Trump Freezes New York's Money Crimes Probe

5:52 pm ET, April 15, 2024

Here are the key takeaways from day one of the Trump hush money investigation

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Cara Scannell and Kanita Iyer



Former President Donald Trump appeared with his legal team, Todd Blanche and Emile Bove, before his trial began in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, April 15.

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The opening day of former President Donald Trump's first criminal trial brought home the reality that the Republican nominee for president will sit in a Manhattan courtroom as a defendant four days a week.

Here are Key takeaways from day one “People of New York State vs. Donald Trump.”

Difficulty in selecting an arbitrator: Merson brought 96 New Yorkers as prospective jurors. More than half were fired quickly because they said they didn't think they could be fair and impartial. Of the other nine jurors questioned, none said they had read any books by Trump or Michael Cohen. None claimed to have worked or volunteered for Trump.

Security wants to slow things down: Sources tell CNN that there could be many objections and sidebars during the trial, as the defense is fully focused on defending each issue for appeal. These tactics fit the larger Trump legal strategy, which has included months of appeals to delay the start of the trial, which have been successful on a separate basis. Defense now hopes the legal proceedings, which are expected to last six to eight weeks, will move at a slower pace in the months leading up to the 2024 election.



Members of the media gathered outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday morning.

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Trump accused Gag of violating the order: Prosecutors asked Judge Juan Merchon to allow and fine Trump for violating a gag order barring witnesses from the case from speaking about the DA's office or court employees. Merchan scheduled a hearing on the district attorney's petition for next Tuesday.

Access Hollywood could not play the tape, but the actress could testify: Mercen sided with prosecutors in allowing actress and model Karen McDougal, who has also alleged an affair with Trump, to testify. Prosecutors could introduce into evidence National Enquirer stories slamming Trump's opponents. Trump has denied the matter. Meanwhile, a major victory for Trump was Merson's ruling that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape could not be played in court, saying it was prejudicial. Prosecutors will not be allowed to bring other sexual assault allegations against Trump that emerged after the “Access Hollywood tapes” were made public in October 2016.

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