Juror seated in Trump hush money case is excused after telling judge she was concerned about her ability to be impartial

"I don't believe at this point that I can be fair and unbiased and let the outside influences not affect my decision to be in the courtroom."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
One of the women recently chosen to sit on the jury in DA Alvin Bragg's falsified business documents case against Donald Trump has been excused after expressing concerns about her ability to be impartial and what could happen if she was publicly identified.

She was dimissed after saying that she was worried about her ability to be impartial while serving on Trump's jury. Her concern came from friends and family questioning her about her jury service.

"I definitely have concerns now … about being in public," she told Merchan. "Yesterday alone, I had friends, colleagues push things to my phone questioning my identity as a juror. I don't believe at this point that I can be fair and unbiased and let the outside influences not affect my decision to be in the courtroom."

Her departure was signed off on by Judge Juan Merchan, who told members of the media that they were no longer allowed to reveal certain information about prospective jurors, namely where they work.

While Merchan has withheld the names of prospective jurors, other information related to their employment has been divulged before the court. Now, however, even that is off limits for reporters in the court room. Prosecutors wanted to strike questions about jurors' employment status, but defense attorneys argued that attorneys in the case should not have information witheld from them simply because the court doesn't want the press to have it.

"There's a reason why this is an anonymous jury and we're taking the measures that were taken," Merchan said. "It kind of defeats the purpose of that when so much information is put out there that it is very, very easy for us to identify who the jurors are."

"I'm directing that the press simply apply common sense and refrain from writing about physical descriptions," he added. "It's just not necessary. It serves no purpose. There's no need for anyone to mention that one of the jurors had an Irish accent. I don't see how that advanced any interest whatsoever."

This is not the only jury-related setback impacting proceedings. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office revealed that it had reason to believe there were issues with a second juror's responses. Merchan said he wanted to hear from the juror, but they were unavailable Thursday morning.
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