Former US President Donald Trump attends the second day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 16, 2024. (MARK PETERSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Dozens of prospective jurors poured back into a Manhattan, New York criminal court Tuesday morning for the second day of former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial.

Seven jurors have been selected so far to decide the legal fate of the first U.S. president ever to face criminal trial. Prosecutors allege that Trump falsified business records related to a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty last year and has denied all wrongdoing.

Although the parties estimated that jury selection could take as long as two weeks, on Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan suggested opening statements could begin this coming Monday.

Here are four of the biggest takeaways from Day 2 of the historic trial:

First batch of jurors selected

By the end of the day on Tuesday, seven jurors — including an oncology nurse, an attorney, a teacher and an IT consultant — were selected.

Although defense attorneys previously argued against holding the trial in New York City, many of the jurors impaneled so far have appeared mainly to have neutral or even somewhat positive feelings about Trump.

At least two of the final jurors expressed positive feelings about the former president.

“He walks into a room, and he sets people off one way or another,” the juror said. “I find that really interesting. Really, this one guy can do all of this. Wow, that’s what I think.”

A woman who works as a teacher, who said she “doesn’t really care for the news,” praised Trump for his outspokenness.

“President Trump speaks his mind,” she said. “And I’d rather that than someone who’s in office who you don’t know what they’re thinking.”

Trump says alleged hush money payment was a ‘legal expense’

In remarks to reporters Tuesday morning, Trump defended himself, pushing back against prosecutors’ allegations that payments made to Michael Cohen were improperly labeled as legal expenses.

“I was paying a lawyer, and I marked it down as a legal expense, some accountant,” Trump said. “I didn’t know. That’s exactly what it was. And you get indicted over that?”

Prospective juror speaks out

Kara McGee — a prospective juror who was excused from the Trump case — told ABC News that she didn’t approve of Trump’s presidency but emphasized the importance of a fair trial.

“I don’t like him, I don’t approve of what he did as president,” said McGee said. “But the right to a fair trial is extremely important. And if this would serve to uphold that, then that would be my priority.”

McGee was excused from the case because of scheduling conflicts with her job.

“No matter what you think about someone as a person, or what other things they may have done, what he is on trial for is a very specific thing that even he deserves the right to a fair trial,” she continued.

Jurors interrogated over anti-Trump social media posts

Proceedings grew contentious Tuesday afternoon after defense attorney Todd Blanche sought to strike prospective jurors based on social media posts that he said contradicted their assertions of fairness.

One woman had posted a video on Facebook of people having a “dance party” on a Manhattan street a day after the 2020 election, which Blanche called “extraordinarily hostile.” Merchan seemed baffled and denied the motion to remove her, saying he found her a credible juror.

But another potential juror was dismissed due to a social media post celebrating the end of Trump’s travel ban, which stated, “Get him out and lock him up.” Merchan agreed to strike the juror, saying the post showed “a desire that Trump be locked up.”

Another man was removed because he recently shared an AI video that mocked Trump, which included a fake Trump saying, “I’m dumb as f—-.”

“I thought it would be funny,” the prospective juror said.

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