Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Former President Trump’s Hush Money Trial

A man set himself on fire outside the Manhattan courthouse where former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial was taking place on Friday. The incident occurred just as the jury were being seated for the high-profile case.

Source: KSL News/ VeniDigital

Witnesses reported that Max Azzarello, 37, from Florida, doused himself with a liquid and set himself on fire in a nearby park as a protest performance.

Source: Wikipedia

The man tossed conspiracy pamphlets into the air before igniting himself. Tragically, six first responders were injured while trying to put out the fire and provide medical attention to Azzarello.

Source: KSL News

He published a manifesto in a newsletter called “The Ponzi Papers,” which explains his motivation for the dramatic act. According to the manifesto, he intended to draw attention to the flaws in the U.S. political and economic system.

Source: Wikipedia

Trump’s trial proceeded despite the unexpected interruption, and despite Trump’s attorney’s request to halt the proceedings. Trump, who harshly criticized the judicial system in other cases, called the judicial system in New York an “outrage” and accused judges in those cases of being “whack jobs.”

Source: Idaho Press

Despite the chaos surrounding the courthouse, opening statements in Trump’s trial were scheduled to begin on Monday morning. The chosen alternate jurors had been sworn in after two more were selected.

Source: Post

Meanwhile, Trump’s defense team continued to face challenges in the case. They opposed the introduction of information from E. Jean Carroll trials, arguing it was irrelevant to Trump’s current criminal trial.


Defense attorney Susan Necheles argued that bringing such evidence would “push the salaciousness” onto another level, but Judge Merchan was expected to rule on this matter on Monday.

Source: Finger Lakes DN

A potential alternate juror was struck for impartiality concerns after defense lawyers brought social media posts to the judge’s attention. The man had posted descriptions of Trump as “egomaniacal” and “the devil.” When asked if he believed Trump is the devil, the man replied, “At that time, yeah, I may have felt that.”

Source: Indiana Capital Chronicle

It has been a difficult process finding an unbiased jury for the trial. Multiple jurors have had to be let go from the jury due to their inability to be impartial.

Source: NY1

Judge Merchan advised Trump’s defense to accept his rulings at a certain point and complained about the defense targeting individual court decisions one by one. He also advised Trump’s team to stop flooding the court with filings challenging those decisions.

Source: Economic Star

The incident outside the courthouse served as a stark reminder of the intense public interest in the trial, which was set to explore allegations that Trump falsified business records to cover up a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.