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12 jurors — including 3 finance guys and a woman whose friend is a convicted fraudster — have been chosen for Trump's Manhattan criminal trial

In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump smiles to the jury pool as he is introduced to them at the beginning of his New York criminal trial on April 15, 2024.
In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump smiles to the jury pool as he is introduced to them at the beginning of his New York criminal trial on April 15, 2024.

Jane Rosenberg/Pool Photo via AP

  • Seven men and five women have been selected as jurors for Donald Trump's criminal trial.
  • The jury skews male and white collar.
  • Jurors include 3 men who work in finance and 2 male lawyers.

Twelve of Donald Trump's peers — 7 men, and 5 women — have been chosen to decide the first-ever criminal trial of a former US president.

The jurors hail from throughout Manhattan. A majority have white-collar careers.

Three jurors, all of them men, have careers in finance. Two jurors, both men, are practicing attorneys. Another two, both women, are health workers.

On Thursday afternoon, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan selected the 12th juror in Trump's Manhattan criminal case.

Two men chosen in the afternoon filled seats that had been vacated earlier in the day. One seat was vacated by a woman who feared publicity, another for more mysterious reasons.

One out of six alternate jurors, a woman, was also chosen.

"We have our jury," Merchan announced to the courtroom after the 12th juror was chosen.

Merchan must still choose five more alternate seats, a process that will likely be completed as soon as Friday. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, the judge said.

Trump's lawyers questioned the jurors about their feelings about the former president. One woman — who said her apartment was robbed before and has a "close friend" who was convicted of financial fraud — said she doesn't like Trump's "persona."

Trump was "very selfish and self-serving" and "not my cup of tea," she said.

But she believed she could set those feelings aside for the trial, she told the lawyers.

"I don't like some of my coworkers, but I don't try to sabotage their work," she explained, drawing an outburst of laughter from the jury box.

Others left a markedly less colorful impression. One of the attorneys chosen to serve is a middle-aged white man who works at a big law firm but says he knows "virtually nothing about criminal law" because he handles only civil cases.

Then there's a guy with outdoorsy hobbies who said he doesn't really follow the news, but he does listen to podcasts on behavioral psychology.

"It's my little hobby," he said.

Several jurors are difficult to pigeonhole.

There's a man who says he knows "little" about Trump's criminal cases and gets his news from The New York Times, The Daily Mail, Fox News, and MSNBC.

Another is a young Black woman who said her friends carry strong opinions about Trump, but that she is "not a political person" and appreciates that he "speaks his mind."

"I would rather that in a person than someone who's in office and you don't know what they're doing behind the scenes," the woman said.

In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump sits beside his lawyer Todd Blanche on the second day of jury selection in his New York criminal trial on April 16, 2024.
In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump sits beside his lawyer Todd Blanche on the second day of jury selection.

Christine Cornell via AP Pool

Trump was more attentive to the jury selection process on Thursday compared to earlier in the week, where he frequently sat back, closed his eyes, and appeared to nod off.

The courtroom was markedly colder than on the previous days, something Trump complained about throughout the day.

He sometimes wrapped his arms around himself, as if trying to stay warm. He also looked at prospective jurors in the juror box, turning his body and draping his arm over the back of his chair.

Thursday's jury selection process got off to an ominous start after prosecutors said Trump sought to intimidate prospective jurors through a post on Truth Social, asking that he be held in contempt. One of the jurors who had been chosen earlier in the week dropped out, saying she was concerned about her ability to be impartial given the public attention to the case.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office allege Trump illegally falsified business records by covering up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress and director. The aim of those payments, according to prosecutors, was to keep her quiet about an affair she says she had with him ahead of the 2016 election so that he would not lose potential female voters.

While jurors were not expected to be totally ignorant of Trump and the hush-money controversy, they were asked a series of questions meant to suss out whether they could put aside any preconceived views and deliberate the case based on the evidence presented in the trial.

After all the chosen and prospective jurors were dismissed for the day, defense lawyer Todd Blanche acknowledged that testimony could begin as early as Monday.

Blanche asked if prosecutors could disclose who they planned to call as their witnesses first so the defense could prepare.

"That's been a courtesy we have been extending," prosecutor Joshua Steinglass responded.

"But Mr. Trump has been tweeting about the witnesses," the prosecutor complained, adding that he would not give out the first witnesses' names this far in advance.

Blanche asked if that would change if the defense promised that Trump would not "Truth" anything about the witnesses on social media.

"What if he makes that promise?" Blanche asked.

"That he would not be tweeting about any of the witnesses?" the judge responded. "I don't think that is a promise he can be making."

As Trump left the courtroom Thursday, he complained about the indictment and the cold courtroom.

"I'm sitting here for days now, from morning 'til night in that freezing room," Trump said in the hallway.

"Freezing. Everybody was freezing in there and all of this," he said. "And this is your result. Look at that. Each one of them is stellar. And it's a very it's a very bad thing. Very bad thing."

Read the original article on Business Insider