Fire outside Trump’s hush money trial: live updates

Police are expected to hold a news conference at 2:45 p.m. after a man set himself on fire in the park across the street from the courthouse

Passersby rushed to douse the flames and the person was rushed away on a stretcher by emergency crews.

Court was being dismissed for a break right as the fire broke out


Judge Juan M. Merchan, seemingly unaware of what was unfolding outside, told newly selected jurors that opening statements are set for Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Merchan is expected to hold a hearing Friday at 3:15 p.m. on the prosecution’s desire to question Trump, should he testify, regarding his recent civil court losses.

JUST IN: Emergency crews rush away person on stretcher after fire extinguished outside court where Trump jury was just selected


A person could be clearly seen lying on the ground on fire. People then rushed over with a fire extinguisher and worked to bat the flames away.

JUST IN: A full jury of 12 people and 6 alternates is seated in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York


The newly seated alternates will now be sworn in.

A fifth alternate juror has been seated

There is only one more alternate slot remaining.

WATCH: Jury selection could be nearing a close in Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York


A third panel of potential jurors is set to be questioned in Donald Trump’s hush money case, drawing jury selection a step closer to completion in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

2 more alternate jurors have been selected


Over half of the six alternates have been filled.

Wait, what’s an alternate juror?

An alternate juror listens to the testimony, just like all the other jurors, but doesn’t join in the deliberations unless one of the main jurors needs to drop out or is removed.

A second alternate has been selected


Four additional slots still need to be filled.

One possible juror evokes multiple facets of Trump’s public persona


A Scandinavian investment professional gave a thoughtful answer about Trump, evaluating him as a man, a business mogul and a politician before concluding he had a “neutral, leaning positive” opinion of the ex-president.

When asked by defense lawyer Susan Necheles about his opinion of Trump, he said the query was “one question that’s asking five or six different things.”

“I think that’s why people kind of struggle with this question,” he said, explaining that he saw Trump as a family man and liked his tax and economic policies but diverged from him on women’s rights and growing religious influence on the Republican party’s policies.

‘He’s a New Yorker’

Only a few lifelong New Yorkers are remaining on the latest panel of prospective jurors. One of them, a chef raised on the Lower East Side, said his time spent in the city had left him unfazed by Trump’s celebrity.

“He’s a New Yorker, I’m a New Yorker,” the man said. “We don’t get really get starstruck or care about anything like that.”

Trump gives supporters ‘permission to discriminate,’ said one potential juror

Under questioning from one of Trump’s lawyers, a potential candidate said she felt that the former president’s rhetoric emboldens his supporters to feel like they have “permission to discriminate or act on their negative impulses.” She described interactions where people used the president’s name to justify “homophobic” and “racist” comments.

The prospective juror also said she attended the 2017 Women’s March that followed his inauguration but saw it as “more of a women’s solidarity event” than an anti-Trump protest. But she said she didn’t have strong feelings about the former president at the moment and wasn’t sure of his current policy positions.

Potential jurors continue to be dismissed over anxiety


Another individual was dismissed Friday after blurting out that she felt anxious during a separate panelist’s questioning.

“With this line of questioning, I’m getting the same anxiety and self-doubt” that other excused jurors were raising, the woman said. Her comment came as Trump lawyer Necheles asked a different jury candidate several questions about her ability to fairly evaluate the credibility of a witness like ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who went to prison for lying to Congress and other crimes.

A half-dozen potential jurors have been excused from consideration on Friday, several citing anxiety and nervousness brought on by potentially being connected to the high-profile trial.

In subsequent questioning, Trump’s gaze is more focused on the jury box


He watched on as prospective jurors affirmed that they could find the former president guilty if the allegations against him were proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

As defense lawyer Susan Necheles kicked off her questioning, attorney Todd Blanche, sitting to Trump’s right, leaned back and handed the former president a small, folded slip of paper. He opened and read the note before folding it up and peering back at the jury. The two men have been passing notes all morning.

After breaking down in tears, a potential juror is dismissed

The woman was being questioned by a prosecutor about her ability to decide the case based only on courtroom evidence when she began to cry.

“I feel so nervous and anxious right now,” the woman said through tears. “I’m so sorry. I wouldn’t want someone who feels like this to judge my case either. I don’t want to waste the court’s time. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.”

After conferring briefly with the prosecution and defense, Judge Juan M. Merchan dismissed the woman from consideration.

The selection process has weighed heavily on other prospective jurors too, with some describing feelings of rising anxiety and stress as the week has gone on. As they contend with the historic trial and outsized media attention, those called into the courtroom are also answering a lengthy list of personal questions, revealing details about their family life and brushes with the law that have stirred other emotional responses.

Trump returns to the courtroom

They’re not just potential jurors. They’re also amateur chefs, musicians and boxers

A section of the questionnaire asking would-be jurors what they like to do in their spare time has revealed an eclectic array of hobbies and passions from the pool.

During the week, the court has been introduced to Manhattanites who enjoy metalworking, scuba diving and seeing the New York Philharmonic. There were also several yogis, hikers and one man who said he cleans his local dog park as “meditation.”

One woman said she takes her kids to Rubik’s Cube competitions and another said she used to be an amateur boxer, though noted that “black eyes were frowned upon” in her profession. Earlier in the week, a prospective juror joked that he had no spare time, adding later, “I guess my hobby is my family.”

Trump leaves the courtroom

Queens man seeks wife

Asked if he was married, a Queens-born man joked that he’d been “trying to find a wife in my spare time — it’s not working.” Trump, also from Queens, perked up at the remark, shooting the man a grin.

(Less than) 6 degrees of Donald Trump


New York is the most populous city in the U.S., but Donald Trump‘s criminal trial is showing it can also feel a lot like a small town. A prospective juror said she had connections to not one but two people who’ve been in Trump’s orbit: the former president’s ex-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who backed Trump in 2020 but later ran against him.

The woman disclosed that she works at the same company as a Cohen relative — though they’ve never crossed paths — and that someone in her family is friends with Christie. Despite that, she assured the court that she could be fair and impartial.

Trump passes notes with his lawyers, rarely looking up at the jurors


When a prospective juror said he’d volunteered in a “get out the vote” effort for Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump, the former president perked up and gazed at the jury box. Trump had spent all morning jotting things down notes and exchanging them with his lawyers, but the comment about his 2016 Democratic rival caught his attention.

Other that the Clinton moment, Trump hasn’t looked up much at the prospective jurors.

After looking over and smiling earlier in the week at a potential juror who mentioned reading several of his books, Trump kept his eyes locked on his papers when a man Friday said he’d read “The Art of the Deal” 10-15 years ago when he was thinking of going into the real estate field.

Another possible juror is excused after expressing concerns over being impartial

Like some others this week, the woman didn’t indicate concerns about being fair and impartial during the initial screening but apparently developed misgivings later. After thinking about the trial last night, “I don’t think I can be impartial,” she said.

She is the third prospective juror who has been excused today.

‘This is more stressful than I thought’

A Scandinavian native who works in technology said he wouldn’t have a problem impartially judging a former president since he comes from a country “where the difference between people in power and regular people is less.”

Still, as the questioning continued he stopped at one point to sigh, saying, “This is more stressful than I thought.”

The man said he aims to consume news from multiple sources, sometimes listening to NPR and Fox News podcasts on the same walk. As a hobby, he said he enjoys cleaning his local dog park.

Trump perks up after potential juror mentions White House Instagram account


‘I don’t believe in watching news’


The potential juror, a woman with adult children, said that her husband sends her news that seems important. She said that she has no strong opinions on Trump and that nothing would influence her decision.

Questioning is underway


The questionnaire round began with a prospective juror saying she has anxiety and isn’t sure she can serve. She said that she takes medication for the condition and that as more days pass, “I don’t think I will be able to be completely fair” and focused on the trial. Merchan excused her.

Because there are 22 jurors, Judge Merchan granted a prosecutor’s request for five extra minutes of questioning. Instead of 20 minutes, prosecutors will have 25 minutes to inquire of the group.

Court is now in session


As hush money trial reaches day 4, Trump loses bid to halt separate Jan. 6 lawsuits

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington denied defense lawyers’ request to put the civil cases seeking to hold Trump responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on hold while a separate criminal case accusing him of conspiring to overturn his election defeat to President Joe Biden plays out.

The lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers and police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 seek civil damages for harm they say they suffered during the attack, which aimed to stop Congress’ certification of Biden’s victory.

▶ Keep up with all four cases using The Associated Press’ Trump trial tracker.

Trump arrives at court: ‘The gag order has to come off’

WATCH: Trump speaks outside courtroom after 12 jurors are seated for his hush money trial


A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump’s history-making hush money trial. (AP Production: Javier Arciga)

Stuck in court, Trump attempts to wield legal jeopardy to his political advantage


Former President Trump has left Trump Tower

Trials collide as prosecutors hope to question Trump over separate civil fraud case


In court Thursday, the juror count remained shifty


12 jurors have already been picked


Jury selection could be nearing a close in Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York

A third panel of potential jurors will be questioned today in Donald Trump’s hush money case, drawing jury selection a step closer to completion in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

After a jury of 12 New Yorkers was seated Thursday, lawyers are now expected to turn their attention to picking remaining alternates who can vow to set aside their personal views and impartially judge the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

The judge has suggested that opening statements in the criminal trial could begin as early as Monday, before prosecutors begin laying out their case alleging a scheme to cover up negative stories Trump feared would hurt his 2016 presidential campaign.

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