Donald Trump trial: Possible jurors in tears and excused for anxiety as selection concludes

The final day of jury selection for Donald Trump's hush money trial has served as a reminder of how tricky and unpredictable the process can be.

This week, lawyers at Manhattan Criminal Court have been questioning potential jurors to find the 12 people, and six alternates, who will be tasked with deciding if Trump covered up payments to women who alleged they had affairs with him.

By the end of Thursday's proceedings, 12 jurors and one alternate had been sworn in - leaving lawyers with the job of picking five more alternates.

In court today, one prospective juror was excused after saying she suffers from anxiety and felt she could struggle to be impartial, while another was called to the judge's bench after bursting into tears.

The first woman said she takes medication and that as the days go on, "don't think I will be able to be completely fair".

The second broke down crying and, according to Sky News' partner NBC News, said: "I have to be honest, I feel so nervous and anxious right now. I'm sorry."

"I thought I could do this... I don't want you to feel like I've wasted anyone's time," she added before being called to the bench and excused.

Another possible juror, a woman who has adult children, said she does not believe in watching the news, though her husband sends her articles that seem important, and has no strong opinions on Trump.

As the questioning took place, Trump appeared to lean over at the defense table, scribbled on papers and occasionally exchanged notes with his legal team.

However, there was one person who made him turn towards the jury box - a potential juror who said he follows the White House Instagram account and did so when Trump was in office.

A total of 22 jurors were questioned before the final five were selected as alternates.

Those picked will need to set aside personal views and impartially judge Trump, who is currently campaigning for a return to the White House.

More from Sky News:
Trump labels trial a 'mess'
Who is Stormy Daniels?
The investigations Trump is facing

Judge Merchan has indicated the trial's opening statements could begin as early as Monday.

Trump is accused of criminally altering business records to cover up a $130,000 (£104,200) payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, during his 2016 election campaign.

Ms Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who was paid $150,000 (£120,000), both claim to have had affairs with Trump.

The payment was meant to spare himself and his family embarrassment, his lawyers say, not to help him win the election.

In what is the first criminal trial of a US president, Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and could get up to four years in prison if convicted.

He is also facing three other criminal cases that could go to trial. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.