Donald trump leering at meme of him vs Obama superimposed over jury illustration

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‘Amazing ego destruction’: Trump forced to sit through review of prospective jurors anti-Trump memes

One juror tried to argue that retweets weren't endorsements.


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Apr 16, 2024   Updated on Apr 17, 2024, 10:18 am CDT

Jury selection in former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial picked up speed Tuesday, with six jurors chosen by the end of the afternoon, despite heated scrutiny of all the projected jurors’ social media posts.

Over the course of the day, Judge Juan Merchan and lawyers from the prosecution and defense went over jurors’ social media postings to determine whether they’d be eligible to impartially judge Trump for his alleged involvement in falsifying business records to obscure a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels about an affair they had ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Because the judge was reviewing social media posts, that meant that Trump had to sit through the lawyers arguing over whether memes joking about him were disqualifying for the jurors or their family members who posted them.

According to the New York Times’ Jonah Bromwich, who was reporting the juror selection live from the courthouse, Trump wasn’t happy with some of the posts.

“There’s an image of Barack Obama, then your client, and it says, ‘I don’t think this is what they meant by Orange is the new Black,’” Inner City Press reported the judge telling Trump’s lawyer about one post shared by a prospective juror’s husband.

“Trump himself appears to be studying the meme on a printed-out sheet of paper. He does not look amused at all,” Bromwich reported.

“Just amazing ego destruction right there,” commented on Bluesky.

Judge Merchan didn’t accept the idea that a post by a potential juror’s husband was disqualifying.

“It’s humor. It’s not a window into their soul,” commented one of the prosecutors.

“I’m not going to allow [inquiry] into the husband’s post from eight years ago, humor—though not very good humor,” Merchan said. “Who’s next?

The lawyers also scrutinized a post from a woman who said she couldn’t remember posting it on Facebook or Instagram but admitted that she probably had.

“I have been handed photos—it says, Trump invites Thai boys to the White House, Thai boys request to return to cave,” Merchan said, reported Inner City Press.

“Could be my Instagram. I’d like to say I remember posting it, but I do not. I’ve stopped posting about politics. It got too vitriolic,” the potential juror said.

That post was a reference to a satirical article in the Burrard Street Journal (BS Journal) from 2018 about members of a children’s football team in Thailand who got trapped and were rescued from a cave system in the north of the country.

“The American President Donald Trump has had his offer to visit the White House rebuffed by the rescued Thai boys, who instead have voted unanimously to return to the watery cave,” the article riffed. “The cave which is now over 95% full of water has still been deemed more inviting than the White House especially to young children who would likely be seen as migrants and detained by ICE.”

“Unlike the juror who said he wanted to see Mr. Trump locked up, this juror didn’t express anything negative, other than disagreement,” a prosecutor commented.

“I won’t strike this juror for cause. Any more?” Judge Merchan asked.

One potential juror from Manhattan had also posted on Facebook criticizing Trump’s policies while he was in office, which Merchan said wasn’t immediately disqualifying. But when Merchan found out that the guy had also added “Lock him up” to the post, referring to Trump, Merchan quickly excused him

While some potential jurors seemed nervous about the idea of participating in the trial, others, who had shared posts disparaging Trump in the past, argued that they still should be able to serve on the jury.

One tried to argue that a video he shared about Trump was just something “I reposted,” reported Bromwich for the Times, but the judge still booted him for it.

“One juror literally going with retweets are not endorsements,” commented an observer on BlueSky.

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*First Published: Apr 16, 2024, 5:03 pm CDT