6 Key Takeaways From Day 1 Of Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Judge Hush Money Trial

The start of the historic trial against former President Donald Trump unfolded on Monday, April 15, in Manhattan criminal court, marking the first-ever criminal trial against a former U.S. president.

Trump, who pleaded not guilty last April to a 34-count indictment, appeared for the trial’s inaugural day, facing charges related to alleged hush money payments facilitated by his then-attorney Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

Here are the key takeaways from Day 1 of the trial:

  1. Jury Selection Begins: The trial commenced with the crucial process of jury selection, expected to span two weeks. Trump, both in court and on his social media platform Truth Social, remained defiant, decrying the prosecution as politically motivated.

      2. Pretrial Proceedings: Delays ensued due to pretrial procedural matters and scheduling inquiries. Trump’s legal team’s motion for Judge Juan M. Merchan to recuse himself from the case was swiftly denied, with Merchan dismissing Trump’s allegations of bias as unsubstantiated.

      3. Evidence Contention: Trump’s lawyers contested the inclusion of evidence related to his interactions with the National Enquirer and alleged affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Despite objections, Judge Merchan ruled in favor of prosecutors, deeming the evidence essential to establishing the case’s foundation.

      4. Gag Order Violations: Prosecutors urged the court to hold Trump in contempt and impose a $3,000 fine for purported violations of the limited gag order, citing three social media posts that breached the order’s terms. Merchan scheduled a hearing on the matter for April 23.

      5. Jury Selection Process: Ninety-six prospective jurors underwent questioning, with more than half excused due to impartiality concerns. Remaining potential jurors provided insights into their backgrounds and opinions, with no jurors seated for the trial yet.

      6. Court Adjournment: The court adjourned for the day after extensive proceedings, with jury selection set to resume on Tuesday morning.

      The trial marks a pivotal moment in legal history.