A prospective juror excused from Trump Organization tax evasion trial said ‘there is no chance in hell’ she could have been impartial

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.Mary Altaffer/AP

  • A woman who was excused from the potential jury pool in the criminal tax fraud trial of Donald Trump’s business said she can’t be impartial.

  • “He’s guilty in my mind whatever the case is,” the Manhattan advertising executive said of Trump.

  • Trump is not on trial, but his real estate and golf resort empire — the Trump Organization — is.

A New York advertising executive who was excused from the potential jury pool in the criminal tax fraud trial of Donald Trump’s real estate and golf resort empire on Monday said that “there is no chance in hell” she could be impartial about anything to do with the form Republican president.

“He’s guilty in my mind whatever the case is — anything he does, anything his corporation does,” the 34-year-old Manhattan woman who would only identify herself as Adrienne told reporters in reference to Trump as she was on her way out of New York state Supreme Court in lower Manhattan.

The woman, who lives in the Midtown East neighborhood, made the remarks as jury selection was underway in the tax evasion trial of Trump’s business, the Trump Organization.

Even though Trump himself is not on trial in the high-profile case, Adrienne said there was “no way” she could be impartial.

“Absolutely not,” she said.

She was ultimately excused by New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan after telling the judge she could not be away from work for weeks on end.

Another prospective juror in the case, a Manhattan lawyer, who was also excused, told reporters she believed it would be an uphill battle to select an impartial jury for the case.

“If it’s down to, can you be impartial about Donald Trump? I think it’s hard,” said the woman who declined to give her name. “He’s such a polarizing person.”

The woman said another potential juror — who was also later excused — told her he couldn’t be unbiased because “I hate Trump.”

“They’re probably not going to find someone impartial either way,” the woman told reporters.

The woman was excused because she said her daughter went to the same ritzy Upper West Side private school as Trump’s youngest son, Barron, and as well as grandkids of the Trump Organization’s former longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

Some 130 prospective jurors were crammed into a Manhattan courtroom on Monday for the initial culling of the pool based on whether they can be impartial and serve on a trial that could last until the brink of the holidays.

About 40 of those prospective jurors asked to talk to the judge about a conflict that would keep them from serving. They were expected to be excused.

The jury that is ultimately chosen in the trial will determine if the Trump Organization defrauded tax authorities by allegedly paying executives some of their compensation off the books in the form of untaxed perks like free apartments and cars.

Last year, the Trump Organization and Weisselberg were indicted on 15 felony counts, including criminal tax fraud, falsifying business records, scheming to defraud, and conspiracy.

Prosecutors have accused the Trump Organization of running a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York state, and New York City tax authorities.

Weisselberg will be the key prosecution witness against the company after pleading guilty to the tax-dodge scheme in August.

He has admitted to pocketing $1.7 million in tax-free perks over 15 years, including Mercedes-Benz luxury cars for him and his wife, free use of Trump-branded apartments on Manhattan’s Hudson River and tuition for his grandkids’ private schools.

As part of his guilty plea, Weisselberg, who remains on the company payroll as an adviser, must pay back $2 million and serve five months in jail.

The Trump Organization, which has pleaded not guilty, could face harsh tax penalties and be fined more than $1 million if convicted.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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