Potential jurors quizzed on Trump in inaugural chair’s trial

Sep 19, 2022, 8:47 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2022, 1:01 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Potential jurors in the criminal trial of Donald Trump’s inaugural committee chair have been quizzed by the judge on a tricky topic: What do they think of the former president?

The question came up this week during jury selection at the New York City trial of wealthy businessperson Tom Barrack, who is accused of working as an unregistered agent of the United Arab Emirates to influence the president’s foreign policy.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan told prospective jurors Trump’s name would come up often at the trial, and even floated the idea that he might testify. Cogan pressed them on whether they could be fair in a case infused with politics and shadowy international business dealings.

Some potential jurors said it was asking too much because of their distaste for the former president.

“To be frank, I don’t think so,” one man said when asked whether could remain impartial. “For the sake of the trial, I could, but it would be challenging.”

Asked the same question, another replied, “That would be tough. That would be difficult.”

Both men were dismissed.

A woman survived the cut in the first round of questioning despite being called out about her answer on a questionnaire asking her to name a public figure that she least admired and why: “Donald Trump. No explanation needed.”

When the judge told her, “I’m going to need a little more explanation than that,” she insisted she could set aside her feelings and be a fair juror.

There were some Trump supporters in the pool of potential jurors, including one man who said he liked the former president because he was “a strong backer of Israel.” Others claimed they had no opinion about Trump at all.

Jury selection continued Tuesday with the judge and lawyers expected settle on a final panel of jurors on Wednesday morning. Open statements would follow.

Barrack, a close personal friend of Trump for decades, raised $107 million for Trump’s inaugural celebration following the 2016 election. The event was scrutinized both for its lavish spending and for attracting foreign officials and businesspeople looking to lobby the new administration.

Barrack was arrested last year and released on $250 million bail.

The Los Angeles-based private equity manager was a key figure in UAE investments in a tech fund and real estate totaling $374 million. Prosecutors say that while he was nurturing those business deals, Barrack helped UAE leaders influence Trump during his campaign for president and after he was elected.

Those efforts included drafting a speech for Trump that praised a member of the country’s royal family, passing information back to the Emiratis about how senior U.S. officials felt about a boycott of Qatar, and promising to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates if he were appointed as an ambassador or envoy to the Middle East.

Such an appointment “would give ABU DHABI more power!” Barrack wrote in one message obtained by federal prosecutors.

Barrack has said he is innocent. His lawyers said his contacts with the Emirates were not a secret and had been disclosed to Trump’s campaign and administration.

As he arrived at the courthouse Monday for the start of jury selection, Barrack told reporters he had faith jurors would acquit him.

“I believe in the system,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
15 hours ago
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
15 hours ago
View of a house that was washed away by Hurricane Fiona at Villa Esperanza in Salinas, Puerto Rico,...
Associated Press

Officials detail Hurricane Fiona damage to Puerto Rico grid

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Preliminary evaluations show Hurricane Fiona damaged 50% of transmission lines and distribution feeders across Puerto Rico as hundreds of thousands remain without power or water service almost two weeks after the storm hit, officials said Thursday. The announcement came as a major power plant in Puerto Rico was knocked […]
15 hours ago
Thomas Caldwell of Berryville, Va., a defendant charged with seditious conspiracy in one of the mos...
Associated Press

Capitol riot jury picked for 1st seditious conspiracy trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — A jury was selected Thursday in the seditious conspiracy case against the founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates in the highest profile prosecution stemming from the Capitol riot to reach a trial. A panel of 12 jurors and four alternates was chosen after three days of questioning about […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

California train slammed into empty railcars but unclear why

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The collision that killed two Union Pacific employees earlier this month in Southern California happened when the train slammed into 92 empty railcars that had been stored on a side track for nine months, investigators said Thursday. The National Transportation Safety Board said in its preliminary report that the Sept. 8 […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Lone judge to decide if Navy proved sailor ignited warship

SAN DIEGO (AP) — No one disputes that the Navy shares blame for the loss of the USS Bonhomme Richard, the $1.2 billion amphibious assault ship that was consumed by flames in San Diego in July 2020 as officers failed to respond quickly and its crew struggled with broken equipment. But none of that would […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Potential jurors quizzed on Trump in inaugural chair’s trial