Some potential jurors gasped in court as a judge revealed they might serve on the Trump Org criminal trial

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Donald Trump speaking at rally
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America rally Friday, July 22, 2022, in Prescott, Ariz.

  • The Trump Organization — a real-estate and golf-resort empire — is on trial for alleged tax evasion.
  • Jury selection got underway in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday. 
  • Some potential jurors reacted audibly when learning the case involved the former president.

Some potential jurors in the criminal tax-fraud trial of Donald Trump’s real-estate and golf-resort empire gasped in a Manhattan court on Monday when they learned they might serve in a case surrounding the former president’s business. 

“Some of you are about to be selected for a trial in a criminal case,” the potential jurors were told by New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who swore them in at New York state Supreme Court just after 11 a.m. 

As jury selection process got underway on Monday, some jurors who were ultimately not chosen said they simply could not be impartial about anything that had to do with the former Republican president.

“He’s guilty in my mind whatever the case is — anything he does, anything his corporation does,” a Manhattan advertising executive told reporters after being excused. 

Trump himself is not on trial in the case and has ripped the charges against his company as a “political witch hunt.”

The jury that is ultimately chosen in the high-profile 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.

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

Conviction could hamper the company’s business dealings and even prompt the government to bar the Trump Organization from doing business as a federal contractor, as Insider has previously reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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