Trump’s Trial Kicks Off in Court

Trump's Trial Kicks Off in Court

( – Former president Donald Trump’s hush money trial has begun, with jury selection kicking off on Monday, April 15.

It marks the first time that a former president has ever faced a trial over criminal charges. He is accused of falsifying several business records and has pleaded not guilty to all 34 counts. Prosecutors claimed he conspired with Michael Cohen, who served as Trump’s lawyer during his initial presidential campaign, to cover up controversial stories surrounding Trump ahead of the 2016 elections. He could face a felony charge and four years in prison if convicted.

Over half of the 96 jurors brought before the court left after they were asked if they could remain impartial. Many of the remaining jurors stared at Trump intensely after seeing him for the first time in court. He met their gazes with a small smirk, according to NBC News. The trial was delayed by several other complications during jury selection.

It was delayed again after legal teams on each side debated including some of the more sensational evidence that Alvin Bragg, the district attorney serving in Manhattan, insisted on showing during the trial. He claimed it proved that Trump was working hard to suppress negative press about his life.

One of the stories revolved around adult film star named Stormy Daniels. She claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2016, which Trump denies. Records show Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about it. They also indicate Trump paid him back after he was elected.

The trial once again brings Trump before Judge Juan Merchan, a justice appointed by Michael Bloomberg during his tenure as mayor of New York City. He previously presided over tax fraud cases involving companies owned by Trump. Both companies were found guilty on all charges.

Merchan was solemn with Trump as the trial began. He warned the former president that the trial could continue without his physical presence if he disrupted proceedings. He also told Trump that he would be arrested if he missed any court dates. Trump has consistently denied the charges against them, claiming they are politically motivated.

Seven jurors were selected on the trial’s second day, with proceedings set to continue on April 18. The judge revealed opening statements could come as early as Monday, April 22, per The Washington Post.

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