Judge in Trump Hush Money Case Sends Cryptic Letter About Facebook Comments

In a brief letter sent Friday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan informed lawyers for former President Donald Trump of a potentially problematic Facebook comment by someone claiming to be a cousin of one of the jurors in his hush money trial.

The comment, on the New York court system’s Facebook page, made it appear as if one of the jurors had spoken about the trial to her cousin — in apparent violation of Merchan’s order not to discuss the case until the verdict was read.

“My cousin is a juror and says Trump will be convicted. Thank you guys for all your hard work!!!!” the comment said, according to the judge’s letter.

Merchan said it had been posted a week ago; he did not specify the exact date.

HuffPost was unable to locate the comment cited by the judge. However, a similar comment was posted by someone with the same name on May 29, the day before the jury returned its historic conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business documents in the first degree.

“My cousin is a juror in Trump’s criminal case and they will sentence him tomorrow according to her,” the comment read, on an unrelated post from the New York State Unified Court System.

The commenter’s profile claims he is a “professional shitposter.”

IN a Friday post Seemingly addressing the attention he suddenly received, the commenter wrote, “Take it easy … I’m a professional shitposter,” with a laughing emoji.

He continued: “Definition: In Internet culture, spamming or trashposting is the act of using an online forum or social media page to post content that is of ‘aggressive, ironic, and trollishly poor quality’. Spam posts are generally intentionally designed to derail discussions or cause the biggest reaction with the least effort. It can even sometimes be orchestrated as part of a concerted fire war to render a website unusable by its regular visitors.”

Trump’s jury consisted of 12 New Yorkers, with six alternates.

“Today, the court became aware of a comment posted on the Unified Court System’s public Facebook page that I am bringing to your attention,” Merchan wrote to Trump attorney Todd Blanche. Prosecutors were also copied on the letter.

Merchan did not say whether he had reason to believe the comment was actually made by a juror’s relative, or what, if anything, he planned to do about it.

Trump’s team could use the comment to argue that the jury’s verdict should be thrown out. Sentencing is currently scheduled for July 11.

Read the letter below.

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