Trump Hush Money Trial Begins

Mason Riverwind

Updated Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 11:22 AM CDT

Trump Hush Money Trial Begins

The highly anticipated hush money trial involving former President Donald Trump has officially begun, with the selection of the first seven jurors—professionals from diverse fields including law, sales, nursing, IT, teaching, and software engineering. Presiding Judge Juan Merchan of New York State has already issued a stern warning to Trump about courtroom conduct, particularly regarding potential juror intimidation, after noting concerning behavior.

The commencement of the trial saw Judge Merchan instruct Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, to address the former president's actions, recalling past incidents such as outbursts during the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial and a dramatic exit from a civil fraud trial. Blanche raised issues regarding the impartiality of potential jurors, particularly due to their social media presence. This led to the dismissal of two jurors; one for a video celebrating Joe Biden's election victory and another for old tweets critical of Trump.

Selecting an unbiased jury proved challenging due to Trump's widespread notoriety. Many individuals were excused from serving due to strong existing opinions about the former president, including one prospective juror who cited an unconscious bias rooted in his background and profession. Others familiar with Trump's book "The Art of the Deal" were dismissed by the prosecution for preconceived notions about Trump.

The trial, which is expected to run for up to eight weeks, will require Trump to be present throughout the proceedings. Taking place in downtown Manhattan, the focus is on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment, rather than Trump's presidency or popularity. Jurors were carefully vetted for their ability to distinguish between believability and likability, concentrating solely on the evidence presented.

The implications of the trial extend to Trump's 2024 presidential campaign, with the former president voicing frustration over scheduling conflicts, including campaign events and his son Barron's high school graduation. Trump could potentially speed up the trial by agreeing to stipulations of basic facts, but he has so far chosen not to do so, necessitating more comprehensive evidence and witness testimonies.

The payments in question were made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges an affair with Trump. Trump's ex-personal attorney Michael Cohen, who is deeply involved in the events leading to the trial, facilitated these payments. Despite Trump's legal team disputing all facts without agreeing to any stipulations, criminal defense experts note the potential conflict between Trump's criminal defendant role and his political ambitions.

The trial has garnered significant media attention, with Republican National Committee (RNC) co-chair Lara Trump commenting on the political ramifications. Adding to the complexities, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a motion to hold Trump in contempt of court for allegedly violating a gag order with social media posts about witnesses, including Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels. The gag order, imposed by Judge Merchan, aims to protect the administration of justice by barring Trump from making public statements about the trial's participants.

The prosecution has accused Trump of breaching the gag order thrice, proposing fines for each infraction. These alleged violations include sharing posts criticizing the gag order and an old statement from Daniels denying an affair. The judge is now considering the consequences for these alleged violations, with fines being a potential outcome.

The trial is historic not only because of its subject matter but also because it marks the first time a former U.S. president has stood criminal trial. Trump, who faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and has pleaded not guilty to all charges, has been critical of former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz and Michael Cohen, with the latter having served a prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to various charges. This political and legal saga continues to unfold, and its outcome could have significant implications for Trump's future and American politics as a whole.

Conservative Bias:

Folks, what we're witnessing here is nothing short of a political witch hunt, the latest chapter in the never-ending saga to take down President Trump by any means necessary. The liberal elites and their cronies in the court system are orchestrating this circus of a trial to undermine the will of the American people. They're dredging up this hush money nonsense to distract from their own failings and corruption. It's a disgrace that a man who has done so much for our country is being dragged through the mud, all because the left can't accept that he's the voice of the silent majority. They can't beat him at the polls, so they're trying to tie his hands with legal red tape and character assassination. And let's talk about this so-called 'impartial' jury selection—what a joke! The dismissal of jurors for expressing their political views is a blatant attempt to stack the deck against Trump. This trial isn't about justice; it's about the deep state and the Democrats' vendetta against a president who dared to challenge the status quo.

Liberal Bias:

Once again, the Republican machinery is in full damage control, trying to spin an indefensible situation involving a former president who flagrantly disregards the rule of law. This trial is a testament to Trump's pathological inability to operate within ethical boundaries. The man has a history of bulldozing over democratic norms, and now his past misdeeds are catching up with him. The fact that we even have to discuss potential juror intimidation speaks volumes about the toxic environment Trump fosters. His refusal to stipulate to basic facts is a clear indication of his contempt for judicial process and truth. It's not just about hush money; it's about a pattern of deceit and corruption that runs deep. The conservative talking heads are trying to distract the public with cries of a 'witch hunt,' but what's really at stake here is accountability at the highest levels. The trial shines a spotlight on how Trump's personal indiscretions and unscrupulous behavior threaten the very fabric of our democracy. It's high time that justice is served, and that those who have enabled and defended his actions are held to account for their complicity in undermining our nation's values.

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