Major Update on Trump Case Jury Selection

Major Update on Trump Case Jury Selection
Former President Donald Trump gestures as he returns from a recess in his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 18, 2024. (Brendan McDermid/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Bill Thomas
Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Friday, April 19, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and today, we’ve got some important stories to share with you, ranging from legal challenges and immigration debates to urgent security concerns. A lot to get to. Here’s our first big story on the Trump case jury selection.

Major Update on Trump Case Jury Selection

A full jury of 12 has been seated for the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump in New York. The jury selection process has involved questioning panels of potential jurors, with a third panel being questioned to choose six alternates.

President Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records in the trial.

A key witness in the case is Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney. He said that he was paid to cover up an alleged affair. Prosecutors accused President Trump of violating a gag order by making posts about Mr. Cohen, including one sharing a New York Post op-ed. The defense argued there was no violation, and they claimed the gag order places restrictions on statements about witnesses.

The trial also faced issues with juror identities. One juror changed her mind about participating because she was identified by friends and colleagues after news reports described the seven jurors seated. New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, dismissed her and criticized media outlets for disclosing physical descriptions of jurors.

Another juror was dismissed after prosecutors claimed that he was reportedly arrested for tearing down political advertisements of Republican candidates in Westchester, New York, in the 1990s. Prosecutors also said that either the juror or his wife was involved in a corruption inquiry that ended up in agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

The juror arrived to court late and Justice Merchan later dismissed him without providing a reason.

President Trump’s attorneys requested the names of the government’s first three witnesses, but prosecutors refused due to his potential posts about them.

The trial continues with opening statements set for next week.

President Trump talked to reporters after court and he said that the case is a hoax.

From the legal complexities in New York with President Trump’s trial, we scoot up the road just a bit into Massachusetts, where immigration policies are causing quite a stir among taxpayers and lawmakers alike.

Illegal Immigrants Moving Into Soldiers’ Home Where Veterans Must Pay to Stay

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey is preparing to move illegal immigrants into Boston’s Soldiers’ Home, which has long served as a home for U.S. veterans. However, a new poll says that more and more residents are really unhappy about the amount of money the state has spent on illegal immigrants.

According to a poll done by MassINC Polling Group in March this year, 47 percent of participants oppose providing emergency shelter to illegal immigrants, while 45 percent are in favor, and that reflects a significant 10-point decline in support since a previous poll in October last year.

The state government is currently spending $45 million a month on this issue and has requested an additional $500 million from lawmakers. In response, Republican lawmakers and some community groups are pushing for a residency requirement to be added to the shelter law.

Local residents near these emergency shelters told The Epoch Times they are angry that the Healey administration never discussed her plans with them.

Rick Silva, who is a local grocery store manager, said: “It’s like a sneaky move to me.”

The local residents are also worried about criminal activity and other problems that have been reported at illegal immigrant encampments in the state and around the country.

They also argue that the government is placing illegal immigrants’ needs above those of homeless veterans.

Under state regulations, veterans earning over $300 a month are required to pay $30 daily for housing at the Chelsea complex.

Some nearby residents, preferring to remain anonymous, pointed out that veterans have to pay for their accommodations at the Soldiers’ Home, whereas illegal immigrants receive free housing and daily meals funded by taxpayer money.

Controversy has also arisen from Ms. Healey’s decision to convert a vacant veterans’ home building into a shelter for illegal immigrants.

Further criticism has come from the administration’s refusal to reveal where 100 illegal immigrants will be moved from a Cape Cod motel.

In reaction to the criticism, Ms. Healey has introduced new policies that require illegal immigrants in state-run shelters to actively seek employment and housing, or they risk being removed from the shelters.

Shifting from local discontent over immigration spending, let’s now turn our attention to Capitol Hill.

Senate Dismisses Mayorkas Impeachment Articles

On April 17, Democrats in the Senate voted to dismiss two impeachment articles against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas just three hours into his trial.

The dismissals were made along party lines, leading to objections from Senate Republicans who claimed that not allowing a full trial violated the Constitution and established precedent.

The following day, April 18, during a heated session of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Mr. Mayorkas admitted, “Actually, I have not read the articles of impeachment.”

This is the first time in history that the Senate has moved to dispose of a trial before allowing a vote on conviction or acquittal.

The impeachment articles accused Mr. Mayorkas of refusing to enforce immigration laws and breaching public trust. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer raised points of order to dismiss each article, arguing that they were unconstitutional.

The first impeachment article was dismissed with a vote of 51–48. The second article was dismissed with a vote of 51–49. Senate Republicans attempted to thwart Mr. Schumer’s moves, but their attempts were defeated.

Critics argue that the dismissal sets a harmful precedent and undermines the Constitution. The Department of Homeland Security welcomed the dismissal, stating that it proves there was no evidence or constitutional grounds for impeachment.

Mr. Mayorkas is only the second presidential cabinet appointee to be impeached by the House.

Turning from the political showdown in the Senate, we now face a growing concern closer to home—we now see more and more illegal immigrants at our borders.

Mayorkas Grilled by GOP Senator Over Laken Riley’s Death: ‘How Could You Sleep at Night?’

During a Senate hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) strongly criticized Mr. Mayorkas following the death of college student Laken Riley. The suspect in the case, Jose Ibarra, had entered the United States on parole because of overcrowding in detention centers. Mr. Paul questioned Mr. Mayorkas about the legal basis that allowed the accused to enter the country.

Mr. Mayorkas did not provide a direct answer to Mr. Paul’s question. Instead, he highlighted that his department prioritizes detaining individuals who pose a threat to public safety or national security. Mr. Paul criticized the Democrats for allowing such policies that could lead to dangerous situations.

Additionally, Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also pressed Mr. Mayorkas on his management of violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants and pointed out inconsistencies in his responses about the parole system.

The topic of border security is drawing increasing attention from both political parties, as Americans are more concerned over issues related to illegal immigration.

From border security issues, we shift focus to a pressing problem affecting safety right here at home. Several states are currently dealing with disruptions to their 911 emergency services.

911 Outage Affecting Multiple States

Law enforcement agencies across several states, including Nevada, South Dakota, and parts of Nebraska, are currently dealing with outages of their 911 emergency lines.

In Las Vegas, landlines are down, but residents can still use their mobile phones to make emergency calls. The reason for the outages hasn’t been revealed, and there’s no timeline yet for when services will be restored.

In Henderson, Nevada, both landline and mobile phone services are affected. However, people can still send text messages to 911.

Similarly, in South Dakota, while the regular call service is disrupted, texting 911 remains functional. Authorities are looking into what caused the outages and are actively working to fix them.

This important news reminds us that we need to be prepared to deal with bad situations like this one. I’d like to share with you a comment from one of our Epoch Times readers, which I think is a good reminder to us all.

The anonymous reader wrote: “Get the 10 digit number for 9-1-1 dispatch, WRITE IT DOWN or memorize it. Don’t depend on your cell phone.” He also said: “Text messages may appear to go through, but they can be queued up if there is a disaster.”

He shared a story about receiving a text message 48 hours after it was sent. It was after a natural disaster, and the sender later told him that her phone said “message sent.”

He wrote: “Fortunately, she was texting that she was okay. But if she had an emergency and wanted help, 48 hours is too late.”

If you have any other suggestions on situations such as an outage, please feel free to share them with us.

Now, we’re almost out of time, so that’s going to be our final story on the Friday edition of The Epoch Times News Brief!

Before we turn out the lights and set the alarm, this brief reminder. If you enjoy our News Brief program, please let us know by dropping us an email. We’re at [email protected], and we read your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. Let’s scroll down together and see who’s written in.

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Thank you, Daniel A McKeever III. You have a very stately name.

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As we do each and every day, we end today’s program with a very “notable” quote:

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” –Aristotle

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist who was one of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history. He was also a prolific writer, but there were no computers in his time, so I’m assuming he used a typewriter, maybe an electric typewriter.

For all of us here at The Epoch Times News Brief, I’m Bill Thomas—have a terrific Friday and an EPOCH weekend!

Bill Thomas is a two-time Golden Mike Award winner who has specialized in breaking news coverage. In his career he has covered floods, forest fires, police pursuits, civil unrest, and freeway collapses. He is a host of EpochCasts News Brief, an audio news show from The Epoch Times. You can reach Bill via email at [email protected]
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