The state judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial made a significant statement during jury instructions on Wednesday, which could provide grounds for a speedy appeal if a guilty verdict is returned.

Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan informed the 12-member jury that a unanimous agreement is not required to find former President Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts. According to Fox News reporter John Roberts, Merchan explained that three sets of four jurors could find Trump guilty of different crimes, and he would consider this a “unanimous verdict.”

Attorney and Newsmax anchor Greta Van Susteren quickly referenced precedent from the Supreme Court regarding unanimity. A portion from the 1999 Richardson v. United States reads, “The jury must be unanimous as to the ‘series’ of underlying offenses in a [criminal conspiracy] prosecution. That is, the jury must unanimously agree that the defendant committed some ‘continuing series of violations,’ but also about which specific ‘violations’ make up that continuing series.”


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Defense attorneys are targeting a juror who has shown favoritism towards Trump during Michael Cohen’s cross-examination, as reported by Bulwark. The juror nodded along with the cross-examination and struggled to contain a smile at times.

“There’s one juror that people are worried about and I share the worry,” Harry Litmam, a Democrat and former deputy attorney general, wrote Tuesday on X, adding he “can’t identify her or him per judge’s orders but seems less engaged and slightly irritable. Whenever our allies or elected officials are in the courtroom, [the juror] sort of gets animated” or gives “a smile or a nod” in the defense’s direction at times. “When [Sen. J.D. Vance] came to court, that [juror’s] face lit up. It wasn’t the only time,” the courtroom source told the outlet.

The CEO of The Federalist, Sean Davis, accused Judge Merchan of embracing allegations of anti-Trump bias from MAGA supporters. “Merchan is a corrupt apparatchik who belongs in prison. It would be nice if prosecutors treated his own courtroom antics as a conspiracy to violate rights and as undisclosed in-kind campaign contributions to Joe Biden,” Davis wrote on the X platform.

Meanwhile, media analyst Mark Thompson noted: “This trial has been a farce from the beginning; vindictive prosecutors, maniacal misinterpretation of law, corrupt witnesses, conflicted judge, and politically targeted defendant. The only thing that remains is for a biased jury to convict on a non existent crime. History will judge this NY sham trial as the complete disgrace that it is.”


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.