Fact Check: Daughter Of Judge Merchan Did NOT 'Show Trump Behind Bars' On Social Media

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Daughter Of Judge Merchan Did NOT 'Show Trump Behind Bars' On Social Media Old Handle

Did the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over former President Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York in spring 2024, "show Trump behind bars" on social media? No, that's not true: The account that showed the image does not belong to Loren Merchan. It was created in 2023 after she made her X, formerly known as Twitter, account private and is not connected to her. The court released a statement saying that the account showing the image of Trump behind bars does not belong to the judge's daughter.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on May 20, 2024. It opened:

Judge Merchan
Puts a gag order on Trump so that he can't talk about the judges, corrupt family
His daughter was paid $4M by Adam Schiff, and gets donations from social media by showing Trump behind bars. And his wife works with Letitia James.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 12.34.33 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 30 19:03:40 2024 UTC)

The claim this fact check will focus on is that Judge Merchan's daughter Loren Merchan showed Trump behind bars on social media.

While the post on Facebook does not cite an account, others have claimed that the account @LorenM426 used a profile image of Trump behind bars, as this screenshot from the Spectator shows:

Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 12.20.21 PM.png

(Source: Spectator screenshot taken on Thu May 30 19:14:43 2024 UTC)

That was the handle of Loren Merchan's account from 2016 to spring 2023, but she changed her user name and went private around April 2023. The account that used the image of Trump was created in April 2023, after Loren Merchan made her X account private and changed her handle.

The state's Office of Court Administration released a statement about the account and the judge's daughter, telling the New York Times (archived here):

The X, formerly Twitter, account being attributed to Judge Merchan's daughter no longer belongs to her. ... It is not linked to her email address, nor has she posted under that screen name since she deleted the account. Rather, it represents the reconstitution, last April, and manipulation of an account she long ago abandoned.

Loren Merchan's X account was created in 2016, as this archive from the Wayback Machine shows. Her handle was @LorenM426:

Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 12.01.11 PM.png

(Source: Wayback Machine screenshot taken on Thu May 30 19:08:16 2024 UTC)

The Spectator reported she deleted this account on or before April 1, 2023, and the Wayback Machine website shows it was deleted as of July 1, 2023 as this screenshot shows:

Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 2.02.50 PM.png

(Source: Wayback Machine screenshot taken on Thu May 30 19:27:54 2024 UTC)

Loren Merchan created a new account @LorenM0406 (archived here), which was private as of May 30, 2024, as a search on X shows:

Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 11.49.18 AM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu May 30 19:10:23 2024 UTC)

The account claiming to be Loren Merchan was created in April 2023, according to a report by The Spectator on March 27, 2024. An archive of the account states it was created in April 2023 as this screenshot shows:

Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 2.05.45 PM.png

(Source: Archive Today screenshot taken on Thu May 30 19:25:16 2024 UTC)

That account has been deleted from X as of May 30, 2024, as this link shows (archived here).

The Spectator noted:

This new account has a unique Twitter ID number; archives show it only posted that first week, retweeting four posts from 2019 and 2020 that tagged the real Merchan Twitter account about her consulting work. Because those tweets weren't actually tagging this new account, the account name is not hyperlinked in the 2019 and 2020 tweets, as evidenced in archived snapshots of the posts. It appears that the person or persons who created this April 2023 account wanted the account to appear to be the real, now renamed, Loren Merchan account.

After screenshots of the new, dubious, account made the rounds of MAGA X, the account became private and changed its profile picture to one of Kamala Harris as a child. The screenshots showed that this new account had 0 followers as of Tuesday, while the 2016-created account currently has 505 followers, consistent with its history, according to archives.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about Judge Merchan can be found here and about Donald Trump can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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