Trump Gives Glimpse Into Defense on Day 2 of Jury Selection


  • Seven jurors, three women and four men, were chosen Tuesday in Trump’s Manhattan hush-money trial.
  • Trump gave reporters a preview of his potential defense as he entered the courtroom.
  • The former president blamed “some accountant.”

Tuesday was day two of jury selection in Donald Trump’s Manhattan hush-money trial, a full day that began with the former president previewing his potential defense to reporters: the hush-money payment actually was a legal expense — as far as he knew.

And “some accountant” at the Trump Organization handled the paperwork he’s now on trial for.

“I was paying a lawyer and marked it down as a legal expense,” Trump said in the hallway outside the courtroom, in response to a question shouted by a pool reporter.

“Some accountant, I didn’t know, marked it down as a legal expense,” Trump continued.

“That’s exactly what it was. And you get indicted over that?” he continued.

Trump test drove his defense on a busy second day of trial, though the GOP frontrunner appeared to have a hard time staying awake, especially in the morning.

Seven jurors — four men, and three women were selected.

A total of 89 prospective jurors have been questioned but were let go because they they could not be impartial, or were rejected by either side or the judge.

That means for every juror chosen, 12 didn’t make the cut.

The defense blew through six of its precious ten peremptory challenges in a single day. Prosecutors used up five peremptories and have five remaining.

When court resumes on Thursday, the parties will begin picking the last five jurors and as many as six alternates from a new pool of 96 prospective jurors.

The seven chosen jurors were told to expect to return on Monday for opening statements.

The Manhattan district attorney’s indictment alleges that he falsified 34 Trump Organization business records — disguising them as legal fees for his then lawyer, Michael Cohen — to cover up an illegal scheme to interfere with the 2016 election.

The falsified records hid a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who was about to publicly allege that back in 2006, she and the then-Apprentice star had sex — a claim Trump has denied.

Trump’s hallway remarks suggest his lawyers will argue at trial that he was in the dark about what prosecutors say are falsified documents.

Also Tuesday morning, prosecutors made good on the previous day’s promise to demand that Trump be held in contempt of court for violating his gag order.”

“Defendant willfully violated this Court’s order by publishing several social media posts attacking two known witnesses, Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels,” prosecutors wrote in a new motion.

The defense has until Friday to file a response explaining why Trump should not be held in contempt. Should state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan find Trump in contempt, potential penalties include fines and, in the extreme, jail time.

No jurors were selected during four hours of jury selection on Monday, a day that began with a half-day of arguments over pretrial motions.

All prospective jurors are being asked to answer questions on a jury questionnaire as lawyers for Trump and District Attorney Alvin Bragg listen intently.

The questionnaire asks basic biographical questions — “in what neighborhood do live?” and “what do you do for a living” among them.

It also asks prospective jurors to say if they’ve read any of Trump’s books, if they are supporters of QAnon or Antifa, and whether they have “strong opinions or firmly held beliefs about former President Donald Trump.”

This story has been updated to include developments from throughout the day on Tuesday.



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