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Jury selection continues, haltingly, in Trumps hush money trial

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Jury selection continued Thursday in the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump.

Trump, 77, returned to court for the third day of the trial. Jury selection in the case made halting progress. When court ended Tuesday, seven jurors had been seated. Two of those seven dropped out Thursday, but more were added.

At the end of Thursday, 12 jurors had been picked, national media reported.

Twelve jurors and six alternates are needed to proceed.

Judge Juan Merchan has put in place protections to keep the jurors anonymous.

One of the selected jurors said she couldn’t be impartial after becoming concerned when media reports led family, friends and colleagues to ask if she had been identified as a juror, The Hill reported on Thursday. A second juror was excused after prosecutors found evidence the juror may have lied in response to the jury questionnaire, the outlet reported.

After the two jurors were dismissed during the morning session, more were added in the afternoon, Reuters reported.

Trump will spend four days a week in court in New York for the next six to eight weeks on state charges that he disguised hush money payments to two women as legal expenses during the 2016 election.

Trump pleaded not guilty in April 2023 to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

About half of the 196 jurors that have been screened so far have been dismissed because they said they could not be impartial, Reuters reported.