Trump admonished by judge on second day of criminal trial

Alex Woodward
3 Min Read

The Manhattan judge presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money trial slammed the former president for “audibly” commenting about a juror and “gesticulating” towards her.

“I won’t tolerate it. I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom,” said an incensed New York Justice Juan Merchan. “I want to make that crystal clear.”

The former president’s legal team, after questioning a first-round of potential jurors who could deliver a verdict against him, asked to speak with one potential juror who appeared to post a video on social media showing New Yorkers celebrating. Defence attorney Todd Blanche said it appeared to be anti-Trump.

She said regardless of her political views or allegations about them, she affirmed that she would remain a fair and impartial juror if brought on to the case.

After she left the room, the judge lambasted the former president, sitting beside his attorneys as a criminal defendant, for his “audible” comments and for “gesticulating” towards her.

“I don’t want a juror on this panel who lies to us, who misleads us as to his or her views” about Mr Trump, the judge said, adding that be believed the juror remained credible.

He denied Mr Trump’s attempts to strike her from the pool.

Donald Trump appears in a Manhattan criminal courthouse on Tuesday (AP)

Manhattan prosecutors have separately asked Judge Merchan to fine the former president $1,000 each for a series of social media posts that they argued violate a protective order that bans Mr Trump from publicly attacking witnesses and other parties in the case.

Prosecutors requested that the judge impose at least $3,000 in fines, order Mr Trump to remove the posts from his Truth Social, and issue a warning to him that any further violations could result in jail time.

Judge Merchan will hold a hearing on prosecutors’ requests on 23 April.

Mr Trump is making history this week as the first American president to ever stand trial on criminal charges.

He faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in an alleged effort to conceal hush money payment smade to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, part of an allege scheme to bury compromising stories that could damage his election prosepects

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty.