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Former Trump defense attorney Bill Brennan said on Monday that he is worried about politically motivated people getting on the jury in former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial.

Brennan made the remarks while speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN about what Trump’s legal team needs to do to ensure that the former president receives a fair trial.

“Well, I’ll tell ya Jake, when we were doing it, and Judge Merchan is a very serious man, he’s very smart,” Brennan said. “He’s extremely courteous. I mean, I’m not getting into people’s biases or prejudice, I’m not qualified to do that. I can tell you having spent several weeks with the man, he’s a gentleman and he gave us as much time as we needed.”

He then gave an example that highlighted the enormous difficulty that Trump’s team will have as they try to weed those with prejudices against Trump from becoming jurors.

Brennan said: “We had a lady come up as a prospective juror. I’ve been picking juries for about 35 years. She looked good to me, a lady in her mid-40s of Irish extraction. She spoke with a brogue, she worked in an Irish pub, and in our questionnaire, questions 29 and 30 said, “Do you have any former — do you have any strong feelings about the former president and if so, would they affect your ability to be fair?”

“And she checked them. So I said, ‘Well, ma’am, would they be positive or negative feelings?’” he continued. “And she says, ‘Oh, I despise that man.’ And I said, I guess it was late in the day, and I said, ‘Oh, come on, don’t sugarcoat things for me. Speak your mind.’ She says, ‘Oh, speak me mind? I hate him!’”

Brennan said that he was “floored” by her comments and that Merchan did not immediately dismiss her from the jury selection process.

“And I looked over at Judge Merchan, expecting him to meet my gaze and dismiss her, and he said, ‘Well, wait a minute,’” he continued. “He’s got his robe on and the pomp and circumstance of the courtroom. [He said] ‘if I instructed you in the law, could you put those feelings aside and be fair?’ And she said like most people say when they see the judge in that robe, ‘Sure, judge.’”


“She made it to the second round, I got her out a different way, but it was like rows of shark teeth, they just kept coming,” he continued. “She wasn’t a dangerous juror, she answered the questions. The dangerous jurors are the one who answers no questions, and you just have a gut feeling.”

“That’s the juror that I worry about, the juror who has some type of ulterior motive to get on that case to settle a score,” he concluded.