Jury selection enters a pivotal stretch as Trump’s hush money trial resumes

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press after the second day of his criminal trial, Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in New York. (Curtis Means/Pool Photo via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jury selection in Donald Trump ’s hush money trial enters a pivotal phase as the former president returns to court Thursday morning. Attorneys still need to pick 11 more jurors to serve on the panel that will decide the first-ever criminal case against a former U.S. commander-in-chief.

Seven jurors were seated Tuesday after being grilled for hours by lawyers on everything from their hobbies to social media posts to their opinion of the presumptive GOP nominee in this year’s closely contested presidential race.

Those selected Tuesday include an information technology worker, an English teacher, an oncology nurse, a sales professional, a software engineer and two lawyers.

The first day of Trump’s trial ended on Monday with no one picked to sit on the jury or as one of six alternates. Dozens of prospective jurors were dismissed both days after saying they could not be impartial or had other commitments that would conflict with the trial, which is expected to last several weeks.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to bury stories he feared could hurt his 2016 campaign.

The allegations focus on payoffs to two women, porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said they had extramarital sexual encounters with Trump years earlier, as well as to a Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about a child he alleged Trump had out of wedlock. Trump says none of these supposed sexual encounters occurred.

The case is the first of Trump’s four indictments to reach trial.


— Jury selection process follows a familiar pattern with an unpredictable outcome

— Trump lawyers say Stormy Daniels refused subpoena outside a Brooklyn bar

— After 7 jurors were seated in Trump’s trial on Tuesday, he trekked to a New York bodega to campaign

— Only 1 in 3 US adults think Trump acted illegally in New York hush money case, AP-NORC poll shows

— Trump trial: Why can’t Americans see or hear what is happening inside the courtroom?

Here’s the latest:


The seating of the Manhattan jury will be a seminal moment in the case, setting the stage for a trial that will place the former president’s legal jeopardy at the heart of the campaign against Democrat Joe Biden and feature potentially unflattering testimony about Trump’s private life in the years before he became president.

The process of picking a jury is a critical phase of any criminal trial but especially so when the defendant is a former president and the presumptive Republican nominee.

Inside the court, there’s broad acknowledgment of the futility in trying to find jurors without knowledge of Trump, with a prosecutor this week saying that lawyers were not looking for people who had been “living under a rock for the past eight years.”