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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Judge Merchan Notifies Trump Attorneys, Prosecution of Social Media Post Giving Away Jury Verdict

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Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw former President Donald Trump’s business records trial, warned Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass of a comment from someone claiming to be the cousin of one of the jurors.

In a letter addressed to Blanche and Steinglass, Merchan revealed that the court was “aware of a comment” posted to the Facebook page for the Unified Court System, in which a Facebook user revealed the jury’s guilty verdict a day before Trump was convicted.

“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,” Merchan wrote in his letter.

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Merchan added that a Facebook user with the name Michael Anderson left a comment stating, “My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted.”

The user also added, “Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!”

“The comment, now labeled as one week old, responded to a routine UCS notice, posted on May 29, 2024, regarding oral arguments in the Fourth Department of the Appellate Division unrelated to this proceeding,” Merchan continued.

On May 30, Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first-degree concerning payments made to adult entertainment star, Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.

While Merchan added in his letter that the comment was able to be seen on the Facebook page of the New York State Unified Court System, the post appears to have been deleted.

Under New York law, “a defendant can move to vacate a verdict on the basis of juror misconduct if and only if he can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence,” that there was misconduct, and that the misconduct “created a substantial risk of prejudice,” according to NBC News.

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