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Trump hush money judge notifies both sides of Facebook user’s claim to insight on jury verdict


The judge who presided over Donald Trump’s Manhattan hush money trial on Friday informed his attorneys and prosecutors about a Facebook comment from someone purporting to have insight into the jury deliberations that led to his conviction.

“Today, the court became aware of a comment that was posted on the Unified Court System’s public Facebook page and which I now bring to your attention,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan wrote.

“My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted … Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!! …,” read the comment by one Michael Anderson, which Merchan said was featured underneath a routine May 29 post on the court system’s Facebook page regarding unrelated appeals court proceedings.

Merchan said the comment was dated a week ago, leaving it unclear whether it was posted before or after the verdict. He did not indicate whether he found it legitimate or a hoax.

Judge Juan Merchan poses for a picture in his chambers in New York, Thursday, March 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Judge Juan Merchan poses for a picture in his chambers in New York, Thursday, March 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The post was archived or deleted soon after Merchan’s letter was publicly filed. Courts spokesman Al Baker said, “As appropriate, the court informed the parties once it learned of this online content.”

Attorneys for the former president and the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

An anonymous jury of seven men and five women, mostly young or middle-aged, on May 30 found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to cover up a conspiracy to hide damaging information about his past from the 2016 electorate. The verdict marked the first criminal conviction of an American president in history.

Trump, who has vowed to appeal, is slated to be sentenced on July 11, days before he’s expected to be named the Republican nominee in this year’s election.

Prosecutors have not yet indicated whether they plan to request prison time. Merchan said on Friday that Trump lawyer Todd Blanche could accompany his client to a mandatory meeting with probation officials for a pre-sentence interview.

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