Trump Has Way Too Much Info About the Jury in His First Criminal Trial

  • Trump Has Way Too Much Info About the Jury in His First Criminal Trial

    Posted by Unknown Member on March 9, 2024 at 9:22 am

    A New York judge has ruled that the jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial should be kept completely secret—except, of course, to Trump and company.

    Both parties and their attorneys, staff, and consultants in the case will have access to the names of jurors, though other details will be kept more secret, according to Judge Juan Merchan.

    Residential addresses and places of work will be kept strictly confidential and shared only with attorneys and away from Trump, Merchan noted, citing the potential for harassment in the high-profile case of the volatile former president as reason for the safeguards.

    “The Court further finds good cause…’that there is a likelihood of bribery, jury tampering, or of physical injury or harassment of jurors,’” Merchan wrote, adding that Trump has “an extensive history of publicly and repeatedly attacking trial jurors and grand jurors.”

    It remains to be seen if that precaution will be enough to keep Trump from targeting the batch of private citizens conducting their civic duty.

    Trump’s habit of lashing out at those around him in the courtroom became abundantly clear during a couple of his legal trials last year.

    During his New York fraud trial, for example, he repeatedly smeared Justice Arthur Engoron as “crooked” and baselessly asserted that one of the judge’s law clerks was having an affair with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He has extended similar treatment to other court staff doling out his judgment, including special counsel Jack Smith, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Judge Tanya Chutkan, and countless others, sometimes defying court-ordered gag orders in order to do so.

    And his rabid followers took that a step further in his Fulton County case, during which far-right conspiracy theorists doxxed a grand jury, circulating their full names, ages, and addresses and ushering a deluge of hate and violent threats their way.

    “Defendant’s conduct in this and other matters—including his extensive history of attacking jurors in other proceedings—presents a significant risk of juror harassment and intimidation that warrants reasonable protective measures to ensure the integrity of these proceedings, minimize obstacles to jury selection, and protect juror safety,” prosecutors wrote in their motion to Merchan.

    About a third of Trump’s 91 criminal charges stem from the hush-money case, in which Trump is accused of using his former fixer Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

    It wouldn’t be the first extraordinary measure taken to keep a jury safe from the ire and scrutiny of Trump’s followers. Jurors were kept fully anonymous and partially sequestered in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case, with Judge Lewis Kaplan citing Trump’s behavior as reason for the extreme measures.

    Shortly after the jurors handed down the verdict, Judge Kaplan warned them to “never disclose” that they were on the jury, out of concerns for their safety.

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