Trump Trial Judge Orders Media to Avoid Sharing Identifiable Details About Jurors

The move comes after one woman seated on the jury was later dismissed over safety concerns

Donald Trump addressed the press on the first day of his hush money trial in New York on April 15
Donald Trump must not attack the jury at his hush money trial in NYC – or face jail time – according to the judge.

The judge in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial told the media to stop reporting identifying details about jurors after a woman who had been seated on the panel asked to be dismissed because she was worried about her identity being revealed.

“There’s a reason why this is an anonymous jury, and we’ve taken the measures we have taken,” Justice Juan Merchan admonished the press. “It kind of defeats the purpose of that when so much information is put out there.”

The woman, who was seated on the jury Tuesday, returned to the New York City courthouse Thursday to tell the judge that friends and colleagues warned her she was identifiable after multiple media outlets published details contained in the answers to the lengthy questionnaire prospective jurors must answer, according to multiple reports.

She also said she would not be able to remain impartial, a key requirement for the 12 jurors and six alternates being seated in the trial over Trump’s efforts to conceal payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.

Merchan has kept the jurors’ names private, assigning each potential juror a number they are identified by in the courtroom. But other details about the potential panelists is public, including those revealed in answers to the 42-point questionnaire and comments they make while they are being interviewed by prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers.

The amount of information published about the initial seven jurors seated — now down to six — drew concern from many observers who said that the details would enable the individuals to be identified.

Merchan on Thursday ordered reporters not to disclose information about where potential jurors work or where they were employed in the past, The New York Times reported.

The judge acknowledged that employment details are necessary for the attorneys to know, but said that answers to the employment questions should be redacted from the trial transcript.

Merchan also expressed concern about news outlets publishing physical descriptions of prospective or seated jurors, asking reporters to “simply apply common sense,” the Times reported.

“It serves no purpose,” Merchan said about publishing physical descriptions, adding that he was directing news outlets to “refrain from writing about anything you observe with your eyes.”

The press can write about anything the attorney and the courts discuss and anything you observe us do,” the judge said, warning the media that he could legally prevent reporters from sharing details about the jurors.

“If you can’t stick to that,” Merchan said, “we’re going to have to see if there is anything else we can do to keep the jurors safe.”

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