Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Social Media Message Could Doom Trump NYC Verdict—If It’s True (And That’s a BIG IF); Trump Judge Flags Social Post Claiming Verdict Knowledge

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Social Media Message Could Doom Trump NYC Verdict—If It’s True (And That’s a BIG IF):
Another Friday afternoon, another potential bombshell in the Trump “hush money” trial in New York City.
The judge who presided over former President Donald Trump’s trial notified the parties that on May 29, a user named “Michael Anderson” (if that is his real name) posted on the New York Unified Court System’s public Facebook page that “My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted . . . Thank you folks for all of your hard work!!!!!” (Emojis omitted).
Of course, if true (and that’s a BIG if), this comment raises immediate concerns and should raise alarm bells for all involved in the trial.
That’s because jurors are not supposed to discuss the case with anyone—even other jurors—until the judge submits the case to them and their formal deliberations begin. This requirement is crucial to maintain any semblance of integrity in the jury trial process (setting aside the other issues related to this specific prosecution).
As part of his instructions to the jurors right before they began their deliberations, Judge Juan Merchan admonished that “During your deliberations, you must discuss the case only among yourselves; you must not discuss the case with anyone else, including a court officer, or permit anyone other than a fellow juror to discuss the case in your presence.”
Jurors typically receive a similar admonishment at the beginning of the trial whenever the judge swears them in to begin their service. A handbook for jurors provided by the New York court system explains that the judge explains to jurors at the beginning of a trial that each “juror pledges to act fairly and impartially and follow the law . . . . [including the instruction to] not discuss the case with anyone (including other members of the jury) until all evidence has been presented and the jury retires to deliberate.”
If Anderson’s comment turns out to be true, at least one juror clearly did not follow those instructions with a potential consequence that the jury’s verdict against Trump could be tossed out.
So what happens now? --->READ MORE HERE
Trump judge flags social post claiming verdict knowledge:
The US judge overseeing Donald Trump's hush-money case in New York City has written a letter to prosecutors and the former president's defence team about a Facebook post in which a person claims to have known the jury's decision before it became public.
Justice Juan Merchan's letter says that on Friday "the court became aware of a comment" on the court's Facebook page, "now labeled as one week old" from a user named "Michael Anderson".
"My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted," the post says, according to the judge. "Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!"
BBC News has not verified the post, which has been deleted, or the claims allegedly made within it.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office and Todd Blanche, Trump's lead attorney, did not respond to requests for comment.
Justice Merchan did not indicate whether the now-deleted post had been investigated or whether officials suspect any wrongdoing.
Last week, Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsified business records. He is due to be sentenced on 11 July.
Justice Merchan's letter did not specify when exactly the post was made, but he said it was written in response to a 29 May post about oral arguments made "unrelated to this proceeding".--->READ MORE HERE
If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: