Full Jury Selected For Trump New York Criminal Trial As Opening Arguments Approach

The 12-person jury has been selected for former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial over accusations that he falsified business records related to payments made before the 2016 election by one of his lawyers. 

Lawyers for Trump and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are still working on selecting alternates in case any of the primary jurors has an emergency. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts brought by Bragg’s office and denied that he authorized Michael Cohen to make payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. 

The jurors on the case include an investment banker, a security engineer, a retired man from Lebanon, a speech therapist, a man who works at an eyewear company, a product developer, a physical therapist, a salesman, a corporate lawyer, an educator, a software engineer, and a civil litigator. There are seven men and five women on the jury.

One woman on the jury, whom Trump’s team was unable to remove, said that she thought Trump was “very selfish and self-serving,” and that she didn’t “really appreciate that from any public servant.”

Five additional alternates need to be selected after one was selected on Thursday. The selection of the jurors has been difficult as many New Yorkers have strong opinions about the former president. On Thursday, one juror was dismissed after it was discovered that he had previously been arrested for tearing down Right-leaning political posters.

Another juror also left after saying that she did not think she would be able to be impartial. “I definitely have concerns. I don’t think I can be fair,” she said, adding that “outside influence” would “interfere” with her judgment.

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The trial is being overseen by Judge Juan Merchan, a donor to President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, whom Trump has repeatedly attempted to have removed from the case. 

Trump has said the case is election interference, saying on Thursday that he was supposed to be out campaigning instead of being stuck in court all day. “It really is a shame. This country is devolving into a third world country between having no borders, having no justice, we have no justice, and having a press that doesn’t want to cover the facts,” Trump said

Iran’s Foreign Minister: Our Response To Israeli Attacks ‘Will Be Immediate And At A Maximum Level’

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Thursday night that Iran would launch an intense response if Israel struck Iranian soil in retaliation for Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel last week.

The official from the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism made the remarks while on U.S. soil during a CNN interview after he attended a U.N. meeting.

“In case the Israeli regime embarks on adventurism again and takes action against the interests of Iran, the next response from us will be immediate and at a maximum level,” he said. “It will be decisive. Our response will be decisive through the Swiss embassy in Tehran.”

“We have announced to the White House, sent a message to the White House and Washington, D.C., the administration, in which we reiterated that if the Israeli regime commits that grave error once again, our response will be decisive, definitive, and regretful for that,” he added. “We do not seek to create tension and crisis or increase such situations in the Middle East, and we sincerely hope that the Israeli regime does not repeat the previous egregious error.”

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He claimed that the combined 300 missiles and drones fired by Iran were the “minimum” that the country could do.

“Why do we call it carried out at a minimum? Because it was geared towards two military targets, one the Innova Team Air Base and the other one an intelligence and information center,” he said. “We did not target economic and financial centers, civilian centers, only the two locations from which F-35 aircraft were flown, took off from there, and targeted the embassy building in the Golan.”

“This was our minimum response. But in case of a repeated adventure-seeking and adventurism of the Israeli regime, what will our maximum response be? I can only say that it will be carried out at a maximum level, and it will be regretful for them,” he continued. “The details have been planned by the armed forces of my country. However, I do hope that Israel does not commit a grave error in calculating this.”

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