Report: Judge Juan Merchan Warns Court Reporters About Writing ‘Physical Descriptions’ of Trump Jurors

Jane Rosenberg/Pool Photo via AP)

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan warned court reporters about writing “physical descriptions” of jurors in former President Donald Trump’s criminal case, according to court reporters.

Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 felonies, accusing him of falsifying documents to conceal a sex scandal. The trial is the first criminal trial of a president of the United States. Trump could face jail time if convicted.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Trump’s unprecedented trial began Monday morning with jury selection. Thursday is the third day of the process, which could wrap up early next week. The judge sat seven jurors on Tuesday, but one was reportedly dismissed on Thursday. A total of 18 are required.

“We are in a remarkable situation: Covering an unprecedented case of immense public interest and blocked in many ways from reporting on the constitution of the jury,” the New York Times’s Jonah Bromwich reported. “The trial is not televised, and we are the public’s eyes and ears, but at the moment, we are limited in what we can relay.”

“We are going to be very careful in offering physical descriptions of the jurors after the judge’s warning,” he continued.

Judge Juan Merchan poses for a picture in his chambers in New York, Thursday, March 14, 2024. Merchan could become the first judge ever to oversee a former U.S. president’s criminal trial. He's presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money case in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Judge Juan Merchan (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“The judge’s priority is protecting the prospective jurors, and his order is bent toward that aim. It remains to be seen whether we will reach a safer way to report on elements of the trial that are not directly on the record,” he added.

Below is a description of the jurors chosen on Tuesday, Axios reported:

1. The foreman, who works in sales, lives in Harlem but is originally from Ireland.

2. A native New Yorker who’s an oncology nurse.

3. A corporate lawyer originally from Oregon.

4. A self-employed IT consultant who lives on the Lower East Side but grew up in Puerto Rico.

5. A teacher and lifelong New Yorker. She was the only juror in the box who said they didn’t know Trump was charged in three other cases.

6. A software engineer who works for Disney.

7. A lawyer who lives on the Upper East Side.

Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who reported on Wednesday that Trump might have fallen asleep in the courtroom, reported on Thursday that Trump “appears to be awake” as he listened to the proceedings.

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court with his legal team before the start of jury selection in New York on April 15, 2024. (Jabin Botsford/Pool Photo via AP)

“Trump has been animated at points this morning, taking a call on his cell phone before the proceedings started. But right now, he has partially closed his eyes — something he tends to do in court when he seems to be trying to keep from lashing out,” she wrote. “He appears to be awake. His lead lawyer, Todd Blanche, has been whispering to him periodically.”

Only about one-third of U.S. adults believe Trump did something illegal regarding the case, an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found Tuesday.

The case is New York v. TrumpNo. 71543-23, in the New York Supreme Court for New York County.

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.


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