Trump Hoped ‘My Juror’ Would Save Him From Conviction

For a brief moment, Donald Trump allowed himself a glimmer of hope.

For much of the past year, lawyers to Trump had counseled their client that it was basically a foregone conclusion that the jury in his Manhattan trial would convict the former president, as they did early Thursday evening.

Throughout the trial, the Trump team claimed that the jury pool in a deeply Democratic New York City prevented the former president from receiving a fair trial. The claims fell on deaf ears at New York’s State Supreme Court, which rejected Trump’s appeal to have the case moved elsewhere. But the arguments, which several members of the Trump legal team firmly believed, helped convince them that conviction was inevitable.

That is, until smiles from one juror sent hearts aflutter among Trump aides.

In recent weeks, some on the legal team, and Trump himself, convinced themselves that one of the jurors might have actually been on their side.

Body language from the juror throughout the trial, studied closed by the former president’s counselors, led some to believe that the juror was warming to the defense’s views. The warm smiles and tics, they hoped, suggested that there could be a hung jury that would help Trump evade conviction.

According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump’s faith in the amateur body language analysis of the supposedly MAGA-curious juror was so pronounced that at times he took to calling the person “my juror” in discussions with close allies.

Even as the jury deliberated, some in Trumpland were still assessing whether or not they had a diehard supporter on the panel. “I think the juror is going to get beat up in the jury room,” one Trump adviser said to Rolling Stone shortly before news of the verdict hit, wondering “how strong” the juror would be.

In the end, any glimmer of hope Trump had was misplaced. The 12 Manhattan residents chose not just to convict Trump, but convicted him across all 34 counts in his original indictment.

Another Trump adviser, moments after the verdict came down, summarized the situation for Rolling Stone. “The ‘Trump juror’ wasn’t Trumpy enough I guess!” the adviser wrote in a message.

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