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First seven jurors selected the criminal case against Trump

First seven jurors selected the criminal case against Trump Former US President Donald Trump (photo: Getty Images)

In the case involving Donald Trump's alleged attempt to bribe porn actress Stormy Daniels for not disclosing information about their sexual relationship, the first seven jurors have been selected, according to AP.

Lawyers discussed jurors' social media posts, political views, and personal lives to determine who could participate fairly in the trial of the former president.

As a result, the jury includes an information technology specialist, an English teacher, an oncology clinic nurse, a sales manager, a software engineer, and two lawyers.

Eleven more individuals are to be sworn in before the court begins hearing opening statements next week.

Dozens of potential jurors were excused from the process after stating they could not be fair or impartial.

During discussions, the judge issued a warning to Trump after he began gesturing emotionally while speaking to one of the jury candidates. Journalists did not hear what Trump said, but the judge said, "I won’t tolerate that. I will not tolerate any jurors being intimidated in this courtroom."

Exiting the courthouse, Trump accused the judge of a rush process.

"We are going to continue our fight against this judge," said Trump, who unsuccessfully sought his removal.

Essence of the case

The accusations involve $130,000 in payments made by Trump's company to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen paid this amount on behalf of Trump to prevent porn actress Stormy Daniels from making public her claims of a sexual relationship with Trump ten years ago. Trump denies the encounter took place.

Prosecutors argue that the payments to Cohen were falsely recorded as legal fees. The prosecution called this money part of a scheme to conceal scandalous stories that, Trump feared, could help his opponent in the 2016 election.

Trump acknowledged reimbursing Cohen and said it was done to prevent Daniels from disclosing information about a possible encounter. However, he also stated that it had nothing to do with the campaign.

In court documents filed on Tuesday, the prosecution urged the judge to fine Trump $3,000 for social media posts that, in prosecutors' view, violated a ban on publicly discussing witnesses. In the posts, Trump called Cohen and Daniels two sleazebags who cost our country dearly with their lies and distortions.

Prosecutors wrote that the judge should order Trump to comply with the ban and warn him that further violations could result not only in additional fines but also in jail time.

If Trump is found guilty of falsifying business records, he could face up to four years in prison.