Updated Apr 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Full Trump jury seated after two members were excused

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends his criminal trial as jury selection continues at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 18, 2024 in New York City.

Former President Trump attends his criminal trial as jury selection continues at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 18 in New York City. Photo: Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images

Twelve jurors have been seated in former President Trump's New York criminal trial after two previously seated jurors were excused Thursday.

Why it matters: Alternate jurors are still being selected, but the process underscored the reality of trying to seat 18 jurors in one of the most high-profile court cases in U.S. history as prospective jurors grappled with publicity and their own biases.

  • The panel winnowed from seven to five jurors early on Thursday, but seven jurors were seated later in the day.

The latest: After selecting seven jurors on Monday and Tuesday, attorneys Thursday had to find two replacements after juror number two and four's spots were vacated, per a pool report.

Driving the news: Juror number four, dismissed Thursday afternoon, was excused after prosecutors said they found a news article showing that someone with the same name as his juror had previously "been arrested in Westchester for tearing down political advertisements."

  • While it's unclear it at this point whether it was the same person, Merchan said told the juror he "should not come back" Monday morning, per a pool report.
  • They also found that the juror's wife "was previously accused of or involved in a corruption inquiry," per the pool report.
  • The prosecutor, Joshua Steinglass, said the information suggested that the juror's answer to a question about previous arrests "was not accurate."

Both the defense and prosecution agreed to wait for the juror to arrive in court to confirm whether he is the same person from the news story.

Catch up quick: The first juror dismissed Thursday morning told the judge she "definitely has concerns now" about what has been publicly reported about her, noting that some of her friends, colleagues and family indicated that she had been identified as a possible juror.

  • "I don't believe, at this point, that I can be fair and unbiased and let the outside influences not affect my thinking in the courtroom," the juror also said, per Politico.

What they're saying: "We just lost what probably would have been a very good juror," Judge Juan Merchan said afterward, according to Reuters.

  • Merchan, who is overseeing the New York criminal trial, said he was directing reporters to avoid publishing physical descriptions of jurors moving forward.
  • Merchan also said that he is going to redact from the court records prospective jurors' answers to questions about their current and former employers.
  • He also directed the media to not report on answers to those questions, per a press pool report.
  • When jury selection resumed, more than 5o potential jurors were excused, the vast majority saying they could not be impartial in the case.

Go deeper: Trump, the defendant, confronts courtroom reality

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details regarding the dismissal of juror number four, the backfilling of the spots, and the latest on the jury selection process.

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