There are rumors of investigations into President Donald Trump that could potentially result in criminal charges after he leaves office. If this were to happen, how could a jury be selected in order to give him a fair trial? Donald Trump is a well-known and polarizing character in American politics. Presumably, the number of people who do not have strong feelings about him (whether in support or opposition) is extremely low. Furthermore, it is to be assumed that both his supporters and opponents would attempt to game the system in order to be selected for the jury of his trial in order to affect the outcome. Is it possible for him to receive a fair trial? If not, is it possible to avoid legal accountability by simply being both famous and polarizing?

1 Answer 1


How would jury selection work for a trial of Donald Trump?

Just like it does for everybody else - using the rules for criminal procedure in the relevant jurisdiction. For example, in New York, each juror must be fair and unbiased:

A juror who cannot provide unequivocal assurance or whose credibility about the assurance is in doubt would properly be excused for cause.

Jurors (like judges) are not blank slates; they have opinions about all sorts of things. That doesn't matter. What matters is if they can set those opinions aside and make a decision based only on the evidence. It is not necessary for juror's minds to be empty, just that they be open.

  • I understand this. My question is how can it be assured that someone who gives "unequivocal assurance" isn't lying in order to get on the jury in order to influence the outcome? I understand that this is an issue for any high-profile case, but in the case of Trump it seems to me like there would probably be (far) more fakers than legitimately unbiased juror candidates.
    – Daniel
    Oct 5, 2020 at 23:48
  • 4
    @Daniel let the appeals court worry about it
    – Dale M
    Oct 5, 2020 at 23:56
  • @Daniel that is what the questions are for. Note that some questions are outlawed, and others like "Did you vote?" might also be.
    – Trish
    Oct 6, 2020 at 8:31
  • I hate his guts. If I were in a jury, what would I do? I very much hope I’d look at the evidence and decided accordingly. Could I guarantee it? Don’t know.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 2, 2022 at 21:50

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