Apr 19, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Full jury plus alternates seated in Trump's N.Y. hush money trial

: Donald Trump is seen leaving Trump towers and heading to court on April 15, 2024 in New York, New York.

Donald Trump seen leaving Trump Tower and heading to court on April 15 in New York. Photo: MEGA/GC Images

Jury selection in former President Trump's New York criminal hush money trial concluded Friday, with all 18 New Yorkers who will make up the jury panel seated.

Why it matters: Opening statements are now on track to begin in the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

The big picture: The 18 jurors, which includes six alternates, were empaneled after days of intense scrutiny by the lawyers on both sides to find citizens who can be as fair as possible in one of the most high-profile cases in U.S. history.

  • Lawyers scoured prospective jurors' social media to try to get an insight into their underlying political beliefs and any possible motives for being on the trial.
  • One prospective juror for instance was dismissed by Trump's legal team over a 2017 post about the former president that said "Lock him up!"

Zoom in: Given the high-profile nature of the case, there were still a few bumps in the process.

  • One juror, for instance, was excused after she expressed concerns over being identified as a juror and her ability to be impartial.
  • Another juror was dismissed after prosecutors expressed concerns about whether he answered questions about his criminal history honestly.

What to watch: As part of opening statements, attorneys on both sides will present their theories of the case and preview the evidence they are likely to show.

  • Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, has said that he expects it to last six to eight weeks.

Go deeper: Trump's social media posts follow him to courthouse

Go deeper