Merchan: Facebook Post Said Jury Would Convict Trump

Judge tells both sides but requests no action
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2024 3:15 PM CDT
Merchan: Facebook Post Said Jury Would Convict Trump
In this courtroom sketch, Donald Trump's defense attorney Emil Bove, left, and assistant district attorney Matthew Colangelo, right, argue various points on the jury charge to Judge Juan Merchan on May 21.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Judge Juan Merchan, who's handling the New York trial in which Donald Trump was convicted of 34 felony counts, has informed both sides in the case that someone claimed to know the verdict before it was announced in court. Merchan wrote prosecutors and defense lawyers on Friday that a post on the court system's Facebook page read: "My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted," along with a celebratory emoji and "Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!" The judge gave no indication about the credibility of the post, Politico reports.

Merchan did not ask either side to take any action. He said the comment, which has been deleted, was posted in response to a routine notice about oral arguments in a case unrelated to Trump's. Court officials told the Washington Post they had an obligation to tell participants in Trump's case about the message. News media attempts to identify the source of the message suggest the poster is someone who regularly trolls the social media accounts of the court system, per Politico. Neither defense nor prosecution lawyers commented immediately on the judge's letter. Merchan had told jurors not to discuss the facts of the case with anyone during the trial, per the Hill. (More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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