Trump trial live updates: Two jurors excused just days after being sworn into hush money case

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Donald Trump is back in court for day three of his hush money trial at the New York County criminal court in Lower Manhattan.

Proceedings in the trial were gathering pace with seven jurors confirmed — though this morning two were excused, with one concerned over her identity being revealed.

Judge Juan Merchan was hoping the remaining jurors and alternates could be selected by the end of the week with opening statements to begin on Monday — that now seems in doubt.

Yesterday it was revealed that if the former president takes the stand he can be asked about previous allegations of misconduct and crimes – including instances of sexual abuse and fraud.

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg posted a list that includes “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment” that his office “intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of” Mr Trump should he testify.

Mr Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election to ensure her silence about an alleged affair in 2006. He denies the affair and has pleaded not guilty.

Key Points

  • Juror excused from Trump panel in hush money trial over anonymity fears

  • Trump will be grilled about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies, Manhattan prosecutors say

  • Defence lawyers claim Stormy Daniels refused subpoena outside Brooklyn bar

  • Who are the Manhattanites chosen so far to hold Trump’s fate in their hands?

  • How do you find a jury in a city of highly opinionated people with no time for anything?

18:08 , Oliver O'Connell

Replacing B773 as potential juror #18 is B714.

She is a woman who grew up in Hong Kong and in England. She is an investment analyst and gets her news from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Judge Merchan calls the lunch break.

18:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Potential juror #18 (B773) is a woman living on the Upper East Side. She’s married with no children.

She’s a physical therapist and gets her news from NYT, CNN and USA Today — and likes hiking.

She was raised in Italy and said the relentless Berlusconi comparisons in Italian media would make it hard for him to be fair and impartial.

She is excused.

18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

17:58 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #17 (B440) is a woman from Upper Manhattan and is originally from California.

She works as a project manager and doesn’t follow the news much, but said she gets it from “late-night” and Google.

17:54 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #16 (B500) is a man who lives in Gramercy. He is married and is also a parent. He works in finance and likes to explore the outdoors.

He gets his news from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and occasionally Fox News.

17:51 , Alex Woodward

Potential juror #14 is a man who lives on the Upper East Side and is originally from Las Vegas. It sounded like he owns a design-build company, but there are a lot of mic issues today. His parents were lifelong friends of Harry Reid, and he has read The Art of the Deal.

Asked whether he can assure that he won’t hold it against Trump if he doesn’t want to testify, he said: “Yes, definitely.”

Potential juror #15 is a man who lives in Murray Hill. He’s not married has no children and works in commerce. He doesn’t really follow the news, if he does, it’s The New York Times.

17:41 , Alex Woodward

The 12th potential juror — B496 — is a speech therapist from the Upper East Side.

“I don’t watch any news or follow it too closely,” she said, though she subscribes to newsletters from CNN and The New York Times. She also listens to reality TV podcasts.

On a question about whether she has strong opinions or firmly held beliefs about Trump, she said: “I do have opinions but I do firmly believe I can be fair and impartial.”

17:35 , Alex Woodward

Potential juror #11 is another legal mind who lives in Inwood and is married with two children.

She occasionally works as a theatre director and volunteers with animal shelters. Her husband works in real estate.

“This is so bizarre,” she said as she was handed the mic.

17:32 , Alex Woodward

Potential juror #10 is also… a lawyer, who lives in Gramercy Park. She goes to indie rock and classical music concerts and opera and reads The New York Times, CNN, Google, “Facebook occasionally,” The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, “on occasion Fox News just to see what’s going on on all sides,” and foreign newspapers. She also listens to reality TV podcasts.

Juror 4 excused

17:16 , Oliver O'Connell

After his discussions with the judge, Juror #4 is excused.

Judge Merchan says: “He does not need to come back and should not come back.”

We are now down to five seated jurors.

17:06 , Oliver O'Connell

Former US President Donald Trump sits beside his lawyers Todd Blanche and Emil Bove during jury selection (REUTERS)
Former US President Donald Trump sits beside his lawyers Todd Blanche and Emil Bove during jury selection (REUTERS)

Court resumes

17:01 , Ariana Baio

During the break, Juror #4 — who was seated on Tuesday but asked to come in over a discrepancy with his questionnaire answers — came into the court and spoke with Judge Merchan and the attorneys.

Judge Merchan said they asked Juror #4 questions, which were kept private so we won’t know exactly what it was about, and it is unclear if he has been dismissed or not.

Juror #4 also “expressed annoyance” at how much information was made public about him.

Judge Merchan is deep in conversation with prosecution attorneys with defence lawyers present as well.

Stormy Daniels ‘refused to take a subpoena’ from Trump lawyers

16:43 , Oliver O'Connell

Kelly Rissman reports:

Donald Trump’s attorneys have claimed that they tried to serve adult film star Stormy Daniels with a subpoena to testify in the former president’s hush money trial – but she refused to take it.

In a court filing, filed on Monday by Mr Trump’s legal team and obtained by The Associated Press, his attorneys said that a process server had approached Ms Daniels as she arrived at the 3 Dollar Bill nightclub in Brooklyn on the night of her screening of her new documentary Stormy in March.

According to the documents, Ms Daniels refused to take the papers and the process server Dominic DellaPorte was forced to “leave them at her feet”.

Read on...

Stormy Daniels ‘refused to take subpoena’ from Trump lawyers for hush money trial

16:37 , Oliver O'Connell

Court breaks for 15 minutes.

16:36 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #9 is a man who works as a police officer for the New York Court of Claims (which gets a laugh from the courtroom).

He lives in Hell’s Kitchen - born and raised — and is married. He has season tickets to the Rangers and is a “longtime” member of the Knights of Columbus.

He reads The New York Post and The New York Daily News.

He makes a point to tell us he still uses a flip phone.

16:28 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #8 is a man who lives on the Upper West Side. He has lived in New York since 1980 but is originally from Lebanon. He is married and has three children and is retired having used to work in finance as a wealth manager.

He likes to go fly-fishing and also mediates and does yoga.

16:24 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #7 is a man who lives in the West Village and works as a security engineer. He has a high school degree and some college.

He is married to a woman and has three children and his spare time is occupied with his children but he also likes to do woodwork and metalwork.

He doesn’t really use social media.

16:20 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #6 is a man who lives in the West Village and works at a hedge fund. He has lived in New York for seven years and before that, he lived in southern New Jersey. He has no children, is single and enjoys hiking.

He gets his news from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Google, and X. He follows Trump on X and Instagram and read The Art of the Deal.

He indicates he has feelings about how Trump is being treated in this case but says that won’t affect him.

16:14 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #5 is a woman who lives in “the village”. She is a retired University administrator who lives alone and is a widow.

She enjoys reading and gardening in her free time. She says she is subscribed to The New York Times “mostly for the crossword puzzle”.

“Decades ago” she read The Art of the Deal.

16:12 , Alex Woodward

All the defence attorneys and prosecutors are having a laugh while the court fixes mic issues at the jury box.

Everyone is having a good time. Trump has not smiled once.

16:11 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #4 is a woman who is married and lives on the Upper West Side. She works in publishing and thus follows a lot of news (mainly from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times).

She says SEVEN of her immediate family members are lawyers and her husband is a former assistant attorney in Brooklyn.

There is a lot of laughter in the press room when she discloses that she read “the first 10 pages or so” of Disloyal by Michael Cohen “for business reasons”.

16:04 , Ariana Baio

Potential juror #3 is a man who lives in Hell’s Kitchen with his wife. He works in finance and reads a lot of news.

He follows Donald Trump’s Truth Social posts via Twitter and also follows Michael Cohen on the platform.

16:01 , Ariana Baio

The second potential juror is a woman who lives on the Upper West Side. She is a mother to three children, one of whom works for a representative in DC. She used to be a teacher and tells the court: “I don’t follow the news – I glance at things.”

She also says she has “no social media”.

15:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward and Ariana Baio report:

Trump turned his whole body from the defence table toward the box at the start of this survey. Craning his neck to look.

The first juror is a woman who is an attorney who does litigation for a big law firm and lives on the Upper East Side. Her fiance works in finance.

She used law clerk for the NY federal courthouse and gets some laughs when she says she discussed this case “at length” with her co-workers and her boss — including the Mark Pomerantz book.

She says she could put everything she’s discussed with her co-workers “to the side” to decide this case fairly and impartially.

Mike Lindell has FBI phone seizure case rejected by Supreme Court

15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The MyPillow founder and avid Donald Trump supporter has seen his petition challenging the FBI’s seizure of his mobile phone rejected by the US Supreme Court.

The highest court in the US ruled this week that it would not reconsider three lower court rulings that went against Mr Lindell over the seizure of his phone by agents at a Hardee’s drive-through restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota, in September 2022 as part of an investigation into an alleged scheme to breach voting system technology in Mesa County, Colorado.

The complainant had alleged the confiscation violated his constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure and was an attempt by the US government to inhibit his freedom of speech.

But the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, with a three-justice panel writing last September: “While he has at times attempted to assert otherwise, Lindell’s objective in this action is apparent – this litigation is a tactic to, at a minimum, interfere with and, at most, enjoin a criminal investigation and ultimately hamper any potential federal prosecution.”

Mr Lindell attempted to elevate his case to the Supreme Court in February, complaining that his device had still not been returned to him, but this week’s decision knocks him back.

Election denier Mike Lindell has FBI phone seizure case rejected by Supreme Court

Second juror panel pared back over impartiality

15:44 , Oliver O'Connell

After being asked whether or not they can be impartial in a case against Donald Trump, dozens of jurors are excused from the 96 members of the second panel.

Another nine leave because of family obligations or similar reasons for not serving.

The second panel is whittled down to 39 people of whom 18 are chosen at random to sit in the jury box to be questioned further.

15:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports from the courthouse about the judge’s earlier comments:

“There’s a reason this is an anonymous jury and we’ve taken the measures we’ve taken,” Judge Merchan said about losing juror #2.

Describing jurors “kind of defeats the purpose” after that anonymised process.

He directed the press to use “common sense,” saying that writing anything about physical descriptions, including accents, “serves no purpose.”

“I really don’t see how that advanced any interest whatsoever,” he said.

Second jury panel begins

15:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Per pool reports: “The 96 new prospective jurors are entering the courtroom. In order to make room for them, Jason Miller and another Trump aide have moved to the second row behind the defence table. Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung has left the courtroom.”

As the new panel files into the courtroom, some of the jurors are “looking up surprised to see Trump at the defence table. Trump appears keenly attentive to those potential jurors seated in the jury box,” according to the pool.

As previously mentioned, this panel has already been sworn in, so Judge Merchan welcomes the new jurors and thanks them for their promptness.

A pool reporter notes that “when the defence is introduced to the potential jurors seated in the audience, Trump does not stand up like his legal team does to turn and face them”.

Full story: Juror excused from Trump panel in hush money trial over anonymity fears

14:58 , Oliver O'Connell

One of the jurors chosen to be on the panel for Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial has been dismissed after expressing fears of her identity being released.

Ariana Baio report from the court in Lower Manhattan:

Juror dismissed from Trump panel in hush money trial over anonymity fears

Concerns over juror 4

14:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

Now we’re hearing concerns about juror #4, who was directed to be at the courthouse at 9.15am and is still not here.

Here’s what we know about him:

Juror 4: An IT consultant from Puerto Rico who has lived in New York City for 40 years. He has been married a “long time” and has two grandchildren. He joked that he has “no spare time” and his family is his hobby.

“I find him fascinating,” he said of Mr Trump on Tuesday. “He walks into a room and he sets people off. I find that really interesting. … Certainly he makes things interesting.”

ADA Joshua Steinglass says they think he may be the same person who was arrested in the 1990s in Westchester for tearing down political advertisements. It also seems that his wife was previously accused or involved in a corruption inquiry and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with… ta-da… the Manhattan DA’s office.

So they want to ask him about that stuff to see if: 1) If he’s the same guy, in which he would’ve lied about one of the questions on the survey about interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and 2) what to do about him.

Prosecutors ask judge to sign off second contempt motion

14:48 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports from the courthouse:

Prosecutors are asking for the judge to sign off on another contempt motion, saying Donald Trump violated the gag order seven more times this week.

They also point to last night’s post: “‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,’ Jesse Watters.”

This came after the judge warned Trump in person on Tuesday about intimidating jurors.

Raskin rinses Comer on Biden impeachment nonsense

14:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The Maryland Democrat once more knocked it out of the park yesterday as he called on James Comer to finally show his hand in the spurious House impeachment inquiry into the president, strongly suspecting the chair is bluffing and has absolutely nothing to play.

14:41 , Oliver O'Connell

In a brief statement, the juror explains her thinking, saying that just yesterday alone, she had friends, colleagues, and family push things to her phone questioning whether the articles about jurors were referring to her. She said at this point she doesn’t believe she can be fair and unbiased and not let the outside influences bear on her.

Ariana Baio reports:

Judge Merchan directs the press to refrain from writing about physical descriptions and descriptors (for example, if someone has an accent) to prevent the jurors from being identified.

“We just lost what probably would have been a very good juror for this case,” Judge Merchan says.

Going forward, answers to questions regarding employment will be redacted from transcripts and the press is directed to not report on those answers.

Juror 2 has been excused

14:34 , Oliver O'Connell

Proceedings take a step backwards first thing on Thursday.

Juror #2 who was seated on Tuesday has been excused.

Ariana Baio reports from the courthouse:

Judge Merchan begins by going over preliminary matters. Apparently, Juror #2 called to convey concerns that she cannot be impartial. She says that after leaving court yesterday, her identity became known to her friends, family and colleagues who figure out who she was.

She is excused from jury duty.

Here’s what we know about her:

A native New Yorker and an oncology nurse who lives with her fiance in the Upper East Side. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and taking her dog to the park and gets her news from The New York Times, CNN, and Google. On Tuesday, she said that “nobody is above the law”.

“I’m here to hear the facts, both sides,” she said.

Jury selection will resume momentarily

14:21 , Oliver O'Connell

Ariana Baio is reporting for The Independent from court:

Jury selection will begin momentarily, attorneys have just sat down and we are waiting on Judge Juan Merchan

Donald Trump is also seated with Todd Blanche talking to him.

The second panel of 96 jurors was sworn in on Tuesday, so things should get moving pretty quickly this morning.

MSNBC anchor praises ‘wonderfully poetic’ Trump prosecutor

14:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Joy Reid was singing the praises of Alvin Bragg yesterday, who has become the first person in American history to bring a president to trial and has stood up to plenty of personal abuse from the defendant in the process.

Here’s what she had to say about him.

MSNBC reporter Joy Reid praises ‘wonderfully poetic’ Trump prosecutor

Trump leaves Trump Tower for court

14:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s the defendant setting out with a heavy heart for the Manhattan Criminal Court a little while ago, anticipating another long day of having to stay awake.

Donald Trump (AFP/Getty)
Donald Trump (AFP/Getty)

Stephen Colbert defends friend Jimmy Kimmel from Trump criticism

13:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s one late-night host standing up for another over the defendant’s repeated attacks on Kimmel.

In case you missed it, the latest instalment of that feud came yesterday when Trump ranted about his enemy “stumbling through” announcing the winner of the Best Picture Oscar last month.

While Kimmel did host the event, that award was actually handed out by the legendary actor Al Pacino.

Oliver O’Connell has more.

Trump mocked as ‘feeble’ after confusing Jimmy Kimmel and Al Pacino in bizarre rant

Senate Democrats vote to end Mayorkas impeachment without trial

13:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Democrats in the upper chamber of Congress voted on Wednesday to end impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden’s director of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, without trial in a move that enraged their Republican colleagues, who had been seeking a high-profile scalp as they sought to pin the blame for America’s southern border illegal immigration struggles on the Biden administration.

John Bowden reports.

Senate Democrats end Mayorkas impeachment without trial, enraging Republicans

Live: Trump’s hush money trial continues in New York

13:15 , Joe Sommerlad

You can follow the latest from Manhattan via the livestream below.

Trump and Duda talk Nato and Ukraine at Trump Tower

13:03 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s a little more on the defendant using his day off from court yesterday to meet with Polish president Andrzej Duda at Trump Tower.

“He’s doing a fantastic job. The people of Poland love him, they really do,” Trump said of Duda.

“He’s my friend, and we had four great years together.”

The duo reportedly discussed the Pole’s proposal to raise Nato members’ spending commitment from 2 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent (a subject dear to Trump’s icy heart) in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine as well as Israel’s war with Hamas.

They also posed for the Farage photo.

Duda, a right-wing populist, has urged the US to keep up its aid to Ukraine and was last on American soil in February when he visited the White House, where he and President Biden marked the 25th anniversary of Poland joining Nato.

Giuliani’s bankruptcy could see him lose apartments and memorabilia

12:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Things are looking rough for Trump’s former personal attorney, the one-time New York City mayor Rody Giuliani, who stands to lose properties, luxury watches and, perhaps worse, his prized Joe DiMaggio jersey after being ordered to pay $148m for defaming two Georgia election workers.

Kelly Rissman has the latest.

Giuliani’s bankruptcy could cost him his apartment – and his Joe DiMaggio shirt

Johnson dismisses prospect of losing Trump’s support as Ukraine aid votes claim met with scepticism

12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The embattled Republican House speaker was interview by CNN’s Jake Tapper yesterday and confronted with both Trump’s apparent slither away from his side on Tuesday and the idea that his delay on Ukraine aid had cost lives in Eastern Europe.

Here’s what he had to say.

Donald Trump: Former president, criminal defendant – and style icon?

11:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump is no stranger to toadying praise from his admirers but even he might have been surprised by his former White House adviser Stephen Miller washing up on Fox News on Tuesday evening to declare his former boss not only “the most stylish president” in recent US history, but also an icon who had “changed American fashion”.

Apparently triggered by a New York Times article praising President Joe Biden as “dapper”, Miller declared: “Can I just say, since we’re addressing the subject of style, the most stylish president and first lady in our lifetimes are Donald Trump and Melania Trump.

“Donald Trump is a style icon. He changed American fashion in The Apprentice. People spent the next 10 years trying to dress like Donald Trump.”

Few would dispute that the ex-first lady, a former model by profession, has an eye for (extremely expensive) clothes but her husband is a rather different proposition.

Here’s a look at Trump the fashion maven.

Donald Trump: Former president, criminal defendant – and style icon?

Biden aides refer to Trump as ‘Hitler Pig’, report says

11:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Some aides and allies of Joe Biden allegedly refer to Donald Trump in private with the incendiary nickname “Hitler Pig.”

Four people with ties to the Biden camp told Politico that the nickname is frequently used by non-senior staffers – and has been since 2022– when Trump met with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago.

The alleged insult was used once again this week in response to reports that Donald Trump fell asleep in court during his New York hush money trial.

“Hitler Pig sleepy,” an individual associated with President Biden wrote on a message thread about the reports, according to Politico.

Josh Marcus has more.

Some Biden aides refer to Trump as 'Hitler Pig', report says

Day three of Trump’s hush money trial dawns

11:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Our very own Alex Woodward and Ariana Baio are outside Manhattan Criminal Court horribly early once again for the resumption of jury selection from 9.30am ET, braving a cold and rainy start to be in attendance.

They say it should be another relatively straightforward day of jury questions and that we’ll probably pick up several more jurors before the court adjourns later this afternoon.

Judge Merchan appears to remain optimistic that we will be ready to start for real on Monday.

Truth Social: Trump quotes Fox pundit to sidestep judge’s warning about juror intimidation

11:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s a little more from the former president’s social network, where he quotes Jesse Watters seemingly doing his dirty work for him by calling out supposed “undercover Liberal Activists” among the Manhattan jury pool, ratcheting up the tension as jury selection continues today.

It will be interesting to see whether DA Bragg raises this one with Judge Merchan later.

How do you find a jury in a city of highly opinionated people with no time for anything?

10:45 , Joe Sommerlad

That challenge is playing out in court this week at Trump’s historic criminal trial.

New Yorkers’ busy lives are under the microscope as potential jurors have been bringing up their jobs, their political views, their frantic schedules and even their dogs during jury selection in the Manhattan courtroom.

Kelly Rissman and Alex Woodward report.

A dog dad, a best man and a workaholic: The New Yorkers too busy for Trump’s trial

Who are the New Yorkers chosen so far who hold Trump’s fate in their hands?

10:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Jury selection resumes in the hush money trial today after Wednesday’s break.

This pivotal process will ultimately see the selection of a group of jurors to hear the case against Trump, as he faces charges of falsifying business records to conceal the alleged $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

A nurse, a teacher, two lawyers, a salesman and a grandfather are among the seven to be chosen so far with another 11 still needed to make up the initial dozen and then a substitutes’ bench of six potential replacements.

Alex Woodward reports.

Who are the jurors so far in Donald Trump’s hush money trial?

Trump lawyers say Stormy Daniels refused subpoena outside a Brooklyn bar, papers left ‘at her feet’

09:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump’s legal team says it tried serving a subpoena on Stormy Daniels as she arrived for an event at a bar in Brooklyn last month, but the porn actor, who is expected to be a witness at the former president's criminal trial, refused to take it and walked away.

A process server working for the former president’s lawyers said he approached Daniels with papers demanding information and documents related to a documentary recently released about her life and involvement with Trump, but was forced to “leave them at her feet”, according to a court filing made public on Wednesday.

“I stated she was served as I identified her and explained to her what the documents were,” process server Dominic DellaPorte wrote.

“She did not acknowledge me and kept walking inside the venue, and she had no expression on her face.”

The encounter outside the 3 Dollar Bill nightclub has touched off a month-long battle between Trump’s lawyers and Daniels’ attorney that continued this week as the presumptive Republican nominee's criminal trial began in Manhattan.

Trump's lawyers are asking Judge Juan Merchan to force Daniels to comply with the subpoena.

In their filing, they included a photo they said DellaPorte took of Daniels as she strode away.

Here’s more.

Trump lawyers say Stormy Daniels refused subpoena outside a Brooklyn bar, papers left 'at her feet'

Trump will be grilled about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies, Manhattan prosecutors say

09:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump will be asked about his previous misconduct and criminal acts — including instances of sexual abuse and fraud — if he takes the stand at his historic hush money trial.

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg latest court filing features a list that includes “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment” that his office “intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of” Trump, should he testify.

Kelly Rissman and Ariana Baio report.

Trump will be grilled about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies, prosecutors say

Truth Social: Trump trumpets Duda visit, promotes ‘Black Lives MAGA’, attacks Biden on China and claims immunity in Democrat’s interest

08:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump used his day off from court on Wednesday to host Polish president Andrzej Duda at Trump Tower, the duo reportedly spending their time discussing the latter’s proposal to raise Nato members’ spending commitment from 2 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent (a subject dear to Trump’s icy heart) in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Elsewhere, Trump has been hoping to win the support of Black America, stacking those Fox clips high, accusing President Biden (baselessly, as ever) of helping to “build up China” to the US’s detriment and, desperately, arguing that his spurious “presidential immunity” defence would actually be in his successor’s interest too, despite the fact that Biden has not been accused of a crime since the bogus House impeachment inquiry has yielded precisely nothing so far.

Potential juror brings up Trump link to Central Park Five

06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A potential juror in Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial made reference to the former president’s infamous 1989 Central Park Five newspaper advertisements, in which he campaigned to bring back the death penalty despite the wrongful conviction of five teenagers.

Mike Bedigan has the story:

Potential Trump juror hints at his infamous Central Park Five ads

ICYMI: What does Melania Trump think about Donald’s latest trial?

04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Melania Trump, while noticeably absent from many of her husband’s campaign events, has reportedly voiced her opposition to his hush money trial that began Monday.

In recent private conversations, Ms Trump called the trial “a disgrace” and tantamount to election interference, a source close to the Trumps with direct knowledge of her comments told The New York Times.

Katie Hawkinson has the story:

Melania thinks Donald’s hush money trial is ‘tantamount to election tampering’

What are Trump’s defence team looking for in hush money jurors?

03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

About 6,000 jurors have been sent subpoenas and about 1,500 were called to appear on Monday by the Manhattan Criminal Courts for former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial.

They will be whittled down to just 12 individuals to make up the jury in the case, plus six alternates.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

This is what Trump’s defence team is looking for in hush money jurors

RECAP: Trump’s jury starts to take shape

02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward filed this report from the courthouse after the end of the second day of Donald Trump’s historic trial:

Seven Manhattan residents – including an Irish waiter, an oncology nurse and a man who finds Donald Trump “fascinating” – have now been selected to serve on a jury that could deliver the first criminal trial verdict against the former president.

Sitting with his attorneys in a criminal courtroom on Tuesday, Mr Trump craned his neck to get a good look at the group during the second day of jury selection in his landmark hush money case.

About 100 people were called into the jury pool on Monday. Roughly half of them were dismissed outright, stating that they could not be fair and impartial. A randomly selected group of potential jurors were asked to read through a 42-question survey before prosecutors and attorneys for the former president asked them questions individually.

By Tuesday afternoon, seven jurors had been sworn in to the trial – including the foreperson who will likely read out the former president’s verdict to the court, if one is reached.

Read on...

Trump’s jury takes shape: SevenNew Yorkers now seated in historic hush money trial

Sketch: Trump’s supporters ask wild questions outside historic first criminal trial

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

It seems the crowds that come out to protest the persecution of the former president are getting smaller, and weirder, Richard Hall writes:

Trump supporters gather outside courthouse and ask: Who among us hasn’t paid for sex?

For second time, Arizona Republicans block repeal of 1864 abortion ban

Thursday 18 April 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Arizona statehouse Republicans blocked an effort on Wednesday to repeal an 1864 abortion ban for the second time.

The block of the repeal comes despite several major Republicans in and out of the state, such as former President Donald Trump, having called for a more moderate solution.

Many voters, including some who back the Republicans, see the law as antiquated and an extreme effort to restrict the rights of women.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Arizona Republicans block repeal of 1864 abortion ban for second time

Trump on trial: Who are the New Yorkers who hold Trump’s fate in their hands?

Wednesday 17 April 2024 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

A nurse, a teacher, two lawyers, a salesman and a grandfather are among some of the first jurors tasked with hearing the first-ever criminal trial against a president.

A pivotal process is now underway in Manhattan to select the group of jurors in the so-called hush money case against Donald Trump, as he faces charges of falsifying business records to conceal payments to an adult film star ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Continue reading...

Who are the jurors so far in Donald Trump’s hush money trial?

Kari Lake tells Americans ‘to strap on a Glock’ ahead of 2024 election

Wednesday 17 April 2024 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Contentious Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake suggested Americans should “strap on a Glock” to prepare for the 2024 election.

Ms Lake, a failed 2020 Arizona gubernatorial candidate who has never formally conceded her loss to now-governor Katie Hobbs, told a rally at Lake Havasu City on Tuesday that the lead-up to the election is going to be “intense”.

“We’re going to strap on our seatbelt. We’re going to put on our helmet – or your Kari Lake ball cap,” she continued. “We are going to put on the armour of God. And maybe strap on a Glock on the side of us just in case.” The crowd cheered.

Kelly Rissman reports:

GOP senate hopeful Kari Lake tells Americans ‘to strap on a Glock’ ahead of election

Johnson gambles his speakership with complicated plan to pass Ukraine aid

Wednesday 17 April 2024 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden report from Washington, DC:

House speaker Mike Johnson is attempting a high-wire act this week - one that could blow up in his face, cost him the job he has clung to for six months, and throw the lower chamber into chaos.

The ultra-conservative Republican is supporting a vote on Ukraine aid despite many of his party’s conservative wing being strongly against it. A conservative rebellion is growing, with a challenge to his leadership from firebrand congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene who was joined on Tuesday by a second lawmaker.

Now, he’s come up with a complicated plan to pass foreign aid by breaking up the supplemental national security funding package already passed by the Senate.

Read on...

Mike Johnson gambles his speakership with complicated plan to pass Ukraine aid

Watch: Will Trump back Speaker Johnson in effort to remove him?

Wednesday 17 April 2024 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Comer drops Biden invitation to impeachment inquiry hearing

Wednesday 17 April 2024 22:22 , Oliver O'Connell

House Oversight Chair James Comer has dropped his impeachment inquiry hearing invitation to President Joe Biden, CNN reports.

The White House had previously declined the invitation.

The Republican lawmaker instead in a new letter sent today is pressing for access to a slew of documents and has requested that the president answer written questions.

Trump will be grilled about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies, Manhattan prosecutors say

Wednesday 17 April 2024 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Kelly Rissman and Ariana Baio report:

Former president Donald Trump will be asked about his previous misconduct and criminal acts — including instances of sexual abuse and fraud — if he takes the stand at his historic hush money trial.

Mr Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to conceal an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. This is the first criminal trial of a former or sitting president.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg revealed a list that includes “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment” which his office “intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of” Mr Trump, should he testify, according to a newly released court filing.

Read on...

Trump will be grilled about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies, prosecutors say

Watch: Johnson says House will ‘stand for freedom’ as foreign aid bills set for Saturday vote

Wednesday 17 April 2024 22:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Giuliani’s bankruptcy could cost him his apartment, his jewellery and, perhaps worse, his Joe DiMaggio shirt

Wednesday 17 April 2024 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Kelly Rissman reports:

Disgraced former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December after being ordered to pay $148m for falsely accusing two poll workers of cheating in the 2020 election.

This week, the former Donald Trump attorney sat for an hours-long deposition behind closed doors in the case, as his creditors seek to recover their money — with his treasure trove of assets revealing how they might be paid.

These assets include an array of goods, including 26 watches, diamond-encrusted Yankees World Series rings, and a replica Joe DiMaggio jersey. The money could even come from a potential lawsuit against Donald Trump.

The man once known as America’s Mayor for his leadership in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks owes the eye-watering sum to Georgia mother and daughter duo Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

Continue reading...

Giuliani’s bankruptcy could cost him his apartment – and his Joe DiMaggio shirt

Chaos at House hearing as Comer challenged over Biden ‘corruption’ smear

Wednesday 17 April 2024 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Things got heated between House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer and Ranking Member Jamie Raskin today over the lack of any evidence that President Joe Biden should be impeached.

Mike Bedigan has the story:

Chaos at House hearing as Republicans challenged over Biden ‘corruption’ smear

BREAKING: Republicans enraged as Senate Democrats vote to end Mayorkas’ impeachment without trial

Wednesday 17 April 2024 21:22 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC:

Senate Democrats voted to end impeachment proceedings against director of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, on Wednesday without trial in a move that enraged their Republican colleagues.

The Senate voted mostly on party lines to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas and to adjourn the trial. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who broke party lines to support the second impeachment of Donald Trump, voted “present” during the vote to table the first article while supporting the second article of impeachment.

Mitt Romney, another Republican who supported both impeachments of Donald Trump voted against shutting down the trial in both instances.

Continue reading...

Senate Democrats end Mayorkas’ impeachment without trial, enraging Republicans

Trump campaign finds new way to drum up badly needed cash

Wednesday 17 April 2024 21:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign has found a new way to drum up badly needed cash, according to a report.

Republican digital vendors received a letter from the former president’s reelection campaign asking that down-ballot candidates should hand over at least five per cent of their proceeds if they use Mr Trump’s name, image, or likeness while fundraising.

Politicoreports:

“Beginning tomorrow, we ask that all candidates and committees who choose to use President Trump’s name, image, and likeness split a minimum of 5% of all fundraising solicitations to Trump National Committee JFC. This includes but is not limited to sending to the house file, prospecting vendors, and advertising,” Trump co-campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita wrote in the letter, which is dated April 15.

They add: “Any split that is higher than 5% will be seen favorably by the RNC and President Trump’s campaign and is routinely reported to the highest levels of leadership within both organizations.”

Is this the art of the shakedown as they try and close a funding gap versus Joe Biden?

Trump supporters tell The Independent: Who among us hasn’t paid for sex?

Wednesday 17 April 2024 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

It seems the crowds that come out to protest the persecution of the former president are getting smaller, and weirder. Richard Hall writes:

Trump supporters gather outside courthouse and ask: Who among us hasn’t paid for sex?

‘He reads a lot’

Wednesday 17 April 2024 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s self-described legal adviser, Alina Habba, has given an unlikely reason as to why he appeared to doze off on the opening day of his hush money trial - he reads a lot.

Mr Trump appeared to fall asleep a few times on Monday during jury selection at the New York court. Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg has charged Mr Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election to ensure her silence about an alleged affair in 2006.

The former president’s apparent naps sparked a wave of memes across social media this week branding the former president “Sleepy Don” and “Don Snorleone.”

Amelia Neath has the story:

Alina Habba has unlikely excuse for Trump falling asleep in court: ‘He reads a lot’

What are Trump’s defence team looking for in jurors?

Wednesday 17 April 2024 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

About 6,000 jurors have been sent subpoenas and about 1,500 were called to appear on Monday by the Manhattan Criminal Courts for former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial.

They will be whittled down to just 12 individuals to make up the jury in the case plus six alternates.

Gustaf Kilander looks at what the former president’s team are looking for in potential jurors:

This is what Trump’s defence team is looking for in hush money jurors

Biden takes swipe at Trump in remarks about jobs

Wednesday 17 April 2024 19:52 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden, while giving remarks on the economy at an event in Pittsburgh, took a slight swipe at Donald Trump, who is facing his first criminal trial in New York this week.

“Under my predecessor — who's 'busy' right now — Pennsylvania lost 275,000 jobs,” the president said.

What does Melania Trump think about Donald’s hush money trial?

Wednesday 17 April 2024 19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Trump has not appeared in court with her husband, saying in private discussions it is “his problem” alone, The New York Times reports.

Katie Hawkinson has the details:

Melania thinks Donald’s hush money trial is ‘tantamount to election tampering’

Johnson sets out separate bills for foreign aid votes

Wednesday 17 April 2024 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Speaker Mike Johnson has released a much-anticipated series of foreign aid bills, teeing up the House of Representatives for a vote within days.

His supplemental security funding outline proposes $26.38bn in aid to Israel and $60.84bn in aid to Ukraine. Taiwan could also receive $8.12bn. Aid for each of the three countries will be voted on as a separate bill.

Katie Hawkinson reports from Washington, DC:

Speaker Johnson sets out separate bills for foreign aid votes on Ukraine and Israel

Trump admonished by judge: ‘I will not have any jurors intimidated’

Wednesday 17 April 2024 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Manhattan judge presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money trial slammed the former president for “audibly” commenting about a juror and “gesticulating” towards her.

“I won’t tolerate it. I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom,” said an incensed New York Justice Juan Merchan. “I want to make that crystal clear.”

Alex Woodward watched proceedings in the courthouse on Tuesday:

Trump admonished by judge on second day of criminal trial

Trump trial jury: Who are the New Yorkers who hold Trump’s fate in their hands?

Wednesday 17 April 2024 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

A nurse, a teacher, two lawyers, a salesman and a grandfather are among some of the first jurors tasked with hearing the first-ever criminal trial against a president.

A pivotal process is now underway in Manhattan to select the group of jurors in the so-called hush money case against Donald Trump, as he faces charges of falsifying business records to conceal payments to an adult film star ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

During the first two days of the historic trial in a New York City courtroom, the former president snapped awake from the defence table and craned his neck to get a good view of the jury box and the pool of New Yorkers who could ultimately convict him of a crime.

Continue reading...

Who are the jurors so far in Donald Trump’s hush money trial?

Trump mocked as ‘feeble’ after confusing Jimmy Kimmel and Al Pacino

Wednesday 17 April 2024 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

It might be fair to assume at this point that Jimmy Kimmel finds it a badge of honour to be able to get completely under Donald Trump’s skin whenever he mentions the former president.

The late-night host’s latest jab at Mr Trump ridiculed him for calling the alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels at the centre of his current historic criminal trial a “legal expense”.

As sure as night becomes day, the former president took to Truth Social to attack Mr Kimmel.

But, in the process of doing so, Mr Trump managed to somehow confused the late-night host with Oscars legend Al Pacino in his error-riddled diatribe.

Read on...

Trump mocked as ‘feeble’ after confusing Jimmy Kimmel and Al Pacino in bizarre rant

Bodega visit, judge warning and more bizarre jury excuses: How day two of Trump’s criminal trial unfolded

Wednesday 17 April 2024 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Martha McHardy and Joe Sommerlad report:

Jury selection continued on the second day of Donald Trump’s historic hush money trial, with seven jurors picked.

Several more prospective jurors said they could not remain unbiased, underscoring the challenge of seating a panel in Manhattan, a profoundly Democratic borough.

Trump, 77, is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in an alleged bid to cover up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

He allegedly paid Daniels, 45, $130,000 in October 2016 in exchange for her silence over a 2006 affair Daniels says they had.

Mr Trump denies the affair and all of the charges brought against him by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg.

Here are the key takeaways from day two of The People v Donald Trump.

Key takeaways from day two of Trump’s hush money trial

Potential juror hints at Trump’s infamous ad about Central Park Five

Wednesday 17 April 2024 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A potential juror in Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial made reference to the former president’s infamous 1989 Central Park Five newspaper advertisements, in which he campaigned to bring back the death penalty despite the wrongful conviction of five teenagers.

During the second day of the juror selection process in New York – where the former president is is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in an attempt to conceal a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election – one man, a law enforcement veteran, was asked his opinion of Mr Trump.

Mike Bedigan reports on what he said:

Potential Trump juror hints at his infamous Central Park Five ads

Wednesday 17 April 2024 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump says Biden should want presidential immunity more than anyone

Wednesday 17 April 2024 17:06 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump posted on Truth Social this morning that “Crooked Joe Biden” should want presidential immunity “more than any other living (barely!) individual” because “having absolutely nothing to do with me, he will surely be Indicted and Tried for many of his Dishonest, illegal, or Incompetent Actions”.

The former president added: “A President should not be placed in that position - MUST BE FREE TO MAKE DECISIONS, HOPEFULLY CORRECT ONES!”

‘He walks into a room and he sets people off. I find that really interesting'

Wednesday 17 April 2024 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Seven Manhattan residents – including an Irish waiter, an oncology nurse and a man who finds Donald Trump “fascinating” – have now been selected to serve on a jury that could deliver the first criminal trial verdict against the former president.

Sitting with his attorneys in a criminal courtroom on Tuesday, Mr Trump craned his neck to get a good look at the group during the second day of jury selection in his landmark hush money case.

Alex Woodward filed this report from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan:

Trump’s jury takes shape: SevenNew Yorkers now seated in historic hush money trial

Trump to have dinner with President Duda of Poland tonight

Wednesday 17 April 2024 16:56 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump will have dinner with President Andrzej Duda of Poland in New York tonight.

A campaign official for the former president and a Polish official confirmed the plans to CBS News.

Wednesday 17 April 2024 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Nikki Haley announces new job after dropping out of 2024 US presidential race