Bronx judge rotates, will allow press on Trump jury selection

Bronx judge rotates, will allow press on Trump jury selection

Spencer Platt

Spencer Platt

A New York state judge on Wednesday reversed her own decision to keep journalists out of the start of the Trump Organization trial, where the company will defend the way its corporate security guards beat up protesters on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

Bronx Judge Doris M. Gonzalez, reading her opinion in court, said, “Closing the courtroom to the press means closing the courtroom to the public and entails legal and constitutional concerns… jury is an integral part of the trial”.

At the start of the hearing, Gonzalez indicated that he feels jurors don’t need to be hidden from the public when they answer questions about their beliefs in court.

“It’s the Bronx. Bronxites have no problem telling their truth,” Gonzalez said with a smile.

On July 25, the judge made the intriguing decision to bar reporters from attending the trial’s jury selection, according to a court document. Gonzalez, who serves as the administrative judge for the Bronx County civil court, said the process would take place in “private.” This spurred journalists in the room to ask if she would reconsider, but they were denied the ability to speak in court — or even send handwritten letters. This, in turn, prompted National Public Radio to ask for a lawyer to intervene.

Trial Set for Allen Weisselberg, Former Trump Organization Money Man

Last Wednesday, media attorney Robert D. Balin presented a letter to the judge requesting a special hearing. In his letter, he recounted how his attempts to formally enter the court case were rebuffed when a judge’s secretary inexplicably referred him to a court spokesperson.

“The Court’s directive that voir dire in this case be terminated violates the First Amendment

right of public access and is also procedurally deficient,” Balin wrote.

On Friday, Gonzalez ordered lawyers to appear the following week to discuss the matter.

The upcoming trial is the result of a years-long battle to finally drag the Trump company to court, something he managed to put off for years during his presidency. The case revolves around the way protesters — angered by his racist remarks when he declared his candidacy in June 2015 and called Mexicans “rapists” — appeared outside Trump Tower weeks later. Although they remained on a public street, security from the Trump Organization came out and attacked them.

Otherwise, the case would be unremarkable were it not for the fact that Efrain Galicia’s lawyers and protesters managed to get former President Donald Trump to testify in a closed-door deposition, where he unleashed a flurry of statements. embarrassing and ridiculous comments about his unfounded fear of flying fruit and strangely admitted that he personally oversaw the pay of an executive who was under investigation for receiving untaxed benefits from the company.

Trump claimed he knew little about how his security guards assaulted the protesters, but his former consigliere, Michael Cohen, made a surprise appearance as a witness at the end of the case and said Trump lied.

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