Jury selection began this week in the trial of former President Donald Trump’s real estate company, The Trump Organization.
The New York State Supreme Court will decide if The Trump Organization did indeed take part in an alleged 15-year scheme involving paying executives with off-the-book benefits such as luxury cars and private school tuition.
The New York Post reported that out of 18 potential jurors questioned earlier this week, 11 were dismissed after expressing a strong dislike of the former president. Finally, 12 were selected Thursday.
Trump’s company faces nine charges, including tax fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. Jurors will hear from Trump’s longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg as the star witness.
The Trump Organization has pleaded not guilty and Trump himself is not expected to testify or attend court proceedings. However, Trump could still face criminal charges.
“A company can’t go to jail, but this can be very, very problematic for his company,” said Maggie Haberman, a CNN political analyst and New York Times reporter.
Committee Chair Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney explained in the cover letter to Trump that they “have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power.”
“He’s not going to turn this into a circus,” Rep. Liz Cheney told NBC News. “This isn’t gonna be, you know, his first debate against Joe Biden and the circus and the food fight that became this. This is a far too serious set of issues.”
Also just a couple of months ago the FBI raided the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Some of the classified documents recovered allegedly include sensitive intelligence regarding Iran and China, which could possibly result in federal indictment.
“They broke into my house,” Donald Trump said at a recent rally in Arizona. “And they should immediately give me everything that they’ve taken from me because it’s mine.”
Trump’s lawyers have accepted the subpoena, so now the former president and his legal team have until Nov. 4 to turn over any documents sought in the subpoena and until Nov. 14 to testify at a deposition.
This trial is expected to last into early December and comes as Trump faces several other investigations, such as his handling of classified documents and the Jan. 6 committee subpoena.