A self-described ‘s** poster’ launched a Trump conviction conspiracy theory with one Facebook message

Commenter who triggered inquiry described himself as a “professional” internet troll

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Saturday 08 June 2024 01:12
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Trump says Americans could not ‘stand’ to see him in prison

It was the message by a ‘sh**poster’ heard ‘round the world.

On Friday evening, Justice Juan Merchan, the judge who oversaw Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York, sent a letter to prosecutors and the former president’s legal team alerting them to a strange, post-verdict development in the case. The court noted that it had become aware of a comment on the New York Courts’ Facebook page from a user named Michael Anderson, who claimed, prior to the guilty verdict being announced, “My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted.”

The post was made one day before the historic verdict that saw Trump convicted of 34 felonies.

His post helped launch a new wave of conspiracy theories online with some right-wing posters claiming that the Trump trial was rigged and that the former president already faced a verdict before the jury announced its decision. Some were even demanding a mistrial be called.

Others simply labeled him a “troll.”

Facebook user “Michael Anderson” made the alarming post. But, the account is lightly used with only four public posts visible. Two of which are repost of recipes. That was until Friday, when posted a few times after his connection to the Trump Trial was revealed.

On his page, Anderson describes himself as a “transabled & a professional shit poster.”

In one of the few messages on the page, posted Friday, the account’s owner elaborates on sh**posting, defining such messages as “intentionally designed to derail discussions or cause the biggest reaction with the least effort,” and tells readers, “Take it easy… I’m a professional shitposter.”

The Independent has contacted the owner of the account for comment.

Judge Juan Merchan alerted both prosecutors and defense attorneys to the post. The message sparked a wave of conspiracy theories online about the fairness of the Trump trial
Judge Juan Merchan alerted both prosecutors and defense attorneys to the post. The message sparked a wave of conspiracy theories online about the fairness of the Trump trial (AP)

After Anderson’s post was brought to light,c onservatives played into the repeated claims from Donald Trump and his allies that the case against him in New York was an unethical and crooked process from the beginning.

“Uh oh! It looks like there was juror misconduct in the #TrumpTrial! We knew these jurors would not be able to avoid telling their friends and relatives that were going to get Trump,” lawyer and Townhall columnist Phil Holloway wrote on X. “It’s time for a mistrial “with prejudice” and no retrial! But will Merchan do the right thing?”

“If true, this is likely headed to a mistrial because a juror isn’t allowed to discuss the case with family or friends like this,” added filmmaker and activist Robby Starbuck. “Big deal.”

Others downplayed the significance, pointing to the likelihood that the post was meant to be a joke.

A crowd gathers at Trump Tower after a guilty verdict against former U.S. President Donald Trump in his hush money trial on May 30, 2024, in New York City
A crowd gathers at Trump Tower after a guilty verdict against former U.S. President Donald Trump in his hush money trial on May 30, 2024, in New York City (Getty Images)

“Assuming this is the same “Michael Anderson,” I don’t think that the post is real. It also looks like it was made on (a post posted on) May 20th. Trump’s verdict didn’t come in until ten days later on May 30th,” MSNBC legal correspondent Katie Phang wrote on X. “Plus, the poster’s FB profile says: ‘a professional s*** poster’.”

Journalist and conspiracy researcher Mike Rothschild called the whole situation an “avoidable mess,” because the story of the comment reached the masses—and the conspiracy mill—before it was investigated.

“Despite the ‘Michael Anderson’ Facebook post pretty clearly being fake, Trump world is demanding the case be declared a mistrial,” he wrote on X. “All because Merchan’s office emailed the attorneys about the post before they looked into whether it was real. What an avoidable mess.”

Social media posts have played a part in this case before.

The ongoing gag order against Trump in the hush money case was expanded in April, after the former president claimed Merchan’s daughter, a Democratic political consultant, is paid to “Get Trump,” and falsely accused her of posting a photo showing him in jail.

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