Full Jury Selected In Donald Trump Hush Money Trial

UPDATE: A full jury of 12 and six alternates in has been selected in Donald Trump’s hush money trial.

The remaining alternates were sworn in, keying up the expected start of opening statements on Monday.

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PREVIOUSLY: As Donald Trump’s hush money trial entered its fourth day, devoted to the selection of alternate jurors, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported that the former president appeared to have dozed off again.

Haberman wrote, “Trump appears to have fallen asleep in court again. It happened several times just now. His eyes were closed for extended periods and his head dropped down twice.”

Haberman’s report earlier in the week that Trump had fallen asleep elicited extensive pickup and commentary, with late night comedians ridiculing the scene. Trump at one point glared at Haberman.

Trump has complained of the cold courtroom as he has been required to be present for jury selection. On Thursday, he listened as some prospective jurors, under questioning, criticized his behavior and were confronted by their past social media posts about him.

Before the proceedings began today, Trump again railed against the proceedings, telling reporters, “They’ve taken away my constitutional rights to speak and that includes speaking to you. I have a lot ot say to you. And I’m not allowed to say it, and I’m the only one.”

The judge in the case, Juan Merchan, has imposed a partial gag order on Trump that restricts what he can say about expected witnesses, courtroom staff and jurors and potential jurors, as well as some members of the prosecution team. Merchan already has warned Trump’s legal team about the defendant’s conduct during the jury selection process, having noted that Trump was muttering at one point when a potential juror was being questioned. “I will not have jurors intimidated in this courtroom,” the judge said.

Trump still has been allowed to comment on other aspects of the case, and he has seized on the media attention by giving ongoing statements and commentary in the courthouse hallways. With no TV or audio coverage allowed in the courtroom itself, and the judge and prosecution saying little outside of the proceedings, the former president has had the spotlight to himself.

A full 12-person jury of five women and seven men was selected in the case by Thursday, with one alternate also seated. As many as five more alternates are expected to be picked today. Merchan wants opening statements to start on Monday.

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