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Judge sets rules for research on potential jurors ahead of Trump’s 2020 election interference trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal judge overseeing the 2020 election interference case against Donald Trump on Thursday ordered those involved in the case not to disclose possible jurors’ names as she set rules around conducting research into potential members of the jury.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said potential jurors will be brought to the courthouse in Washington on Feb. 9 to fill out a questionnaire that will help the sides narrow down the jury pool ahead of trial, which is scheduled to begin on March 4.

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team had raised concerns about what Trump might do with research on possible jurors, citing the former president’s “continued use of social media as a weapon of intimidation in court proceedings.”

Trump’s lawyers said in response that the former president “has no intention of publicizing the names or other contact information of jurors.”

Chutkan said in her order on Thursday that while prosecutors and the defense can do open-source research into potential jurors, they cannot use non-public databases or have direct contact with them.

She ordered the sides not to reveal potential jurors’ names or any other identifying information. And she said that juror information can not be given to other entities not involved in the case — like Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

The case, which accuses Trump of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden, is one of four criminal cases the Republican is facing while he campaigns to retake the White House in 2024. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The Associated Press