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Changing jury members and important legal arguments in the hush money trial against Trump

Jury selection will continue — and could conclude — on Friday in former President Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial in New York.

With a full jury of 12 people and one alternate juror sworn in Thursday, Judge Juan Merchan called a pool of 96 potential jurors to his Manhattan courtroom in hopes of finding five more alternate jurors for the first trial of a former president, which is expected to expectation will take place. last about six weeks.

In addition to the 96 potential jurors, 22 remain who will also be questioned as of Thursday.

If the effort to fill the jury box is successful, opening statements could take place as early as Monday.

The main panel of twelve consists of seven men and five women, including two lawyers, a teacher, a retired asset manager, a product development manager, a security engineer, a software engineer, a speech therapist and a physiotherapist. The foreman – the judge who essentially acts as the panel’s leader and spokesperson – is a married man who works in sales and gets his news from The New York Times, MSNBC and Fox News.

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The only alternate selected Thursday is a woman who works as an asset manager.

Also Friday, Merchan is expected to hold a so-called Sandoval hearing, a type of hearing designed to let suspects know what questions they might face from prosecutors on cross-examination so they can make informed decisions about whether not taking the witness stand. in their own defense.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced in a court filing that it would ask Trump about several matters, including the $464 million civil judgment against him and his company for fraud, the total $88 million judgments and liability findings for sexual abuse and defamation. in lawsuits filed by writer E. Jean Carroll and a number of other adverse court decisions in recent years.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in all cases and is appealing the fraud verdict and the Carroll rulings.

Prosecutors said they want to bring up these findings “to question the credibility of the suspect” if he takes the witness stand.

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Trump said last week that he “absolutely” plans to testify, but he is under no obligation to do so.

Trump’s lawyers told Merchan in a letter last month that they will argue that the district attorney’s office should be barred from asking about these items.

Trump has denied pleading guilty to 34 counts of falsifying corporate records and faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Bragg claims that Trump falsified records to hide money he paid to his former lawyer Michael Cohen to reimburse him for the $130,000 he paid to adult film actor Stormy Daniels near the end of the 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels has alleged that she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied sleeping with Daniels, but he has admitted to paying Cohen back.

The district attorney’s office also alleges that as part of a scheme to boost Trump, National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. paid $150,000 to model and actor Karen McDougal, who appeared in Playboy magazine and alleged that she had a nine-month affair with Trump before he was elected president “in exchange for her agreement not to speak out about the alleged sexual relationship,” according to a statement of facts filed by Bragg.

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Trump has also denied having a sexual relationship with McDougal.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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