Sketch from the Trump hush money trial
Sketch from the Trump hush money trial Christine Cornell / CNN

After a couple of surreal days that saw Trump's defense team comb through social media accounts of potential jurors in search of bias, the ex-president's so-called hush money trial resumed on Thursday.

Although the day began with 7 seated jurors, that number is down to five after two were excused by judge Juan Merchán for very different reasons. Here's what we know so far:

  • The first juror excused was a woman who expressed concerns that part of her identity was made public by the media, adding that her family and friends discovered she had been selected.
  • As a result, Judge Merchán excused her and urged journalists to limit their physical descriptions of jurors.
  • The second juror was excused after prosecutors said they found information that called into question the veracity of the answers he gave during voir dire.
  • More than half of a new batch of candidates from this morning were excused because they said the could not be impartial. When asked if they could, one juror said "it would be hard for me to maintain that impartiality and fairness." Thirty-eight prospective jurors remain from the second panel after half were quickly dismissed for saying they could not be fair or impartial
  • At least 18 potential jurors are being questioned at the moment, all claiming that they would not struggle to be impartial and thus give the former president a fair trial. On Tuesday, the BBC wrote a piece about how jury selection could be hampered by "opinionated New Yorkers". That has definitely proven to be the case so far
  • Nada Tawfik, a BBC reporter inside the courtroom, reports that, compared to previous days, Trump himself has been "quieter than usual". "He hasn't stopped to speak to the press set up outside the courtroom", explained Tawfik. "Usually, he'll take that opportunity to denounce the case as a "hoax," or something similar."
  • CNN published testimony from a dismissed juror who made it to the jury box but was ultimately not empaneled. "The juror, who did not want to be identified due to safety concerns, said the first thing he saw when he walked into the courtroom was former President Donald Trump, "scowling at the jury."

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