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The Latest | Trump arrives at court in New York for the start of jury selection in hush money trial

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The Latest | Trump arrives at court in New York for the start of jury selection in hush money trial
April 15, 2024
The Associated Press - AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump arrived Monday at a New York court for the start of jury selection in his hush money trial, marking a historic moment as the former president and presumptive nominee for this year's Republican presidential ticket answers to criminal charges.

It’s the first criminal trial of any former U.S. commander-in-chief and the first of Trump’s four indictments to go to trial. Scores of people are expected to be called into the courtroom to begin the process of finding 12 jurors, plus six alternates. Trump’s notoriety would make the process a near-herculean task in any year, but it’s likely to be especially challenging now.

The former president is accused of falsifying internal Trump Organization records as part of a scheme to bury stories that he feared could hurt his 2016 campaign, particularly as his reputation was suffering at the time from comments he had made about women.

The allegations focus on payoffs to two women, porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said they had extramarital sexual encounters with Trump years earlier, as well as to a Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about a child he alleged Trump had out of wedlock. Trump says none of these supposed sexual encounters occurred.

Currently:

— Here’s what to know about the hush money case

— How a hush money scandal tied to a porn star led to Trump’s first criminal trial

— A jury of his peers: A look at how jury selection will work in Donald Trump’s first criminal trial

— Tracking the criminal and civil cases against Donald Trump

Here is the latest:

TRUMP CONTINUES TO PAINT HIMSELF AS A VICTIM AHEAD OF TRIAL

In the hours before Trump’s expected arrival at the courthouse, his campaign continued to telegraph how they intend to characterize the trial.

At 6 a.m., the former president’s campaign issued a lengthy press release attacking Bragg as “George Soros’s Favorite DA” and labeling the historic proceedings as “The NY Biden Trial.” It’s another indication of how Trump has and will continue to personally vilify those who have brought the case, painting himself as the victim of a politically motivated effort by his rivals to tarnish his candidacy.

Trump has been busy posting on his Truth Social platform this morning, blasting the trial as “rigged” and complaining about the gag order that he has been placed under.

“I want my VOICE back. This Crooked Judge has GAGGED me. Unconstitutional! The other side can talk about me, but I am not allowed to talk about them! Rigged Trial!” he posted.

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