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Jury selection for former President Donald Trump’s New York hush-money trial hit more roadblocks on Thursday when two jurors were dismissed after being sworn in on Tuesday, including one who had previously been arrested for tearing down Right-leaning political posters.

Judge Juan Merchan excused juror #4 after a prosecutor from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said the man had been arrested for ripping down “political posters that were on the Right,” Fox News reported. Juror #4’s dismissal came just after another juror — juror #2 — was excused by Merchan following her admission that she could no longer be impartial.

“I definitely have concerns. I don’t think I can be fair,” she said, adding that “outside influence” would “interfere” with her judgment.

The dismissals of jurors #4 and #2 brought the total of those seated down to five, but shortly after they were let go, more jurors were sworn in, bringing the total to 12, according to the New York Post. Five more jurors must be selected as alternates before the trial can move forward. Thursday marks the third day of the hush-money trial, which is the first criminal trial against a former U.S. president. Judge Merchan said jury selection will continue on Friday and he hopes that opening statements will kick off at the beginning of next week.

Dozens of prospective jurors were dismissed on Monday after they said it would be difficult for them to remain impartial throughout the trial. Trump, who is being charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to make alleged hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, has raged against his prosecution, calling it “a political persecution” and an “assault on America.”

Trump was hit with a gag order by Judge Merchan last month, and Bragg’s office filed a motion on Tuesday, suggesting Trump be thrown in jail for 30 days if he violates the gag order. Merchan’s order prohibits Trump from talking about witnesses, jurors, court staff, and prosecutors with the exception of Bragg, who holds an elected office. The gag order was also recently expanded to prevent Trump from talking about the family members of those involved in the case.


Bragg’s office alleged that Trump had already violated the order multiple times with his posts on social media.