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5 big takeaways from Day 4 of Trump's hush money trial

After four days of jury selection, Donald Trump has a full jury in his New York criminal hush money trial, where he's facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Judge Juan Merchan swore in five additional alternate jurors on Friday and scheduled opening statements for Monday.

MORE: Trump hush money trial updates: Judge sets opening statements for Monday

Tensions ran high in the courtroom at times Friday, as defense attorneys attempted to grill potential witnesses about their social media histories and opinions on the former president. Two potential jurors broke down to tears during questioning, telling the judge they were too anxious about the case to serve as fair jurors. Both were excused.


Here are four big takeaways from the fourth day of the historic trial:

Alternate jurors sworn in

Five additional alternate jurors were sworn in to hear the case on Friday.

"We have now completed jury selection for this case," Judge Merchan said.

The alternate jurors are five women and one man. Below is a breakdown of all the alternates:

Alternate Juror No. 1: Female, Analyst for Asset Manager

Alternate Juror No. 2: Female, Unemployed

Alternate Juror No. 3: Male, Audio Professional

Alternate Juror No. 4: Female, Contract Specialist

Alternate Juror No. 5: Female, Creative Operations for Clothing Company

Alternate Juror No. 6: Female, Project Manager for Construction Company

Judge denies Trump's request for emergency stay

An appeals court judge denied the defense's request for an emergency stay of the trial on Friday.

Trump earlier Friday filed the emergency appeal as he sought to change the venue of the trial based on some of the responses prospective jurors gave during the jury selection process.

The appeals court judge denied Trump's request to delay the start of the trial.

Judge won't order prosecutors to disclose 1st witness

Judge Juan Merchan declined to order prosecutors to disclose their first witness after defense attorneys remade a request from yesterday.

"I still think that under the circumstances, the people's response is understandable, and I am not going to compel them to do anything," Merchan said, citing a hearing set for Tuesday to hold Trump in contempt for violating the judge's limited gag order.

On Thursday, prosecutors expressed concern that Trump might attack the initial witnesses if he learned their names. Today, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass offered a compromise -- that they would turn over the first witness's name on Sunday with a strict condition.

"If that should be tweeted, that will be the last time we extend that courtesy," Steinglass said.

Steinglass said that while the testimony of the first witness will likely begin on Monday, it is unlikely the witness finishes their direct examination by the end of the day.

Prospective alternates voice varied opinions of Trump

Many of the prospective alternates spoke freely about their opinions of former President Trump during individual questioning by defense attorney Susan Necheles.

As the former president looked on, one man said there were many categories to Trump: "He's a family man. He's a businessman," the man said. "Clearly he has brought a lot of value to the economy."

But he said his opinion was split over Trump himself.

"I really like lower taxes in this country. I like lower regulation," the man said. "When I think about the Republican Party and why we bring religion and women's rights with their own bodies," that's where he said he splits from Trump, concluding his impression is both "neutral and positive."

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after leaving the courtroom for the day at Manhattan Criminal Court, on April 19, 2024, in New York. (Spencer Platt, POOL via Reuters)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after leaving the courtroom for the day at Manhattan Criminal Court, on April 19, 2024, in New York. (Spencer Platt, POOL via Reuters)

Another man conceded he posted online a handful of times about Trump in 2016 and "around the time of the insurrection." Asked for his impression of Trump, he responded, "I'd say it's fairly negative."

"You continue to hold that opinion of a strong dislike?" Necheles asked him.

"Based on his rhetoric," the man answered, though he declared himself open-minded.

"What is your opinion?" Necheles asked another prospective alternate, the management consultant who likes the outdoors.

"I think we are not in agreement with a lot of policies. But it's also something that I've had to take a step back and really talk to a lot of people who are close to me that he has connected with," he responded. "You need to take both sides."

Trump reiterates his plans to testify

Trump reiterated his plans to testify in his criminal trial as he exited the courtroom at the end of the day.

"We just had another hearing and the trial starts on Monday, which is long before a lot of people thought," he said. "The judge wants to go as fast as possible."

The former president again, without evidence, called the trial a witch hunt orchestrated by his political rivals.

5 big takeaways from Day 4 of Trump's hush money trial originally appeared on