Former US President Trump’s “hush money” trial begins in New York

A lawsuit filed against former US President Donald Trump over the payment of "hush money" to a woman he had an affair with, a sexually explicit movie actress, during the 2016 presidential election has begun in New York.

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Trump arrived at the Manhattan Criminal Court with his lawyers.

Making a brief statement to the press before entering the courtroom, Trump argued that this was a politically motivated historic case and that he was not guilty of any crime.

Former US President Trump said, “I am proud to be here because I am not guilty. This politically motivated case is an insult to America. A case like this has never been seen before. I should never have been brought here.”

Jury selection

The trial will begin with the selection of a 12-person jury. In criminal cases in the US, the verdict is based on the decision of the jury panel formed by citizens randomly selected through tax records in the region. In this case, there are approximately 100 jury candidates who are US citizens residing in Manhattan and who have never been involved in any crime before.

Candidates for the 12 original and 6 alternate jurors will be selected from among them and will be subjected to a rigorous screening process to ensure that they are “impartial” and “competent” to decide the case. The prospective jurors will be asked about their view of political events, their political leanings, and whether they have strong feelings for or against Trump. They will not only be asked who they would vote for in the presidential election in November.

The prosecution is attaching great importance to the defense’s choice of jury, as this is the first time in history that a former US president will be criminally tried. Selection from among 100 candidates could take up to two weeks.

After jury selection is completed, Trump’s trial will begin.

Experts estimate that the trial could take 6 to 8 weeks with the presentations of the parties and the hearing of witnesses. It is stated that Trump should be present in the courtroom 4 days a week during this process.

Trump indicted by grand jury

On March 18, 2023, US President Trump was indicted by a grand jury as part of an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into the illegal payment of “hush money” to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump appeared before a judge in New York on April 4, 2023, on charges of “hush money” and falsifying records related to it.

Denying 34 separate charges against him, Trump called the allegations against him a “political witch hunt” and stated that he saw the accusations as “election interference”.

Trump was recorded as “the first former president in American history to appear before a judge on charges against him”.


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