courtroom that they will be identified by the numbers printed on their jury summons “as a necessary measure to ensure anonymity.” .

businessman ruled last month that will use an anonymous jury, effectively shielding jurors’ names from the media and public, citing “a likelihood of bribery, jury tampering, or physical injury or harassment to jurors.”

In Monday’s letter, Merchan said the court will not conduct individual interviews with potential jurors who say they cannot serve, saying the step is “unnecessary, time-consuming and brings no benefit” to the case.

Jury questionnaire and instructions arrive the same day as a state appeals court judge rejected Trump’s effort delay the trial, which will begin April 15 with jury selection.

Leave a comment