New York judge rules that Trump's legal team can accessor juror information

 March 10, 2024

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump scored an important win last week after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's attempt to conceal the identity of jurors got crushed. 

According to the Associated Press, that decision was handed down on Thursday by Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan.

Names and occupations of jurors will be provided to Trump's legal defense team

In his ruling, Merchan said that the former president along with his lawyers, their legal staff, and jury consultants are to be provided with the names, workplaces, and addresses of jurors in his upcoming hush-money trial.

However, Merchan stressed that these facts are not to be made public and warned that Trump's team could lose access to them should they be exposed.

His ruling applies both to prospective jurors as well as those who are ultimately selected to serve in the case. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on March 25.

The decision came in response to a motion submitted by Bragg's office asking that Trump and his lawyers be kept in the dark about jurors' identities.

It argued that such a move will be necessary in order to "minimize obstacles to jury selection, and protect juror safety."

Bragg's office cites comments that former president has made in other cases

In support of its request, prosecutors alleged that Trump has an "extensive history of attacking jurors in other proceedings."

In one example, they pointed to how four years ago Trump condemned the jury which convicted his former adviser Roger Stone of obstructing a congressional investigation.

The former president was quick to slam the verdict as being "totally biased," "tainted," and "disgraceful." Trump subsequently pardoned Stone less than a month before leaving office.

Prosecutors also pointed to disparaging remarks Trump made about the grand jury which indicted him in Georgia last year on charges relating to the 2020 election, calling it "an illegal Kangaroo Court" and "a 'Special' get Trump Grand Jury."

Defense lawyers agree that juror information should be shielded from public

Yet Trump's defense attorneys countered by pointing out that the prosecution had not cited "a single example where President Trump mentioned — let alone attacked or harassed — any juror by name."

Rather, the aforementioned cases featured jurors who had publicly identified themselves and chose to speak with the media.

What's more, the defense team agreed that personal information about jurors should be kept secret given the "extremely prejudicial pretrial media attention associated with this case."

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