Man sets himself on fire outside Donald Trump’s hush money trial in horror protest

by Jessica

A man set himself on fire outside of Donald Trump’s porn star hush money trial in what witnesses claimed was a “political protest”.

The dramatic moment occurred yesterday afternoon on day four of jury selection ahead of opening arguments on Monday.

Screams were heard outside the Manhattan Criminal Court as the man set himself ablaze. As the fire burned, he knelt down and put his hands on his head before succumbing to the heat.

Dozens of police at the court for the Trump trial rushed to his aid but were pushed back by the heat. After one officer tried to put him out with a jacket, a man with a fire extinguisher extinguished the flames.
Paramedics then rushed the man to hospital.

It wasn’t immediately clear what was used to start the blaze or why. Some witnesses claimed the incident was a “political protest”, although it was not clear what side he was on.

Journalists reporting live outside the courthouse reported smelling “burning human flesh” as the horrific incident unfolded. “I see a totally charred human being,” CNN reporter Laura Coates said live on the air before later adding she could smell an “accelerant”.

The incident came as an entire jury of 12 people and six alternates was finally selected after a week of election. Lawyers had spent days quizzing dozens of New Yorkers to choose the panel that has vowed to put their personal views aside and impartially judge whether the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is guilty or not.

The jury includes a sales professional, a software engineer, an English teacher, and multiple lawyers. The trial will place Trump in a Manhattan courtroom for weeks, forcing him to balance his roles as a presidential candidate and a criminal defendant.

Trump had spent the week sitting quietly in the courtroom as lawyers pressed potential jurors on their views about him in a search for any bias that could preclude them from hearing the case.

During breaks in the proceedings, he has lashed out about the allegations and the judge to cameras in the hallway, using his mounting legal problems as a political rallying cry to cast himself as a victim.

Over several days, dozens of jury pool members have been dismissed after saying they don’t believe they can be fair. Others have expressed anxiety about deciding such a consequential case with outsized media attention.

The judge ruled that their names would only be known to prosecutors, Trump, and their legal teams.

The trial centers on a $130,000 payment that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, and personal fixer, made to porn actor Stormy Daniels to prevent her claims of a sexual encounter with Trump from becoming public in the final days of the 2016 race.

Prosecutors say Trump obscured the true nature of the payments in internal records when his company reimbursed Cohen, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2018 and is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution.

Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels, and his lawyers argue that the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal expenses.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. He could get up to four years in prison if convicted, though it’s not clear that the judge would opt to put him behind bars. He has pleaded not guilty. – Video

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