Donald Trump

Judge Asks About Social Media Post Claiming Juror's Relative Said Trump Would Be Convicted

Main image to the post Judge Asks About Social Media Post Claiming Juror's Relative Said Trump Would Be Convicted

The New York judge overseeing Donald Trump's hush money trial has asked attorneys in the case about a social media post purporting to preview the former president's guilty verdict.

"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 wrote in a letter dated Friday.

"My cousin is a juror and said Trump is getting convicted," the post stated, according to Merchan's letter. "Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!"

Merchan said that the comment, which was attributed to a user identified as Michael Anderson, was "now labeled as one week old," and was posted in response to a routine notice from the court posted on May 29 about oral arguments unrelated to proceedings in Trump's case.

When a defendant who has been convicted by a jury but has not yet been sentenced learns of alleged jury misconduct, he can move to set aside the verdict under New York criminal procedure law. If a defendant can prove that jury misconduct "may have affected a substantial right of the defendant," the remedy is a new trial.

NBC News has not verified the claims made in the comment or the identity of the user who published the post, which has since been deleted. NBC News also hasn't independently confirmed the comment's existence.

A Trump campaign official said "we're investigating" when asked about Merchan's letter.

Attorneys for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon, nor did a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Trump was convicted last month on 34 counts of falsifying business records tied to reimbursing Michael Cohen for hush money paid to Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 campaign. Trump had pleaded not guilty in the case and denied Daniels' claims that she had a sexual encounter with him in 2006. Trump's sentencing in the case is scheduled for July 11.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09