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Donald Trump's first day of trial ends

The first day of the trial of former United States President Donald Trump has just ended. The Republican faces charges related to cash bribe payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.

This Monday (15), nine potential jurors were questioned. Judge Juan Merchan suspended the session around 4:30 pm (local time) – 5:30 pm Brasília time – after everyone had responded to a questionnaire. Everyone was instructed by the magistrate not to talk to each other and not to pass on information about the case to other people.

The trial will resume on Tuesday (16) at 9:30 am (10:30 am in Brasília).

How was the first day

Defense and prosecution lawyers worked to choose the panel made up of 12 jurors and six alternates who will serve in the former president's trial.

Throughout the day, 96 potential jurors were taken to the courtroom to be examined. More than half were dismissed after being told they could not be fair and impartial. At least nine others were dismissed after raising their hands when the judge asked them if they could serve for any other reason.

Potential jurors will fill out a questionnaire created by the judge with input from Trump's lawyers and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

If they make it to the jury, they will have to read their answers out loud. Lawyers and the judge may ask follow-up questions to examine them for possible conflicts or biases.

In total, 18 potential jurors were called to the jury this Monday. Merchan questioned nine people before the day ended. One person was dismissed after saying they had strong beliefs about Trump. Merchan dismissed another juror who said his son was getting married on June 8.

The jurors' identities will remain anonymous to the public, but will be known to attorneys on both sides.

Trump's lawyers have argued that he can't get a fair jury in New York because the people chosen would be biased against him. However, the petition to change the location of the trial was denied.

What was Trump's behavior like?

As soon as he was introduced as a defendant, Trump stood up and turned around, giving the potential jurors a mischievous smile.

Many potential panelists craned their necks and lifted their heads to see the former president in court.

After the end of the first day of the trial, Trump protested and criticized the criminal case brought against him. The Republican called the situation a “fraudulent trial” and “political witch hunt”.

Also on Monday, Trump complained that he would not be able to attend his son's high school graduation because of the trial.

The judge said he will not yet rule on Trump's request to miss the May 17 trial so he can attend graduation. “It really depends on if we get there on time and where we are in the trial,” Juan Merchan said.

Victories and defeats

Both the prosecution and defense secured victories during the first day of former President Donald Trump's trial.

CNN Chief Legal Correspondent Paula Reid listed the victories for each side:

Victories for the prosecution

  • Judge Juan Merchan refused to dismiss the case
  • Karen McDougal, actress and model who claimed to have had an affair with Trump, may testify in the case

Victories for the defense

  • Sexual assault allegations involving Trump cannot be used
  • E. Jean Carroll's defamation testimony against Trump also cannot be used

Source: CNN Brasil

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