On Wednesday, the president's eldest son went through an experience shared by millions upon millions of Americans. Namely, Donald Trump Jr. reported for jury duty, showing up at a courthouse in Lower Manhattan before being subsequently dismissed. According to reports, Trump was a potential juror in an armed robbery case which dates back to 2016, but clearly he wasn't selected.
From the sounds of things, the other people in the courtroom were surprised to be crossing paths with Trump, who is ostensibly in charge of the Trump Organization while his father is in office. According to The New York Daily News, Court Justice Michael Obus joked with Trump about his high-profile career before ultimately cutting him loose.
"Dare I ask what kind of work you're doing these days?" Obus reportedly asked. "I don't know. You can probably read about it — mostly real estate," Trump reportedly joked.
He also clearly kept one eye on Twitter throughout his jury duty experience. As The New York Post noted, he retweeted posts about his dad during his time at the courthouse, including one by conservative personality Charlie Kirk claiming that Trump is more popular than former president Barack Obama at this point in his presidency.
He was let out of court at about 4:00 p.m. ET, reports state, after which he was free to spend the rest of the day however he pleased, having successfully averted a stint on a jury.
Trump, 40, is the first child of President Donald Trump with his first wife Ivana Trump. He's been very much in the news lately, thanks to an offensive gaffe he made during a recent trip to India, his Twitter "liking" of a conspiracy theory about one of the Parkland school shooting victims, and allegations that he's mixing his business affairs with governmental ones.
A notorious user of social media ― sometime to great controversy, as previously mentioned ― Trump took to his Twitter account to comment on his jury duty date, remarking first that it "must be a slow news day," then highlighting another Twitter user who was apparently in the jury pool.
It's fair to say that Trump is a highly polarizing figure, and as such, forays into the public like this could potentially be prickly. There's no indication anyone gave him any trouble during his jury duty appearance, however, which makes sense ― after all, the courthouse is not the ideal setting to harangue or call out one's political opponents. To the contrary, it's generally a somber occasion, and is meant to be treated that way.
Trump reportedly ended up eating at Forlini's after he was dismissed from jury duty, an Italian restaurant close to the courthouse, where he dined on chicken parmigiana. As The New York Times detailed back in 2005, Forlini's is a popular spot for people who work around the Lower Manhattan criminal court, so it's not exactly surprising that Trump ended up there.
The experience Trump embarked upon on Wednesday is not uncommon for citizens of the United States. According to FiveThirtyEight, approximately 32 million Americans are summoned for jury duty each year, with about eight million of those people actually reporting. That 32 million figure amounts to nearly 10 percent of the total U.S. population. Responding to a jury duty summons is mandatory, although you can request a postponement or exemption, and is one of the civic responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen.
What is definitely uncommon, however, is the president's adult son ending up in your jury duty pool. In the past, some other high-profile names from the world of politics have also been summoned for jury duty ― former president Bill Clinton was summoned back in 2003, and former president Barack Obama was summoned just last year.
Also, President Trump himself was called for jury duty while still a candidate back in 2015. However, neither Clinton, Obama, nor Trump ended up having to spend any time actually serving, which meant the rest of the jurors didn't have to deal with sitting alongside a high-profile attention magnet in the box.