Did Trump want to cover up a payment to a porn star? The court overseeing the trial is having difficulty finding impartial jurors.

A man sits in a dark room.

The atmosphere seems tense: former President Trump in New York court Photo: Jabin Botsford/ap

WASHINGTON taz | He sat stoically on the bench. She only turned around briefly to examine potential jurors and otherwise spoke only to her attorneys. The first day of former US President Donald Trump's historic criminal trial had little to offer, but the potential implications for November's US presidential election are enormous.

For the first time in American history, a former American president is the subject of a criminal trial. Therefore, the media uproar that occurred on Monday on the first day of the trial was not a surprise. New York prosecutors accuse Trump of intentionally falsifying business documents to cover up a money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet. Trump is said to have had an affair with her years ago.

Trump denies all accusations. For him, this trial, as well as the other charges he faces, is nothing more than a politically motivated measure to ensure that he will not celebrate another electoral victory in November.

“It's a scam. It's a political witch hunt. This goes on and on forever,” Trump said after leaving the courtroom. His supporters believe him, some of them demonstrating outside the courthouse with Trump flags and hats. in honor of his political idol.

Finding impartial jurors is difficult

In the courtroom itself, everything was “business as usual.” After pre-trial arguments from both sides, jury selection began in the afternoon. As expected, the search for twelve impartial jurors and six substitute jurors proved extremely difficult.

“You are about to attend a jury trial. The jury trial system is one of the cornerstones of our justice system,” Judge Juan Merchán told the first group of potential jurors as they entered the courtroom.

Of the 96 potential jurors, more than half were quickly sent home after saying they were biased. New York is a Democrat-dominated city and is also the birthplace of Trump. The former president has been one of the most prominent – and most controversial – personalities in the city for decades.

In the end, of the 96 candidates, only nine remained. The jury search is scheduled to continue Tuesday. In addition to the porn star hush money case, Trump also has to answer for three other cases. The other charges relate to an attempt to overturn his electoral defeat four years ago and the handling of secret files after his term in office.

Accusations tend to boost Trump's values

A possible conviction would not mean automatic disqualification from the presidential race. However, if all these processes began before the elections, they would be extremely disruptive, especially at the height of the election campaign. So far, however, the various accusations have boosted, rather than hurt, Trump's poll numbers.

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