Friday 30 September 2016

Billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reports for jury duty, complete with fist-bump

Nate Raymond

Published 17/08/2015 | 17:05

Donald Trump arrives for jury duty in New York, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. Trump was due to report for jury duty Monday in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Donald Trump arrives for jury duty in New York, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. Trump was due to report for jury duty Monday in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reported for jury duty in New York on Monday in a black limo, signing an autograph and giving a fist-bump to a supporter as he took a break from the campaign trail.

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Trump, the front-runner in a crowded Republican field, appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court to join fellow New Yorkers to possibly be selected to cast a verdict in a trial.

Arriving in a limousine, Trump, 69, was greeted by a throng of reporters and television crews numbering around 100 people. He signed an autograph and fist-bumped a supporter before heading into the courthouse.

The real estate mogul's service came after a state judge in March fined him $250 for failing to respond to summonses to serve jury duty five times since 2006.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Trump's representatives say the fine was ultimately waived and say the prior summonses had been sent to a wrong address for the former star of NBC's "The Apprentice."

Michael Cohen, an executive vice president and special counsel to the Trump Organization, said if Trump had received the notices he would have complied.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

"Any assertion that Mr. Trump doesn't take his civic responsibilities seriously is absolutely false and only being used as an attempt to discredit his stellar reputation," he said in a statement.

Once inside the court, Trump sat in the jury room with some of the 150 potential jurors called on Monday to possibly serve on trials in civil lawsuits.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

With the presidential candidate in a front-row seat, a jury supervisor, Irene Laracuenta, reminded those in attendance of their responsibilities, noting "everyone has some other place they want to be."

During a break, Trump took a selfie with a lawyer and autographed a court artist's sketch. Going back into the jury room, he waved as someone shouted: "Mr. Trump, save this country, will you?" Trump also made phone calls in a hallway the court provided him away from reporters and other jurors that was guarded by two officers.

"Everyone has a right to their own privacy," Dennis Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association, told reporters.

Trump's service is expected to last one day unless he is picked for a trial.

He joins a long list of celebrities to report for jury duty in the New York courts, following Madonna, Caroline Kennedy and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Outside of New York, former President George W. Bush earlier this month was passed over for a breach-of-contract trial in Dallas state court.

In April, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts appeared for jury duty at his local courthouse in Maryland but was not picked to serve in a trial. ( 

Reuters

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