Trump faces hearing over his possible testimony as court seeks jury alternates: Live

Supporters and protesters rally outside Trump’s criminal trial

Donald Trump is back in New York Criminal Court for the fourth day of jury selection as well as a hearing in his hush money trial.

So far, the 12 jurors, and one alternate, who will be hearing evidence in the historic criminal trial have been chosen and sworn in. Five additional alternates need to be seated before opening arguments can begin.

So long as no other jurors drop out or are dismissed from the panel, the first day of trial can begin as early as Monday.

Friday’s court proceeding will include a Sandoval hearing – where the prosecution will ask Judge Juan Merchan whether or not they can bring up prior misconduct and court cases Mr Trump, or his organization, have been involved in.

The Republican presidential candidate, who complained the case has become a “mess”, faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged affair.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges it was part of a greater catch-and-kill scheme Mr Trump engaged in to influence the outcome of the presidential election.


Prospective alternate jurors enter for questioning

Jury selection has begun in Manhattan Criminal Court with 22 potential alternate jurors entering for questioning. Today, the prosecution, defence and judge need to pick five alternate jurors to complete the panel

Each side will get an additional five minutes to question the jurors today since there are 22 – slightly more than the typical 18 that are brought in for questioning.

Ariana Baio, Alex Woodward19 April 2024 14:42


Trump is seated in court

Donald Trump has arrived at Manhattan Criminal Court and is seated at the defence table for day four of jury selection and a Sandoval hearing.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward is in court today covering proceedings. He says Trump is writing down something.

Ariana Baio19 April 2024 14:30


What is a ‘Sandoval’ hearing?

Donald Trump will face a Sandoval hearing on Friday morning as part of court proceedings before opening arguments begin.

A Sandoval hearing is required under New York law in criminal cases in which the defendant has a history of misconduct or criminal acts and the prosecution would like to bring those up during cross-examination.

The purpose is for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to show Judge Juan Merchan the scope of the questions they would propose to ask Mr Trump during cross-examination if he does choose to take the stand to testify. Mr Trump has already indicated that he plans to do so.

From a defence point of view, a Sandoval hearing ensures that the criminal defendant is fully aware of what he might be asked if he or she does choose to take the stand in their defence, so that they are not caught off-guard by unexpected lines of questioning outside of an approved remit.

Among these acts are previous lawsuits involving the former president, including the civil trial in which he was found liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of former Elle magazine columnist E Jean Carroll.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 14:18


Marjorie Taylor Greene revives obsession with ‘space lasers’ to sabotage bill

Attention-seeking Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene offered a bewildering amendment to a bill to supply military assistance to Israel on the issue of border security on Wednesday, further complicating her duel with House speaker Mike Johnson and drawing criticism that she is unserious.

She suggested that the Israel aid bill should also involve setting up a space laser to help control migration at the US-Mexico border.

It is not the first time she’s referenced such extraterrestrial hardware: before being elected she suggested that California forest fires were being started by a space laser partly owned by a prominent Jewish banking dynasty.

She later denied being antisemitic, insisting she had no idea the Rothschild family were Jewish.

When asked about the claim recently by respected British journalist Emily Maitlis, she suggested she “f*** off”.

John Bowden has the latest.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 14:15


Kennedy family endorses Biden at campaign event in snub to RFK Jr

At least 15 members of the storied Kennedy political clan, which has produced a president, two senators and multiple House members since the 1950s, officially endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election at a campaign event on Thursday – in what marks their biggest snub to Robert F Kennedy Jr to date.

Gustaf Kilander and Andrew Feinberg bring us this report.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 13:45


Live: Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York enters fourth day

You can watch the very latest from Manhattan via the livestream below.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 13:30


‘The guy has lost his mind’: The ex-Trump voters now turning to Biden

Conventional political wisdom regarding Donald Trump states that the people who voted for him in 2016 and 2020 aren’t likely to go for any Democrat this time around — especially not Joe Biden.

But a prominent group of anti-Trump Republicans believes those two-time Trump voters are best positioned to convince others in the GOP to vote to re-elect Biden. And they’re ready to spend big to do so.

Earlier this month, a group called Republican Voters Against Trump rolled out what they are describing as a $50 million multi-platform advertising campaign. That campaign is designed both to troll the twice-impeached, four times-indicted ex-president and to genuinely reach out to his most loyal supporters.

Andrew Feinberg has this report.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 13:15


Bill Barr reveals he will vote for Trump despite calling him a child

I mean, honestly, what can you say about this from the ex-US attorney general?

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 12:45


Florida classified documents case: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago aides lose bid to dismiss charges

A Florida judge has denied motions from two ex-Trump aides to have charges relating to the classified documents found at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home dismissed.

Carlos De Oliveira and Walt Nauta were charged with multiple counts of the obstruction of justice alongside Trump last year.

The two men were accused of moving boxes of sensitive information and attempting to delete security footage pertaining to the documents so that it could not be used in a future investigation as evidence.

The pair had sought to have their cases dropped on grounds of lack of specificity, which were described by Nauta as “unconstitutionally vague”.

De Oliveira previously claimed he had “no clue” what was in the boxes he had been moving for Trump and was unaware of the Justice Department’s investigation.

On Thursday, US district judge Aileen Cannon denied the motions.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 12:15


New York hush money trial: Could a stealth juror derail proceedings?

One of the top priorities for both sides in Trump’s hush money trial will be to root out potential “stealth jurors” – those who claim to be impartial but who have hidden their biases to get on a jury and possibly derail a trial.

Jurors are supposed to be impartial. A number of prospective jurors have been dismissed from the proceedings simply because they felt they could not be neutral while sitting in judgment of the former president.

Gustaf Kilander and Alex Woodward report.

Joe Sommerlad19 April 2024 11:45

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