Trump Lawyer Predicts Acquittal If He Gets an ‘Impartial Jury’ in Manhattan

‘Any fair and impartial jury will see through all the sensationalism,’ the attorney said.

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump on Sunday predicted that he would be acquitted in the “hush-money” trial if he has an “impartial jury,” coming just a day before opening arguments in the trial are slated to start.

A jury of 12 and six alternates were sworn in on Friday by Judge Juan Merchan after a week of selecting from a pool of potential jurors. The judge also said that opening arguments would begin on Monday, April 21, in the case where the former president has been accused of falsifying business records to cover up alleged payments to bury potentially negative stories during the 2016 campaign.

President Trump has pleaded not guilty, saying that the 34-count indictment is politicized and meant to derail his 2024 Republican campaign for president while keeping him off the campaign trial. Last week, Judge Merchan told President Trump in the Manhattan courtroom that he must attend every court date in person or “there will be an arrest,” while the former president has said it is preventing him from appearing in key battleground states in the meantime.

“It’s absolutely outrageous,” Trump attorney Will Scharf told “Fox and Friends” on Sunday about the trial and charges. He was responding to a question about the nature of the case.

“I think any fair and impartial jury will see through all the sensationalism and all the media coverage and would feel honor-bound to vote to acquit here, and we’re hoping that’s what will play out in New York.”

On a 1-to-10 scale, Mr. Scharf said that he would “rate this case a zero” in terms of actual importance and severity. “The fact that this case is seeing the inside of a courtroom at all is an absolute outrage and speaks to the politicization of our system of law enforcement in the courts under the Biden administration and their political allies across the country,” he told the outlet.

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Some legal analysts have said that because the jury pool is located in Manhattan, it is likely that the jurors will be overwhelmingly Democratic and likely voted for President Trump’s rival, President Joe Biden. During the 2020 election, only about 12 percent of voters in the city cast ballots in favor of President Trump.

On Saturday, the 45th president again made note of the venue, saying that the trial is being “rushed” and “taking place in a 95 percent Democrat area.”

Over the past week, the former president has been sitting quietly in the courtroom as lawyers pressed potential jurors on their views about him in a search for any bias that would preclude them from hearing the case. During breaks, he has criticized the case on social media or to TV cameras in the hallway, calling it a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Last week, President Trump called on Judge Merchan to rescind a prior gag order he issued that prevents him from speaking about certain people, including two main witnesses, linked to the case. The gag order came after President Trump mentioned the judge’s daughter’s ties to prominent Democrats, suggesting a conflict of interest.

“The gag order has to come off. People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order,” the former president said at the courthouse.

The trial centers on a $130,000 payment that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film performer whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to prevent her claims of an affair with the former president from becoming public in the final days of the 2016 race. The former president has denied her claims, saying no affair ever occurred, while his attorneys have said they were normal legal expenses.

They’ve also said that Mr. Cohen, who spent time in prison for lying to Congress and campaign finance violations, is an unreliable witness in the case. He is expected to be the start witness of the prosecution.

The former president faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. He could get up to four years in prison if convicted, though it’s not clear that the judge would opt to put him behind bars. President Trump would almost certainly appeal any conviction, and if he is elected president in November, it would further complicate the matter.

“There’s nothing else to clarify. There’s nothing else to reargue,“ Judge Merchan said Friday. ”We’re going to have opening statements on Monday morning. This trial is starting.”

A Trump attorney was in an appeals court hours after the jury was seated, arguing that Judge Merchan rushed through jury selection and that the former president cannot get a fair trial in Manhattan. “To think an impartial jury could be found in that period of time, I would respectfully submit, is untenable,” attorney Clifford Robert said. However, Justice Marsha Michael denied the request just minutes after a brief hearing.

In all, he faces four criminal cases, but it’s not clear that any others will reach trial before the election. Appeals and legal issues have caused delays in the other three cases in which he has also pleaded not guilty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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