Donald Trump Found Guilty on All Counts in New York Hush-Money Case

Donald Trump Found Guilty on All Counts in New York Hush-Money Case
  • PublishedMay 30, 2024

In a historic verdict that reverberated across the nation, former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felonies in a Manhattan court on Thursday. The charges stemmed from his involvement in falsifying records to conceal hush money paid to a porn star during his 2016 presidential campaign.

This landmark ruling marks the first time a former U.S. president has been convicted of a crime, potentially posing a significant threat to Trump’s political ambitions, including his rumored 2024 bid to return to the White House. Despite maintaining steady poll numbers throughout the trial, the guilty verdict may influence some voters’ opinions of him.

On the second day of deliberations, the jury, comprising five women and seven men, delivered a unanimous verdict, finding Trump guilty on all counts. As the judge read out the verdict, Trump’s demeanor visibly shifted, and he left the courtroom solemnly, accompanied by his son, Eric Trump.

Outside the courthouse, Trump denounced the trial as rigged and vowed to appeal the verdict. However, Justice Juan Merchan, the presiding judge, is now tasked with determining Trump’s sentencing, scheduled for July 11. Given Trump’s status as a first-time offender and the nature of the charges, which carry no mandatory punishment, a prison sentence appears unlikely.

The case, brought forth by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in April 2023, focused on Trump’s role in orchestrating hush money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels to conceal an alleged affair. Bragg argued that Trump’s actions constituted felonies due to their connection to an unlawful scheme to influence the 2016 election.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors painted a vivid picture of election fraud, portraying Trump as the mastermind behind a criminal conspiracy to silence negative stories and bolster his electoral prospects. Key witnesses, including Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen and Daniels herself, testified to Trump’s direct involvement in the hush money scheme.

In his defense, Trump’s legal team contended that seeking to influence an election was within the bounds of democracy and argued that the payments to Cohen were for legal services. They sought to discredit the prosecution’s case by portraying Cohen and Daniels as unreliable opportunists.

The guilty verdict represents a significant victory for Bragg, who gambled on a case that others declined to pursue. While federal prosecutors initially investigated the hush money payments, opting not to charge Trump, Bragg’s decision to pursue state charges ultimately led to this historic conviction.

As Trump prepares to navigate the legal challenges ahead, including two other prosecutions related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, the repercussions of this verdict are likely to reverberate through the political landscape for years to come.

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