BREAKING: Judge Merchan notifies parties in NYC Trump case of Facebook comment boasting of conviction before verdict

"My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted. Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!!"

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
A stray comment was posted to Facebook only a day before a jury convicted Donald Trump in a New York court last week in which the poster said his cousin was a juror on the Trump case and that a conviction was imminent. He thanked the court for their service.

Judge Juan Merchan brought the comments to the attention of the counsel for Trump and the prosecution on Friday, sending the letter to both Trump's attorney Todd Blanche and the Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass.

"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. 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!!!!!"

"The comment," Merchan continued in the letter, "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. The posting, entitled 'The Appellate Division will hear oral arguments this morning at 10,' and the comment are both viewable at"

Jurors in the case deliberated for two days before reaching a verdict in DA Alvin Bragg's case against Trump over 34 felony counts of the falsification of business records. The jury found Trump guilty on all 34 counts. There had been concern that a jury from New York City could be substantially biased.

Lawyers for Trump had argued that there were grounds for a mistrial on multiple occasions throughout the trial but that had been denied by the judge. Jurors in the case were not sequestered but were instructed to not consume news regarding the trial and not to discuss it with anyone else. If those instructions are shown to have been violated, that could substantiate juror misconduct and be grounds for a mistrial.

In those instructions, Merchan told jurors that he personally did not have an opinion on the case and that they may not "speculate about matters related to sentencing." 

"If there is a guilty verdict," he told the jury, the first ever to embark on deliberations to determine the guilt or innocence of a former president, "it will be my responsibility to impose sentence." He also told them that they must disregard any testimony that was "stricken from the record." Merchan told the jury to be objective in their consideration and not to allow their verdict to "rest on speculation or bias."

Those 34 counts of the falsification of business records, which were elevated to a felony under DA Alving Bragg, are usually classed as misdemeanors. In this case, Bragg claimed they were committed in service to a felony crime. He attested that this crime was that the payments made to Cohen were campaign contributions to then-president and incumbent presidential candidate Trump, who intended to subvert the election by "hushing" a porn star who testified on the witness stand that she had sex with Trump many years prior to his political career. 

"Under our law, a person is guilty of this when with intent to defraud, with the intent to commit another crime, that person causes the entry of a false business record. Intent means conscious objective or purpose," Merchan told the jury.

"The first of the People's theories of unlawful means is Federal elections law, including as to the office of the President of the US. Under FECA, a corporation may not make a contribution to a candidate or an expenditure in concert with a candidate," he went on.

"If the payment would have been made absent the candidacy, it should not be treated as a contribution. There is an exemption for legitimate press functions. The second of the People's theories of unlawful means is to falsify other business records," he said.

"If you find the People have proven the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find the defendant guilty... Motive is the reason why the person chooses to engage in criminal conduct. Motive is not an element of the crimes charged," Merchan instructed. 

As to whether he could face jail time, Trump told Fox News "I'm okay with it," going on to say, "you don't beg for things." Sentencing in the trial is set for July 11, only four days before Trump is set to appear at the Republican National Convention and accept the nomination for the party's candidate for president. His attorney said that the legal team was expecting convictions on all counts and that they expect to appeal.

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Can you say 'mistrial'? So, the fix was already in. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

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