Donald Trump Found Guilty on 34 Counts in Hush Money Trial

Donald Trump Found Guilty on 34 Counts in Hush Money Trial

Jurors found Donald Trump guilty on 34 counts in the former President’s hush money trial in New York on Thursday, according to The New York Times. He is the first American president to become a felon. The 12 Manhattan residents who sit on the jury reached a verdict after their second day of deliberations.

“This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” said Trump on national television following the verdict. “The real verdict is gonna by Nov. 5th by the people, and they know what happened here and everyone knows what happened here.”

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records surrounding reimbursements for a “hush money” payment his attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. The prosecution alleged Trump attempted to cover up the payments by disguising the purpose of these reimbursements. After his conviction, Trump was reportedly unresponsive, sitting slack at the defense table.

“In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law,” said the Biden-Harris 2024 campaign in a statement. “Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his own personal gain. But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box. Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”

Judge Juan Merchan who presided over the case will be the one to determine what kind of punishment Trump will receive from these 34 guilty counts. The sentencing date is set for July 11 at 10 a.m. in New York. Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche moved for a judgement of acquittal following the verdict.

Trump sent out a Truth Social post shortly before the verdict was reached, saying his “civil rights have been totally violated with this highly political, unconstitutional and election interfering witch hunt.”

After the verdict, Trump turned back to Truth Social to immediately start fundraising. He posted a campaign video and several links to his website in the hour following his conviction, which asks for donations to his campaign. He also posted, “VICTORY ON NOVEMBER 5TH. SAVE AMERICA!!!”

The jurors asked to rehear testimony from two witnesses in the case on Wednesday, Cohen and David Pecker, the CEO of American Media Inc. which owns the National Enquirer, according to CBS News. Prosecutors alleged that these two engaged in a “catch and kill” scheme with the former President to bury negative stories about Trump.

During Pecker’s testimony, he described a series of phone calls he had with Trump and Cohen in 2015 surrounding a former Playboy model who said she had sex with Trump. The model, Karen McDougal, was trying to sell her story at the time. Cohen ultimately asked Pecker to buy the life rights to this story, implying the Trump organization would pay him back for it if they buried it.

Stock in Trump Media sank 15% in after hours trading when the former President was delivered his conviction. The stock recovered slightly, now just down 8% on the day as of 5:35 pm.

Mind you, this is one of four criminal cases Trump is involved in at the moment. The others are the classified documents case, the Georgia election interference case, and the federal election interference case. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest plays out.

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