Trump Org trial has 7 jurors so far; 2 I don’t like how he ran things

  • The first seven members of the Trump Organization jury include two who openly dislike how he ran the country.
  • One is “upset” by his choices as president; the other wishes he had made better selections for the Supreme Court.
  • The company is on trial for allegedly dodging payroll taxes by giving executives some off-the-books payments.

The Manhattan jury that will decide whether former President Donald Trump’s international real estate company is guilty of tax fraud includes two women who said in court they didn’t like how the former president ran the country.

The first seven jurors were selected Tuesday in the state Supreme Court case, which alleges the Trump Organization ran a 15-year scheme to help top executives cheat on their taxes.

One of those chosen is a self-employed book publisher and she ironically noted that she has “opinions” on Trump, who is not a defendant but remains the elephant “not in the room,” as lead prosecutor Joshua Steinglass joked to potential jurors.

“I didn’t vote for him,” the editor said of Trump, whose company faces fines of more than a million and other costly consequences if he is convicted.

“And I would have gone with a few different Supreme Court justices” than the three he chose, he added with a wry smile.

Still, she could be impartial and fair, she promised.

A second juror, a retiree with grown children who likes to crochet, did some soul-searching when asked how she felt about Trump.

“Emotionally, I don’t feel one way or the other about what he’s done in his life, personally,” she said from the front row of the jury box, where 18 potential jurors were being questioned.

“I’m not taking it personally, honestly,” he said. “Of course, President Trump was the president of the United States. And of course, when things happened in this country, he annoyed me.”

The woman added that she understood that it was Trump’s company, not Trump himself, that was on trial.

“I’ve had feelings in the past,” he told attorneys, prosecutors and state Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the trial. “But I’ll do my best,” he said of his duty to be a fair and impartial jury.

“I will follow instructions,” he said.

The two women were among nearly a dozen of 18 questioned on the jury box who raised their hands when asked by Trump Organization attorney William J. Brennan if they had “strong” views on Trump.

Defense attorneys have had to work around a chosen jury pool in a New York City district where only 12% of voters supported Trump in 2020. Many in the courtroom were fired after expressing true hate for the former president.

“I want to ask you more about the former president of the United States,” Brennan asked before taking the informal poll. “We all know who he is. He was our president.

“I want to go through with all of you, questions 29 and 30,” continued the lawyer, referring to the numbers for the questions in a jury quiz specifically asking if they could be impartial in a trial involving Trump.

“Several of you responded that you can be fair and impartial,” Brennan continued. “But the question is, do you have strong beliefs about former President Trump? Either way?”

Of the 11 who raised their hands among the 18 on the jury box, all continued to express what appeared to be negative beliefs.

They all insisted that they could be impartial, which meant defense attorneys would lose one of their valuable limited peremptory challenges with each one they refused.

At the end of the day, Trump’s lawyers spent only two of their peremptory.

One was rejecting the CEO of a marketing company who said she had a strong “negative” opinion of Trump, though not her company. The other was rejecting a woman who has no expressed opinions about Trump, but who worked in the banking field and who said that she likes to write.

Defense attorneys have expressed caution about choosing jurors who could write a book on the case and thus affect deliberations.

A woman who claimed to be a journalist for NBC was excused by the two sides’ agreement after she said she would write a book on the case if elected.

Five additional jurors and six alternates remain to be elected; jury selection resumes Thursday.

Selected jurors have been told to return Monday at 9:30 am for opening statements.

They have has also been warned that the trial could last another six weeks and come to the brink of winter break.

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