Judge Merchan notified Trump's defense, prosecution, of possible leaked verdict by juror

 June 12, 2024

Former President Donald Trump frequently accused New York Judge Juan Merchan of being biased and corrupt and of running an unfair trial with a jury stacked against him, and there may be some evidence to support that assertion.

Controversy erupted last week when Merchan notified Trump's defense attorneys and Manhattan prosecutors that one of the jurors may have leaked the ultimate guilty verdict to a relative one day before it was publicly announced, according to a fact check from ABC affiliate WVEC.

Yet, there are also suspicions that the alleged leak of the verdict was a hoax perpetrated by a self-proclaimed "professional s--tposter" who is not related to any of the jurors in Trump's trial and simply intended to stir up trouble.

Judge informs parties of possible leaked verdict

On June 7, Judge Merchan sent a letter to both parties involved in former President Trump's criminal case to notify them of a potential problem about an alleged leak of the verdict from one of the trial's jurors.

"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.

That comment, posted by a Facebook user identified as "Michael Anderson," wrote in response to an unrelated May 29 court posting, "My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted. Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!"

The judge's letter provided no further information about the post that was made one day before the verdict was announced or what, if anything, was being done about it.

Comment appears to have been a hoax posted by a troll

Later that same day, investigative reporter Jacqueline Sweet appeared to have tracked down the Facebook user account that posted the since-deleted comment that triggered Judge Merchan's letter and shared a couple of screenshots that showed a similar comment on a different court system post as well as the account's bio that claimed to be a "professional s--t poster."

Courthouse News reporter Erick Uebelacker also seemingly found the "Michael Anderson" account that sparked the judge's notification letter and posted a screenshot of a separate post that strongly insinuated the whole thing had been made up.

That post reiterated that the user was a "professional s--tposter" and defined the internet slang term as someone who posts content that is of "aggressively, ironically, and trollishly poor quality" and is intended to deliberately "derail discussions" and cause outraged reactions or even "render a website unusable."

The Washington Post even investigated the matter and claimed in its report that the same "Michael Anderson" user who made the comment about the alleged juror leak was also an "active user" who frequently made posts in a pro-Trump Facebook group.

Trump declares a "mistrial"

Despite the strong appearance that the initial Facebook comment that spurred Judge Merchan's notification letter was nothing more than a hoax, The Post reported that unnamed court officials said they had an "obligation" to make everyone aware of the questionable post.

A spokesperson for the court told the outlet, "As appropriate, the Court informed the parties once it learned of this online content."

As for former President Trump, he had just one word to say on his Truth Social account in response to the development: "MISTRIAL!!!"

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