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Putting a former president on trial, Step 1: Secret jurors

E. Jean Carroll walks outside Manhattan Federal Court on the day of the second civil trial, after she accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, in New York City, U.S., January 25, 2024.

E. Jean Carroll walks outside Manhattan Federal Court on the day of the second civil trial, after she accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, in New York City, U.S., January 25, 2024.

REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

Former US President Donald Trump has been found liable for defaming E. Jean Carroll when called her a liar after she accused him of sexual abuse. Now nine jurors are deciding how much he should pay her in damages. Who are they? Nobody knows.

The selection process grilled 80 potential jurors about their political engagement, news sources, and other issues meant to turn up disqualifying biases. But a judge ordered the identities of those chosen to be kept secret. Why? To protect them from influence or harassment from Trump or his supporters.


According to the New York Times, the seven men and two women have so far remained anonymous, even to each other.

With criminal cases coming down the line that could alter the course of the 2024 election, this civil trial is aiming to show that jurors can be found and kept safe, even when a former president is on trial. Will it succeed?

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