Trump Conviction May Be Declared Mistrial Due to Possible Juror Confidentiality Breach

(L)This picture taken on January 12, 2023 in Toulouse, southwestern France shows a smartphone and a computer screen displaying the logos of the social network Facebook and its parent company Meta. (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images) / (R) Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:05 PM – Friday, June 7, 2024

Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over Donald Trump’s so-called “hush money” trial, expressed worry in a letter on Friday regarding a social media comment uploaded to Meta (Facebook) by someone claiming to be a juror’s cousin.

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It’s been one week since the former president was found guilty on 34 criminal counts by a 12-member jury.

“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,” Judge Juan Merchan shared in a letter to Trump’s attorneys and prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.

“In the comment, the user, ‘Michael Anderson,’ states: ‘My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted… Thank you folks for all your hard work!!! ….’” Merchan wrote.

According to Merchan, the statement was made in response to a post made on the court system’s Facebook page on May 29th. Merchan claims that the platform has classified it as “one week old,” so it’s somewhat unclear what day the comment was posted.

The comment was “regarding oral arguments in the Fourth Department of the Appellate Division unrelated to this proceeding,” Merchan continued.

The New York State Unified Court System’s initial Facebook post was no longer visible, but Anderson had left comparable remarks on earlier posts—most notably one from May 20th at 9:01 a.m., in which he repeated his claim to be a juror’s cousin.

“Thank you for all your hard against the MAGA crazies! My cousin is a juror on Trumps criminal
case and they’re going to convict him tomorrow according to her. Thank you New York courts!!!!” Anderson wrote, according to a screenshot captured by investigative reporter Jacqueline Sweet of The Guardian and Politico. The comment was posted under a New York court system post.

As of 5:50 p.m. on Friday, Anderson’s comments on the May 20th post appeared to have been hidden or removed, but the court system’s post was still up.

On May 30th, Trump was found guilty on 34 felony counts of allegedly falsifying business documents in an attempt to hide payments of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.

Former President Trump’s lawyers and the prosecution were put on notice and are expected to respond to the letter as soon as possible, but it’s unclear what may come of the judge’s Friday night warning at this point.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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