HomePoliticsDuring his off-day trial, Trump complains about the jury selection process for...

During his off-day trial, Trump complains about the jury selection process for his criminal case

Former President Donald Trump The jury selection process for his historic criminal trial in New York broke ground on Wednesday, the day after the first seven jurors were selected from a pool of nearly 100 people.

Trump — who has repeatedly accused the judge of bias against him — posted about the hush money trial on his scheduled day off, falsely suggesting he should be entitled to unlimited strikes from potential jurors in his criminal case.

“I thought STRIKES would be ‘unlimited’ when we chose our jury? Then I was told we only had ten, not nearly enough when we were purposely given the second worst location in the country,” he wrote in a post on Truth Social, before labeling the criminal cases against him as “election interference ” and part of a “witch hunt.”

Under New York law, each side has an unlimited number of strikes “for cause,” but the judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan, can decide whether or not that case is worth a strike.

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The two sides are also entitled to a limited number of “peremptory strikes” – potential jurors they can dismiss. Because Trump is charged with a class E felony, which is a lower-level felony, he and prosecutors are each entitled to ten peremptory challenges. (The number increases to 20 for defendants facing the highest level of felony, Class A.)

Although the judge has dismissed dozens of potential jurors in the case who said they could not be impartial or had scheduling conflicts, he has dismissed only two “for cause” in the two days since jury selection began. One was a person who wrote “lock him up” about Trump in a 2017 social media post. The judge denied several other dismissal requests from Trump, including a woman who had posted on Facebook about celebrating Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche then used one of his peremptory challenges to have the woman removed.

By the end of the day Tuesday, both Trump and prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office had used six of their 10 challenges, meaning they each had just four left for the remaining jurors.

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Two potential jurors the district attorney’s office used its attacks on were people who said they had read Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal.”

Trump is required to attend the trial, which is expected to last eight weeks and take place every weekday except Wednesdays and holidays. The rigorous trial schedule will limit his ability to personally participate in campaign events as part of his presidential bid — something the former president has repeatedly complained about. NBC News reported last month that Trump plans to use his legal issues for political gain by falsely blaming President Joe Biden.

Jury selection will resume Thursday morning with an additional 96 potential jurors. Once a full jury of twelve people has been selected, the two sides then choose alternate jurors.

Merchan seemed hopeful Tuesday that jury selection will take place at the end of the day Friday. He told the seven jurors selected to return Monday morning for opening statements, while also warning that the date could change.

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Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has pleaded not guilty to 34 charges of falsifying corporate records related to a hush money payment to a porn star during the final days of the 2016 presidential election. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison year.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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