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Cory Booker drops out of presidential race as Democratic field gets smaller and whiter

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BREAKING NEWS: Cory Booker drops out of presidential race after polling less than 2 per cent as Democratic field gets smaller and whiter and Donald Trump mocks: ‘Now I can rest easy tonight!’

  • Democratic hopeful Sen. Cory Booker announced his decision Monday to end his presidential run 
  • ‘It’s with a full heart that I share this news—I’m suspending my campaign for president,’ Booker tweeted 
  • Booker was polling, on average, at 1.8 per cent, didn’t make the debate stage in Los Angeles and wouldn’t be appearing this week in Des Moines 
  • Soon after Booker’s announcement President Trump chimed in with a tweet, mocking the New Jersey senator’s bid 
  • ‘Now I can rest easy tonight. I was sooo concerned that I would someday have to go head to head with him!’ Trump wrote  

The Democratic presidential field shrank Monday with the withdrawal of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

The 50-year-old represented one of the party’s few remaining opportunities to spotlight ethnic diversity in its quest to unseat President Donald Trump.  

Twelve hopefuls remain, barely half of the field who set their sights on the nomination last year. 

‘It’s with a full heart that I share this news—I’m suspending my campaign for president,’ Booker wrote in a tweet on Monday morning.

Donald Trump mocked him moments later.

Cory Booker has left the Democratic presidential race, shrinking the field to 12 candidates and stripping the party of one of its last remaining nonwhite White House hopefuls

Cory Booker has left the Democratic presidential race, shrinking the field to 12 candidates and stripping the party of one of its last remaining nonwhite White House hopefuls

President Donald Trump jumped on his iPhone to tweet a slap at the New Jersey senator, joking that he would finally rest easy knowing Booker wouldn't be the Democratic nominee

President Donald Trump jumped on his iPhone to tweet a slap at the New Jersey senator, joking that he would finally rest easy knowing Booker wouldn’t be the Democratic nominee

‘Really Big Breaking News (Kidding): Booker, who was in zero polling territory, just dropped out of the Democrat Presidential Primary Race,’ the presdient tweeted. 

‘Now I can rest easy tonight. I was sooo concerned that I would someday have to go head to head with him!’ 

Booker was polling at 1.8 per cent among Democratic voters, according to an average maintained by Real Clear Politics.

He made a dignified exit, thanking his team and his supporters: ‘I am so proud of what we built, and I feel nothing but faith in what we can accomplish together.’  

‘I’ve said throughout this race that this election is not just a referendum on Donald Trump. It’s a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other. And over the past year, I’ve seen the very best of who we can be,’ Booker texted his supporters. 

WHO ARE THE 12 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

MICHAEL BENNET 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 56

Entered race:  May 2, 2019

Career: Currently Colorado senator.  Educated at elite St. Albans preparatory school and was a Capitol Hill page before graduating Wesleyan and Yale Law School. Was law clerk and worked in Clinton’s Department of Justice then moved to Colorado in 1997 as managing director of billionaire Philip Anschutz’s investment company. Was chief of staff to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, then superintendent of Denver Public schools. Appointed to vacant Colorado Senate seat in 2009, held it 48.1 to 46.4 in 2010 and 50 to 44.3 in 2016

Family: Married to environmental attorney Susan Daggett, with three daughters – Halina, Anne and Caroline. Was born in New Delhi while to diplomat father Douglas Bennet, who went onto be CEO of NPR and a Clinton assistant secretary of state. His grandfather, also Douglas, was an economic adviser to FDR. Mother Susanne is retired elementary school librarian whose parents were Holocaust survivors. Brother James is editor of the New York Times opinion section

Religion: Says he was raised with Jewish and Christian heritage; no known adherence

Views on key issues: Moderate who does not endorse Medicare for all or – so far – Green New Deal. Strongly pro-choice and pro-gay rights, leading to 2010 Senate victory. Pro raising minimum wage. Wants citizenship pathway for ‘dreamers.’ 

Would make history as: First Colorado president

Slogan: Building Opportunity Together 

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

MIKE BLOOMBERG

Age on Inauguration Day: 78

Entered race: November 25, 2019

Career: Currently multi-billionaire CEO of Bloomberg PL, the financial information firm he founded in 1981 and which remains a private company. Educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, he became a Wall Street trader at investment bank Salomon Brothers and was laid off in 1981, walking away with $10m in stock which he used to set up his own financial information firm, now one of the world’s largest. Three times mayor of New York 2002 to 2013, running first as Republican then as independent; had to get term limits suspended for final term. Once flirted with running for mayor of London where he has a home; holds an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Has spent large amounts on philanthropy in line with his political views as well as on political campaigns

Family: Born in Brookline, MA, to first-generation Jewish immigrant parents whose own parents had fled Russia. Divorced wife of 18 years, Susan Brown-Meyer, in 1993; former couple have daughters Emma, who has a son with her former boyfriend, and Georgina, who has daughter Zelda with her husband Chris Fissora. The child has a portmanteau surname, Frissberg. Partner since 2000 is Diana Taylor, former New York state banking commissioner, 13 years his junior

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Self-professed fiscal conservative, although painted as a Democratic moderate by other conservative groups. Opposed to Medicare for all. Social progressive who backed gay marriage early, but has flip-flopped on marijuana legalization, most recently opposing it.. Wants firm action on climate change. Fiercely in favor of gun control. As New York mayor banned smoking in public places and tried to outlaw large sugary drinks. Backs increased immigration. Apologized for his stop-and-frisk policing strategy as mayor

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president; richest president ever; first New York mayor to become president

Slogan:  Fighting For Our Fture

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics; his father was Maltese-American. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president. First veteran of post-World War II conflict 

Slogan: A Fresh Start For America

JOHN DELANEY

Age on Inauguration Day: 57

Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017

Career: No current job. Columbia and Georgetown law educated financial entrepreneur. Set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm. Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012; announced run for president instead of running again in 2018

Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children’s issues nonprofit. Credits his working class father’s union roots for helping him through college

Religion: Catholic 

Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative

Would make history as: First president from Maryland. First openly bald president since Eisenhower

Slogan: Focus on the Future

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: Let’s Get To Work

DEVAL PATRICK

Age on Inauguration Day: 63

Entered race: Told friends he was running on November 13, 2019

Career: Currently a managing director of Bain Capital. Awarded scholarship in eighth grade to Massachusetts boarding school Milton Academy, becoming first in his family to go to college.  Harvard law grad who twice failed the bar before working for NAACP then private practice where he represented Mike Tyson’s rape victim Desiree Washington. Assistant attorney general for civil rights in Clinton administration then Texaco and Coca-Cola and sub-prime lender Ameriquest executive. Ran for Massachusetts governor as outside candidate in 2006 and won, becoming first African-American in role, won a second term 48-42.

Family: Born in Chicago, his jazz musician father Pat Patrick left mother Emily Wintersmith when he was three when he fathered a Patrick’s half-sister with another woman. Patrick married wife Diane Bemus, an attorney, in 1984; they have two adult daughters, Sarah and Katherine. Sarah is married to a former Italian soldier Marco Morgese; their son Gianluca is the Patricks’ first grandchild. Katherine came out as lesbian in 2008 and married Alisha Lemieux in 2016. 

Religion: Presbyterian 

Views on key issues: Moderate who championed social liberal policies and embraced Obamacare. Boosted transportation spending and increased state gas taxes to pay, speaking out against climate change. Unclear where he stands on Medicare for All and Green New Deal. Pro-gun control, proposing ban on multiple gun sales after Sandy Hook.

Would make history as: No obvious claim 

Slogan: To be announced 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

TOM STEYER 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63

Entered race: July 9, 2019

Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, same as rival Andrew Yang, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats’ biggest single donors

Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his wife would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor

Religion: Episcopalian

Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels

Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever

Slogan: Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

ANDREW YANG

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018

Career: No current job. Went to public school in New York where he describes being bullied with racial slurs, then elite Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school – same as rival Tom Steyer. Brown and Columbia Law graduate who abandoned career as an attorney then started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America

Family: Married to wife Evelyn with two sons, one of whom he has said is on the autism spectrum. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students

Religion: Reformed Church

Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision. Wants a state monitor to crack down on ‘fake news.’

Would make history as: First Asian-American president 

Slogan: Humanity First

AND THOSE WHO HAVE WITHDRAWN   

CORY BOOKER, New Jersey Senator 

Entered race: February 1, 2019

Quit: January 13, 2020 

STEVE BULLOCK, Montana governor 

  • Entered race: May 14, 2019 
  • Quit: December 2, 2019

JULIÁN CASTRO, former Housing Secretary

  • Entered race: January 18, 2019
  • Quit: January 2, 2020 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York senator

  • Entered race: January 16, 2019
  • Quit: August 28, 2019

BILL DE BLASIO, New York City mayor 

  • Entered race: May 16, 2019
  • Quit: September 20, 2020

MIKE GRAVEL, Former Alaska governor

  • Entered race: April 2,2019
  • Quit: August 2, 2019 

KAMALA HARRIS,California senator  

  • Entered race: January 21, 2019
  • Quit: December 3, 2019 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, Former Colorado governor

  • Entered race: March 4, 2019
  • Quit: August 15, 2019 

JAY INSLEE, Washington governor 

  • Entered race: March 1, 2019
  • Quit: August 21, 2019

WAYNE MESSAM, mayor of Miramar, Florida 

  • Entered race: March 28, 2019
  • Quit: November 20, 2019 

SETH MOULTON, Massachusetts congressman

  • Entered race:  April 22,2019
  • Quit: August 23, 2019

RICHARD OJEDA, former West Virginia state senator

  • Entered race: November 12, 2018
  • Quit: January 25, 2019 

BETO O’ROURKE, former Texas congressman

  • Entered race: March 14, 2019 
  • Quit: November 1, 2019  

TIM RYAN, Ohio congressman

  • Entered race: April 4, 2019
  • Quit: October 24, 2019

JOE SESTAK, former Pennsylvania congressman 

  • Entered race: June 23, 2019
  • Quit: December 1, 2019

ERIC SWALWELL, California congressman

  • Entered race: April 8, 2019
  • Quit: July 8, 2019  

MARIANNE WILLSAMSON, author

  • Entered race: November 15, 2018
  • Quit: January 10, 2020 

 

Cory Booker drops out of presidential race as Democratic field gets smaller and whiter

Hobbling Harvey arrives back at court on his walker as the contentious jury selection in his rape and sexual assault trial enters its second week with more than 250 potential jurors already dismissed

  • Jury selection in the case is in its first phase, with potential jurors being pre-screened for possible bias 
  • Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted
  • Out of 360 potential jurors called last week, 106 passed pre-screening; many said they could not be impartial
  • One said he could not be impartial because a friend had had an ‘encounter’ with Weinstein in his hotel room 
  • Since 2017, more than 80 women, including famous actresses, have accused him of sexual misconduct dating back decades; Weinstein has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual
  • Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers and behind movies ‘The English Patient’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love’, arrived back in court Monday on the day the 2020 Oscar nominations were announced

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A hobbling Harvey Weinstein arrived back at a New York court on his walker Monday as the contentious jury selection in his rape and sexual assault trial entered its second week with more than 250 potential jurors already dismissed.  

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. His trial began January 6 and could last up to two months. 

Jury selection in Weinstein’s case is in its first phase, with potential jurors being pre-screened for possible bias. A more intensive phase is expected to begin Thursday in which lawyers will ask more detailed questions about jurors’ backgrounds.

Out of 360 potential jurors summoned last week, 106 passed pre-screening, with many excused after saying they could not be impartial. 

One told the court she could not be impartial because a friend had had an ‘encounter’ with the embattled movie mogul in his hotel room. Others were let go for health reasons or because serving in the trial would be a hardship. 

Potential jurors were each given questionnaires featuring 72 questions and will report back for further questioning on January 16. The questionnaire given to potential jurors asks, among other things, if they could ignore media coverage and decide the case based only on evidence heard in court. They were also told the trial will last six weeks, which could weed out many parents, college students and others with pressing day-to-day obligations.

Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, made his mark with critically acclaimed films such as ‘The English Patient’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love.’ He arrived back in court Monday on the day the 2020 Oscar nominations were announced. 

Since 2017, more than 80 women, including many famous actresses, have accused him of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Weinstein has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

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Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York Criminal Court for his ongoing sexual assault trial in Manhattan Monday

Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York Criminal Court for his ongoing sexual assault trial in Manhattan Monday

Jury selection in Weinstein's case is in its first phase, with potential jurors being pre-screened for possible bias

 Jury selection in Weinstein’s case is in its first phase, with potential jurors being pre-screened for possible bias

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. His trial could last up to two months. He is pictured arriving at court on Monday

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. His trial could last up to two months. He is pictured arriving at court on Monday 

Allegations against Weinstein helped fuel the #MeToo movement, in which women have gone public with misconduct allegations against powerful men in business and politics. 

Friday’s jury selection proceedings were punctuated by a protest, with about 100 women carrying pots and pans dancing across the street from the courthouse.

‘The rapist is you. Patriarchy is our judge,’ the women chanted, first in English and then in Spanish. The chants were heard in the 15th floor courtroom, prompting Weinstein’s lawyers to ask that all the potential jurors present be dismissed.

Defense attorney Damon Cheronis complained to the judge: ‘It’s this type of atmosphere that makes it impossible for Mr. Weinstein to get a fair trial.’ 

Justice James Burke denied the request, noting that he expected the protest would not be the last.

Burke last week refused to take himself off the case, after the defense team accused him of bias when he dressed down Weinstein for repeatedly defying an order to stop texting in the courtroom. 

The judge also tried to calm nerves after hearing someone gasp when he told jury candidates it was their sacred duty to serve. 

In picking a jury, defense lawyers typically want jurors who can ‘think outside of the box’ and look skeptically at a prosecution case, while prosecutors seek people with a linear and methodical mindset, said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a jury consultant and University of Dayton law professor. 

For insight into prospective jurors’ thinking, lawyers have taken to scouring their public social media postings, Hoffmeister said, which is fine under court rules as long as the lawyers don’t follow or friend them or send them messages.  

Opening statements shouldn’t be expected before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 20, the judge said. 

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. His trial began January 6 and could last up to two months

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. His trial began January 6 and could last up to two months

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, and faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. His trial began January 6 and could last up to two months

Why the jury selection process will take up to two weeks and how they will be selected

Selecting the jury for the Hollywood mogul’s rape and sexual assault trial is likely to be a painstaking, weeks-long process, made complicated by the high stakes, heavy publicity and public revulsion toward him. 

Jury selection is expected to stretch on for at least two weeks, far longer than for a non-celebrity trial, with lawyers delving into each potential juror’s knowledge and opinions about the case. Opening statements shouldn’t be expected before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 20, the judge said.

The prospective jurors were given questionnaires asking, among other things, if they could ignore media coverage and decide the case based only on evidence heard in court. They were also told the trial will last six weeks, which could weed out many parents, college students and others with pressing day-to-day obligations. 

Jury questionnaires are commonly used to identify subject areas like their knowledge of and potential links to the case or any prior experiences with law enforcement that can then allow follow-up questions back in the courtroom before selection.

Potential jurors raise their hands and explain why they can't serve on the jury of film producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial

Potential jurors raise their hands and explain why they can’t serve on the jury of film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial

‘The defense team is concerned about widespread media coverage of sexual assault and harassment claims against Weinstein, and of jurors prejudging the case,’ said Cornell University law professor Valerie Hans. On the other side of the case, ‘prosecutors are wary of prospective jurors who might reveal a predisposition to blame the victims, even in this age of #MeToo.’ 

Prospective jurors were introduced as a group to Weinstein and were read a list of names that could come up at trial, including actresses Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron and Rosie Perez. 

120 potential jurors appeared before the court Tuesday – 36 advanced to the next stage of the process. A further 120 appeared Wednesday with 30 being selected to continue.

New pools of prospective jurors will be summoned to court each morning in the coming days – around 120 per day will be called.

A jury summons was sent to 2,000 New Yorkers – five times the number for a typical trial.

Experts said lawyers for Weinstein and the prosecution would need to be wary of jurors who may try to mask their bias in order to serve on a headline-grabbing trial. 

Some jurors may seek to use the trial as a means of advancing a personal cause, a concern in a case that has become a flashpoint for ending sexual harassment.  

Weinstein in October lost a bid to move the trial to suburban Long Island or to Albany, New York state’s capital. He said intense media scrutiny made it impossible for jurors to give him a fair trial in Manhattan.

The defense asked at Monday’s hearing that the jury be sequestered, a request the judge denied. 

There were further distractions on Friday when the defense asked the judge to dismiss 32 potential jurors because they might have overheard a woman remarking that she couldn’t be an impartial juror because she has a ‘close friend who had an encounter with the defendant in his hotel room.’

One of Weinstein’s lawyers, Arthur Aidala, suggested having prospective jurors questioned individually and in private so they wouldn’t have to reveal personal information on sensitive topics ‘in front of the international media.’

‘Denied!’ Burke barked before the lawyer could finish his argument. He called barring the public and the press from observing the process ‘inconsistent with having an open, transparent jury selection’ and ‘against the law.’ 

On January 6, as the New York trial began, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced new sexual assault charges against Weinstein.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? THE CHARGES AGAINST HARVEY WEINSTEIN

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. 

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts in New York – two counts of rape, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault. 

He faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.  

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006. Prosecutors say Weinstein raped the second woman, who has not been publicly identified, in 2013. 

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts

Jury selection began Tuesday but finding impartial New York City jurors amid the media frenzy surrounding the Weinstein case will be a challenge for both legal teams, experts said.

Lawyers will likely question potential jurors about their knowledge and opinion of the case, their work history and whether they have been victims of sexual misconduct.

The trial is expected to last for around six weeks.  

Los Angeles prosecutors also charged Weinstein Monday with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013.

Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 

Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if he is convicted of the charges filed in LA of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. 

His arraignment has not yet been scheduled and prosecutors will recommend $5 million bail. Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his trial in New York is finished.   

Here is what to expect from the trial:

WHO ARE THE ACCUSERS?

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, pictured in 2017, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, pictured in 2017, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006

More than 80 women have publicly accused Weinstein, 67, of sexual misconduct, helping to fuel the #MeToo movement over the last two years. The criminal charges against him refer to just three accusers.

Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant on a Weinstein Company television show, has said that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Manhattan home in July 2006.

Actress Annabella Sciorra, best known for her role on HBO’s The Sopranos, has said Weinstein raped her in her Manhattan apartment in 1993.

Prosecutors have accused Weinstein of raping another woman in March 2013 in Manhattan. She has not been publicly identified.

Weinstein has said that any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

WHAT ARE THE CHARGES?

Weinstein is charged with a criminal sexual act in the first degree against Haleyi, and with rape for the 2013 allegation. He is charged with predatory sexual assault over both allegations.

Sciorra’s allegation is too old to be the basis of a separate charge, but is a crucial part of the predatory sexual assault charges, which require prosecutors to establish a pattern of serious sex crimes against multiple women.

Predatory sexual assault is the most serious charge against Weinstein, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.

WHO WILL TESTIFY AGAINST WEINSTEIN?

Haleyi, Sciorra and the 2013 accuser are almost certain to testify in a trial that is expected to last up to eight weeks.

Prosecutors may also call three other women to testify about encounters with Weinstein, even though he is not formally charged with crimes against them. Their testimony is intended to bolster the charges by showing that Weinstein had a consistent pattern of behavior.

Prosecutors have also said that they expect to call Barbara Ziv, a professor at Temple University in Pennsylvania, to testify as an expert on the trauma resulting from sexual assault.

WHAT IS WEINSTEIN’S DEFENSE?

While criminal defendants and their lawyers typically avoid revealing their strategy before trial, Weinstein has dropped some hints.

Weinstein’s lead lawyer, Donna Rotunno, told Reuters that Weinstein had a ‘slew of witnesses ready to go.’ She has said the defense would be introducing emails and text messages to prove that Weinstein’s accusers maintained relationships with him after his alleged assaults.

His lawyers have also said they plan to call psychologist Deborah Davis, of the University of Nevada, Reno, to testify as an expert on memory, suggesting that Weinstein may try to call his accusers’ recollections into question.

Harvey Weinstein was pictured smiling as he arrived at a New York court Monday as his lawyers and a judge handle the final preparation for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault

Harvey Weinstein was pictured smiling as he arrived at a New York court Monday as his lawyers and a judge handle the final preparation for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault

WHAT OTHER LEGAL RISKS DOES WEINSTEIN FACE?

Even if he is acquitted in Manhattan, Weinstein faces separate criminal charges announced on Monday by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Lawyer Rotunno declined immediate comment on those charges.

Weinstein was charged with sexually assaulting two unidentified women in 2013, said Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey. He was charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting the other.  

Lacey said the timing of the charges was unrelated to the New York trial.

But there is some connection between the cases. One of the Los Angeles accusers is expected to testify in the New York case to help prosecutors establish what they say was Weinstein’s pattern of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, Lacey said.

The Hollywood mogul stumbled up the stairs as he arrived at a Manhattan courthouse on Wednesday

The Hollywood mogul stumbled up the stairs as he arrived at a Manhattan courthouse on Wednesday

 

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