As New York state continues its relentless attack on all things Donald Trump, jury selection in the criminal tax-fraud case against the Trump Organization has been finalized, and, perhaps not surprisingly, a quarter of the jurors chosen have admitted in open court that they don’t like the former president.
After three days of jury selection, four women and eight men were finalized as jurors in a case that will be heard in New York Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan.
Of the twelve, one called Donald Trump a “narcissist” and another said she has “opinions” about him, Insider reported.
When asked by Trump Organization attorney William J. Brennan whether the 18 prospective jurors had “strongly held” opinions about Trump, nearly a dozen hands went up.
“Of the 11 who raised their hands among the 18 in the jury box, all would go on to express what appeared to be negative beliefs.” Insider revealed, adding that all of them “insisted they could be impartial.”
As BizPac Review reported in July, the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg pled not guilty to a 15-count indictment which accuses the defendants of conspiring to pay Weisselberg $1.7 million tax-free over the course of more than a decade.
President Trump called the case against his organization a sham, and author Michael Busler agreed, arguing that such compensation packages are not uncommon.
“This is not a scheme to avoid taxes,” he wrote. “This is merely the way compensation packages are structured. This is perfectly legal and allowed by the IRS.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 3, 2021
While Donald Trump himself is not on trial, “strongly held” opinions of him — be they positive or negative — could clearly cloud a juror’s judgment.
But according to prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, if they dismissed every juror who didn’t like Trump, they wouldn’t be able to form a panel, the Daily Mail reports.
Of the jurors chosen, one, a self-employed book editor, stated, “I didn’t vote for him,” adding that she has “opinions” about Trump.
“And I would have gone for some different Supreme Court justices,” she revealed before promising that she could remain impartial.
Another of the selected stated that, while he thought Trump was funny before he became president, “he started acting a little crazy and narcissistic,” according to the Daily Mail.
“That’s the only reason I didn’t like him as president,” the juror said, “not so much policy.”
While defense attorneys for the Trump Organization wanted the man dismissed, Supreme Court Justice Juan Manuel Merchan gave him the green light, saying, “In this case, the juror also indicated that he kind of thought [Trump] was funny.”
A third juror who claimed she “would be upset about things” when “things happened” under President Trump, vowed that she “will follow the instructions.”
“I’ve had feelings in the past,” she said, according to Insider. “But I will do my best.”
Finding an impartial jury has been a challenge for the defense attorneys, as the jury pool was selected in a Big Apple borough where, in 2020, only 12% of voters were pro-Trump.
With only a limited number of peremptory challenges permitted, the Trump Organization’s lawyers had to save their objections for people who straight-up despise The Donald.
One dismissed prospective juror told the judge that Trump made him feel sick.
“I don’t feel like it’s a very healthy thing for me to be here,” he said.
Another had her mind made up long before she showed up for jury duty.
“He’s guilty in my mind whatever the case is – anything he does, anything his corporation does,” the advertising exec told reporters, according to Insider.
Another in the pool of 100 potential jurors stated, “I hate Trump.”
And yet another was dismissed after she revealed that she was an NBC journalist and, if chosen, she’d be penning a book about the case.
Opening statements in the case are expected to begin on Monday.
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