- As Donald Trump’s company stands trial in Manhattan, another jury is being seated in a civil case against him.
- The first batch of potential jurors in the Bronx civil case said they don’t follow the news or politics closely.
- None of the juror prospects confirmed they disliked Trump when asked in court.
About 10 miles uptown from where Donald Trump’s multi-billion-dollar real-estate empire is standing trial in a Manhattan court on criminal tax fraud charges, another jury is being seated in a civil suit against the former president.
In the civil case taking place in Bronx Supreme Court, demonstrators allege Trump sicced his private security team on them while they attended a “Make America Racist Again” protest outside of New York City’s Trump Tower in 2015.
During the first two days of jury selection in the case, attorneys for Trump, his campaign, and his organization have asked the first batch of 12 potential jurors in the pool — who are mostly people of color — about their opinions on the former president and what they have heard about him or this case on the news.
Those potential jurors said on Tuesday that they don’t follow the news or politics closely, or at all, and didn’t know about the civil lawsuit that they had been called to hear.
None of the juror prospects confirmed they disliked Trump when asked in court.
“I find him opinionated,” one man said. “But that’s a lot of people.”
A list of names of potential witnesses in the case, which included Michael Cohen — Trump’s ex-personal attorney-turned-nemesis — was read to the jury; none of the first 12 potential jurors recognized the names and they all said they could be impartial in the case.
The responses out of the Bronx are a stark contrast to the ongoing criminal trial in New York Supreme Court where a quarter of the 12-person panel of Manhattanites have openly said they’re not fans of Trump.
One man, now juror No. 8 in that trial, called Trump “narcissistic” during jury selection, while two women who were chosen to sit on the jury said that they didn’t like how Trump ran the country.
A potential juror who was ultimately dismissed by the judge in that Manhattan case said the thought of serving on a Trump jury made him feel sick.
In the Bronx case, juror prospects were way more restrained in their responses, and several said they were too busy with their own lives to worry about what is going on in politics.
“For me, I travel back and forth, one way, 2 1/2 hours,” one woman in the jury box responded. “Politics: That’s someone else’s troubles. I have my own troubles.”
The Bronx case centers around a September 2015 “Make America Racist Again” protest outside of Trump Tower.
There, some demonstrators wore Klu Klux Klan costumes and carried large signs in response to comments Trump had made during his presidential campaign referring to Mexican immigrants as “rapists and drug mules,” attorney Nathaniel Charney, who represents the plaintiffs, said during jury selection.
“The plaintiffs’ claims, in this case, arise from what occurred on the sidewalk that day,” Charney said.
Defendants named in the suit include Trump himself, his company, the Trump Organization, his campaign, his former head of security, and security guards.
The trial will determine whether the security officers who removed signs from the plaintiffs — as well as Trump — are guilty of assault and battery and conversion, which is a civil charge for larceny.
Trump is not expected to testify at the trial, but his recorded 2021 deposition, in which he claimed his life was in danger from flying fruit, will be played for the jury.
“It’s very dangerous stuff,” Trump said in the deposition, invoking a fruit-basket worth of potential projectiles, including tomatoes, pineapples, and, perplexingly, bananas. “You can get killed with those things.”