Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Attempt To Subvert Jury At Upcoming Trial

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Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan has rejected a motion from Trump to utilize a written series of questions in selecting jurors for his upcoming trial on sexual assault claims from writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses the ex-president of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. The case originates with civil claims she filed rather than criminal charges, and at trial, an anonymous jury will be used — which Trump tried to subvert.

“This motion proposes the use of a juror questionnaire that — notwithstanding the Court’s ruling that an anonymous jury will be employed — seeks to require prospective jurors to give their names, their employment, and the employment of all of their immediate family members,” Kaplan noted. “The Court denied the parties’ request for their legal teams to access the jurors’ names in its April 10, 2023 decision. Nothing between then and now has occurred to warrant revisiting that ruling.” At issue is that jurors, if their identifying information is disclosed, could face harassment. That kind of threat has already been a subject of the criminal case Trump is facing in Manhattan in connection to the hush money that was given to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is handling that case, asked that the legal representatives before him seek to exert control over their sides. “Defense counsel, speak to your client and anybody else you need to, and remind them to please refrain, please refrain from making statements that are likely to incite violence or civil unrest,” the judge said in court. “Please refrain from making comments or engaging in conduct that has the potential to incite violence, create civil unrest, or jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals. Also, please do not engage in words or conduct which jeopardizes the rule of law, particularly as it applies to these proceedings in this courtroom.”