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  /  News   /  Trump hush money judge flags Facebook user claiming early knowledge of verdict

Trump hush money judge flags Facebook user claiming early knowledge of verdict

(The Hill) – The judge overseeing former President Trump’s hush money criminal case informed the parties Friday that a person on Facebook claimed to have advance knowledge of the verdict in the case.

Judge Juan Merchan wrote Trump’s attorneys and the Manhattan district attorney’s office that on May 29 – the day 12 New Yorkers began deliberating Trump’s case and a day before he was convicted – a Facebook user left the comment on the New York State Unified Court System’s page. 

“My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted,” the comment read, along with a celebrating emoji. “Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!” 

It’s unclear whether the user was being facetious or speaking truthfully about their relation to one of Trump’s jurors, but on their personal page, they describe themself as a “professional s— poster” – a term that generally refers to trolling on the internet.  

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The Hill identified a second comment by the Facebook user, made on May 29, that celebrated “hard (work) against the MAGA crazies” and again suggested that the user’s cousin was a juror and planned to convict.  

A commenter in that exchange wrote that, if true, the Facebook user had implicated their cousin in a crime, to which the user replied: “Now we are married,” in apparent reference to their supposed cousin.  

The Hill has requested comment from the Facebook user in question.  

In a statement, court spokesperson Al Baker said the court notified the parties about the comment once it learned of it, “as appropriate.”

Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records on May 30 after the jury deliberated for about 11 hours.  

Jurors were instructed not to discuss the facts of the case with anyone – including the judge – once the trial was underway. Under New York law, a breach of that agreement could serve as grounds to set aside the jury’s verdict.  

Trump, who pleaded not guilty, has vowed to appeal his conviction. His sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just days before he’s set to become the Republican Party’s official presidential nominee.

The Hill requested comment from Trump’s attorneys and the Manhattan district attorney’s office. 

This story was updated at 5:41 p.m.