CNN analyst: Alternate hush money jurors will be needed in case others are ‘freaked out’

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said late Thursday that he thinks alternate jurors will be needed to reach a verdict in former President Trump’s hush money trial, because others may “get freaked out” and want to be dismissed.

“Jurors get sick, jurors get freaked out. Some of them could be spooked by a social media post,” Honig told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“So, I think they’re going to need all six.”

All 12 jurors were seated Thursday for the former president’s criminal trial after nearly 100 potential jurors were excused after admitting earlier this week that they could not be fair or impartial during the politically divisive trial. One alternate juror was also selected.

Two jurors were dismissed earlier Thursday, over fears of their identities being exposed through media coverage.

Honig noted on CNN that it’s much harder for a juror to be dismissed once they’re sworn in, adding that while he doesn’t think all six alternates will be necessary in the case, it’s possible.

“I don’t think we’re going to cycle through all six alternates. I mean, that would be quite extreme, but I would bet we’re gonna lose one or two along the way, whether someone gets COVID, you know, someone sees something on the news they’re not supposed to see,” he said in remarks highlighted by Mediaite.

“Jurors do drop out once in a while,” Honig said.

Reporters covering the trial were criticized by Judge Juan Merchan Thursday after he dismissed the two seated jurors. Merchan directed the press to stop reporting on prospective jurors’ employers and physical characteristics.

“He ran this process efficiently, by all indications, fairly. He’s kept it from becoming too much of a circus, thus far, and I will say, the lawyers on both sides have not been obstructionist,” Honig said of the judge, adding that jury selection this week was a “good sign for the speed with which we can get this trial in.”

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