Over 50 of First 96 Jurors Dismissed from Trump’s Hush Money Trial Due to Bias

By: Georgia | Published: Apr 16, 2024

In the Donald Trump hush money case, more than half of the first 96 jurors admitted they couldn’t stay neutral and were dismissed. 

The trial began with the solemn swearing-in of a large group of Manhattan residents, marking a historic moment as it is the first criminal trial of a former U.S. President.

Electrifying Courtroom Atmosphere

The Daily Mail reports that the moment the proceedings started, the courtroom was alive with energy. Jurors exhibited a wide array of emotions; some eagerly tried to catch a glimpse of the former president, and spontaneous giggles were heard from one attendee. 

Former President Donald Trump, in a blue suit and red tie, walks alongside a smiling woman in a brown dress, followed by others in a hallway adorned with American flags

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Such reactions highlight the difficulties of maintaining solemnity in a trial that commands widespread attention.

A Lengthy Process of Jury Selection

Securing 12 impartial jurors is expected to be a drawn-out affair, potentially lasting two weeks. 

A spacious, wood-paneled courtroom with a high ceiling, an ornate dome, and American and state flags beside the judge's bench

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The selected jurors will have a crucial role in determining the outcome for Trump, who faces 34 charges of falsifying business records, with each charge carrying a maximum of four years imprisonment.

Core Accusations

Trump is accused of altering business records to hide a payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels. 

Stormy Daniels is seen in a close-up view, looking to the side with her blonde hair styled up

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Allegedly, this was to prevent her from disclosing their supposed affair before the 2016 election. These manipulated records are at the heart of the charges levied against him.

In-depth Jury Vetting

A substantial number of over 500 prospective jurors showed up.

A close-up of Donald Trump speaking, with his mouth open mid-sentence. He appears to be addressing an audience

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Each person was subjected to an extensive 42-question survey designed to weed out any biases, touching on media habits and political affiliations, including their stance on QAnon.

Trump's Influence

During the session, Trump’s presence clearly dominated the room, drawing glances time and again. 

A judge's gavel rests on its sounding block on a wooden surface, with a person in the background


The Daily Mail reports that the attention of the jurors flicked between the judge’s initial instructions and the former president’s commanding figure.


Bias Acknowledgment Leads to Dismissal

A young female juror was dismissed after she candidly expressed her strong opinions about Trump’s political role, admitting it could compromise her impartiality. 

Donald Trump is seen raising his right hand while speaking at a podium with the Conservative Political Action Conference logo visible

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Her forthrightness during the selection process emphasized how divisive Trump’s figure can be among the public and potential jurors.


Balancing Jury Duty with Personal Commitments

Jury duty sometimes intersects with personal obligations, as seen when a juror was excused to attend his daughter’s wedding. 

An empty, circular jury box with traditional wooden chairs and railings dominates the foreground of an old-fashioned courtroom, with a closed double-door in the background and a wall sconce providing light to the area

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This instance demonstrates the delicate balance jurors must maintain between their civic responsibilities and personal lives.


A Diverse Jury Pool

The initial selection of jurors was strikingly diverse, including a venture capitalist, a fashion industry creative director, and a city agency employee. 

An imposing, multi-story courthouse building with a façade of vertical windows stands tall behind lush green trees under a clear sky

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This variety illustrates the range of perspectives that will influence the trial’s deliberations and potential outcomes.


Public and Media Fascination

The trial has garnered intense attention from both the public and the media, evident as jurors strained for a better view of the unfolding drama. 

Former President Donald Trump speaks into a microphone at a podium, wearing a dark suit and red tie against a backdrop of blue curtains

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The high-profile nature makes it even more difficult to manage a fair and orderly trial.


Detailed Charges Outlined by the Judge

Judge Juan Merchan concisely explained the charges.

Donald Trump stands at a podium with a "TRUMP PENCE" banner, waving to the audience, wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and red tie, framed by multiple American flags

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He stated that Trump allegedly “falsified business records to conceal an agreement with others to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election… Specifically, it is alleged that Trump made or caused false business records to hide the true nature of payments made to Michael Cohen, by characterizing them as payment for legal services rendered pursuant to a retainer agreement.”


Change in Trump’s Courtroom Behavior

Post-lunch, a noticeable shift in Trump’s engagement was evident as he actively discussed matters with his lawyer, contrasting with earlier reports of him potentially dozing. 

Donald Trump is captured mid-gesture with an open hand while speaking at a lectern, wearing a dark suit, red tie, and American flag lapel pin

Source: Wikimedia Commons

His animated involvement suggests a deep awareness of the trial’s significance as it continues to draw global attention.