Trump judge alerts lawyers to social-media post from ‘juror’s cousin’ saying a conviction was in the bag

The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money trial has alerted prosecutors and Trump’s defense team about a Facebook post from an apparent social media troll announcing Trump’s conviction one day before a jury announced a guilty verdict.

A brief letter from New York Justice Juan Merchan on Friday tells the parties that the court “became aware of a comment” from a user named “Michael Anderson” that states: “My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted … Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!”

The comment was posted under an unrelated post on the New York court system’s Facebook page from May 29, the day before jurors found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records, according to the letter.

A Facebook profile that appears to belong to the person who posted that comment – as well as similar comments on the court’s page – describes himself as a “professional s***poster”.

Judge Merchan asks both sides to view the comment.

New York Justice Juan Merchan. He has alerted the sides to a potential issue with a juror after a Facebook post. (AP)
New York Justice Juan Merchan. He has alerted the sides to a potential issue with a juror after a Facebook post. (AP)

Former federal prosecutor and NBC News contributor Joyce Alene said that Judge Merchan would be “smart to advise the parties [and] hold a hearing on the record to resolve this.”

“If it’s someone posting with no basis for it as it appears, the record will be clear … and if there’s something to it, good to get it out [and] do justice,” she wrote.

New York Courts spokesperson Al Baker said in a statement to The Independent that “as appropriate, the Court informed the parties once it learned of this online content.”

A jury in Manhattan found Trump guilty on all 34 counts against him after deliberating for roughly nine hours over two days, and after hearing witness testimony and evidence over roughly five weeks.

The former president covered up reimbursement payments to his former attorney Michael Cohen, who paid hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniel at Trump’s direction to prevent her story about having sex with Trump from reaching voters before Election Day in 2016.

The Independent has requested comment from Trump’s attorneys and the office of Manhattan District Attorney.