Donald Trump’s hush money trial | Full jury of 12 people and 6 alternates is seated in New York

A person was covered in flames outside the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial is underway

Updated - April 19, 2024 11:31 pm IST

Published - April 19, 2024 11:26 pm IST - New York

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger stands at the podium during jury selection of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, on April 19, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger stands at the podium during jury selection of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, on April 19, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. ( | Photo Credit: AP

A full jury of 12 people and six alternates was seated on April 19 in Donald Trump's hush money case, drawing the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president a step closer to opening statements.

Lawyers spent days quizzing dozens of New Yorkers to choose the panel that has vowed to put their personal views aside and impartially judge whether the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is guilty or not. The jury includes a sales professional, a software engineer, an English teacher and multiple lawyers.

The trial will place Mr. Trump in a Manhattan courtroom for weeks, forcing him to juggle his dual role as criminal defendant and political candidate against the backdrop of his hotly contested race against President Joe Biden. It will feature salacious and unflattering testimony his opponent will no doubt seize on to try to paint him as unfit to return as commander in chief.

The case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accuses Trump of falsifying business records to suppress stories about his sex life emerging in the final days of the 2016 election.

It centers on a $130,000 payment that Mr. Trump's lawyer and personal fixer Michael Cohen made shortly before the 2016 election to porn actor Stormy Daniels to prevent her claims of a sexual encounter with Trump from becoming public in the race's final days.

Prosecutors say Mr. Trump obscured the true nature of the payments in internal records when his company reimbursed Cohen, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2018 and is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution.

Mr. Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels, and his lawyers argue that the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal expenses.

Mr. Trump, who faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, has denied any wrongdoing. He could get up to four years in prison if convicted, though it's not clear that the judge would opt to put him behind bars. Trump would almost certainly appeal any conviction.

The hush money case is among four criminal prosecutions involving Mr. Trump as he vies to reclaim the White House, but it's possible that it will be the sole case to reach trial before November's presidential election.

Appeals and other legal wrangling have caused delays in cases charging Mr. Trump with plotting to overturn the 2020 election results and with illegally hoarding classified documents.

Person engulfed in flames outside NY courthouse, says CNN

A person was covered in flames outside the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial is underway, CNN reported.

Representatives for New York’s fire and police departments as well as the mayor’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.

The person on fire received medical attention and was taken from the area, said CNN reporters at the scene, adding that the circumstances of the fire was unclear. The smell of smoke and burning human flesh lingered in the air, they added.

The courthouse in New York City is already under heightened security given the former president’s presence in the courtroom each day.

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