Jury convicts Donald Trump on all 34 charges in hush money trial

Ex-US pres. Donald Trump attends his criminal trial at Manhattan state court in New York City, US on May 30, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (Photo/Reuters)

Donald Trump has become the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes as a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to an adult movie actress.

Thursday's verdict from the 12-person jury convicted Trump on all 34 counts after deliberating for 9.5 hours.

Judge Juan Merchan set sentencing for 10:00 am [1400 GMT] on July 11, just days ahead of the Republican convention where Trump is expected to be named the party's presidential nominee.

The verdict is a stunning legal reckoning for Trump and exposes him to potential prison time in the city where his manipulations of the tabloid press helped catapult him from a real estate tycoon to reality television star and ultimately president.

As he seeks a return to the White House in this year’s election, the judgment presents voters with another test of their willingness to accept Trump's boundary-breaking behavior.

"This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5, by the people. And they know what happened here, and everybody knows what happened here," Trump said as he left the court.

"I'm a very innocent man, and it's OK. I'm fighting for our country. I'm fighting for our constitution."

Republican US House Speaker Mike Johnson described Donald Trump's conviction on all charges in his hush money case Thursday as "shameful."

Trump verdict shows "no one is above the law," Biden campaign said.

Trump was charged with falsifying business records at his company in connection with an alleged scheme to hide potentially embarrassing stories about him during his 2016 Republican presidential election campaign.

The charge, a felony, arises from reimbursements paid to lawyer Michael Cohen after he made a $130,000 hush money payment to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels to silence her claims that she and Trump had an intimate encounter in 2006.

Trump was accused of misrepresenting Cohen's reimbursements as legal expenses to hide that they were tied to a "hush money" payment.

Trump had pleaded not guilty and contends the Cohen payments were for legitimate legal services. He had also denied the alleged extramarital encounter with Daniels.

The crime prosecutors had argued that Trump committed or hid is a violation of a New York election law making it illegal for two or more conspirators "to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means."

The jurors — a diverse cross-section of Manhattan residents and professional backgrounds — often appeared riveted by testimony in the trial, including from Cohen and Daniels.

Many took notes and watched intently as witnesses answered questions from Manhattan prosecutors and Trump's lawyers.


Source: TRT