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Trump verdict: Guilty of all 34 charges in hush money case

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump became the first former US president to be convicted of felony crimes Thursday as a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 counts in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election in paying hush money to a porn actor who said the two had sex.

Trump stood speechless as the verdict was read while cheers from the street below could be heard in the 15th floor hallway of the courthouse, where the decision was revealed after more than nine hours of deliberations.

The conviction of Donald Trump on 34 counts marks the end of the former president’s historic hush money trial. But the fight over this affair is far from over. Here’s what you need to know.

  • When is Donald Trump’s sentencing date? The judge set the former president’s sentencing for July 11, just days before Republicans choose him as their 2024 candidate.
  • Trump’s electoral eligibility: He may be convicted of a crime and reside in Florida, but he can still vote as long as he remains out of prison in New York State.
  • Will Trump’s conviction impact the 2024 elections? It is unclear whether his once imaginable status as a person convicted of a crime will have no impact on voters.

“It was a disgraceful rigged trial,” Trump told angry reporters after leaving the courtroom. “The real verdict will be delivered by the people on November 5. They know what happened, and everyone knows what happened here.

Judge Juan Merchan set sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where GOP leaders, who remained steadfast in their support immediately after the verdict, are expected to formally nominate him as their 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 real estate mogul to celebrity star. reality TV and ultimately president. As he seeks to win back the White House in this year’s elections, the ruling presents voters with a new test of their willingness to accept Trump’s innovative behavior.

Trump is expected to quickly appeal the verdict and will face a tricky dynamic as he returns to the campaign trail with felony convictions. There are no campaign rallies on the calendar at the moment, but he is expected to hold fundraisers next week.

The falsifying business records charges carry up to four years in prison, although Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg did not say Thursday whether prosecutors intended to seek jail time, and he did not It’s not clear if the judge… who earlier in the trial had warned of a prison sentence for violating the silence order – would impose this punishment even if asked.

Conviction, or even imprisonment, will not stop Trump from continuing his quest for the White House.

Trump faces three other felony indictments, but New York’s case may be the only one to reach a conclusion before the November election, adding to the significance of the outcome. Although the legal and historical implications of the verdict are obvious, its political consequences are less so given its potential to reinforce rather than reshape already hardened views of Trump.

Former President Donald Trump felt delighted in his hush money affair. AP correspondent Julie Walker reports from court.

Before the verdict, Trump’s campaign had argued that whatever the jury decided, the outcome was unlikely to sway voters — and that the election would instead be decided by issues such as inflation.

For another candidate in another era, a criminal conviction might doom a presidential bid, but Trump’s political career has endured. two indictments, sexual abuse allegationsinvestigations into everything, from potential links with Russia has plot to overturn an electionand personally salacious storylines including the emergence of a recording in which he bragged about grabbing women’s genitals.

Furthermore, the general allegations in this case have been known to voters for years and, while ridiculous, are widely considered less serious than the allegations he faces in three other cases that accuse him of subverting American democracy and mismanagement of national security secrets.

Even so, the verdict will likely give President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats space to refine arguments that Trump is unfit for office, although so far the White House has done little more than a quiet statement affirming that it respected the rule of law. On the other hand, the ruling will also allow the presumptive Republican nominee to press his unsupported claims that he is a victim of a criminal justice system that he claims is politically motivated against him.

Trump maintained throughout the trial that he did nothing wrong and that the case should never have been brought, railing against the proceedings from inside the courthouse – where he was joined by a parade of high-profile Republican allies – and racking up fines for violating a silence order with inflammatory extrajudicial comments about witnesses.

Republicans showed no signs of loosening their embrace of the party leader, with House Speaker Mike Johnson issuing a statement deploring what he called a “shameful day in American history.” “. He called the case a “purely political and not a legal exercise.”

The first criminal trial of a former US president has always posed a unique test for the justice system, not only because of Trump’s prominence, but also because of his relentless verbal attacks on the basis of the case and its participants. But the 12-person jury’s verdict marked a rejection of Trump’s efforts to undermine confidence in the proceedings or potentially impress the panel with a show of Republican Party support.

“Although this defendant is unlike any other in American history, we arrived at this trial and ultimately today in the same manner as every other case that passes through the courtroom doors, following the facts and the law and doing so without fear or favor,” Bragg told reporters after the verdict.

The lawsuit focused on accusations that Trump falsified business records to conceal money payments for secret purposes. Stormy Danielsthe porn actress who said she had sex with married Trump in 2006.

The $130,000 payment was made by Trump’s former lawyer and personal arranger. Michael Cohen to buy Daniels’ silence during the final weeks of the 2016 race in what prosecutors claim was an attempt to interfere in the election. When Cohen was reimbursed, the payments were recorded as legal fees, which prosecutors say was an illegal attempt to obscure the true purpose of the transaction. Trump’s lawyers say these were legitimate payments for legal services.

Trump has denied any sexual relationship and his lawyers argued at trial that his celebrity status, particularly during the 2016 campaign, makes him a target for extortion. They said the secret deals to bury negative stories about Trump were motivated by personal considerations such as the impact on his family and his brand as a businessman, not political considerations. They also sought to undermine Cohen’s credibility, the star prosecution witness who pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges related to the payments, motivated by personal animus toward Trump as well as fame and money.

The trial featured more than four weeks of sometimes gripping testimony that revisited an already well-documented chapter in Trump’s past, when his 2016 campaign ended. threatened by the disclosure of “Access Hollywood” recording that captured him talking about sexually capturing women without their permission and the prospect of more stories about Trump and sex surfacing that would harm his candidacy.

Trump himself did not testify, but jurors heard his voice through a secret recording of a conversation with Cohen in which he and the lawyer discussed a secret $150,000 deal involving a Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Trump: “What are we going to pay for this?” One hour fifty? Trump was heard saying on the recording made by Cohen.

Daniels herself testified, at times offering a graphic account of the sexual encounter she says she had in a hotel suite during a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. The former editor of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, testified about how he worked to prevent stories damaging to the Trump campaign from becoming public, including having his company buy McDougal’s story.

Jurors also heard Keith Davidsonthe lawyer who negotiated the secret payments on behalf of Daniels and McDougal.

He detailed the tense negotiations to get the two women compensated for their silence, but also faced a series of aggressive questions from a Trump lawyer who noted that Davidson helped negotiate settlements similar secret money deals in cases involving other personalities.

But the most important witness, by far, was Cohen, who spent days on the stand and gave jurors an insider’s view of the hush money scheme and what he said was detailed knowledge from Trump on this subject.

“Take care of it,” he said at one point, quoting Trump.

He presented jurors with the most direct link between Trump and the heart of the accusations, recounting a meeting in which they and the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer described a plan to have Cohen reimbursed in monthly installments for his services legal.

And he emotionally described his dramatic breakup with Trump in 2018, when he decided to cooperate with prosecutors after a decade-long career as the then-president’s personal aide.

“To remain loyal and do the things he asked me to do, I violated my moral compass and suffered the penalty, as did my family,” Cohen told the jury.

The financial silence case, while criticized by some legal experts who called it the weakest of the four lawsuits against Trump, took on added significance not only because it was tried first, but also because ‘she could be the only one of the affairs to reach an agreement. jury before the elections.

The other three – local and federal cases in Atlanta and Washington alleging he conspired to overturn the 2020 election, plus a federal indictment in Florida accusing him of illegally amassing top-secret files – are bogged down by delays or appeals.


Associated Press journalists Ruth Brown, Joseph B. Frederick, John Minchillo, Mary Conlon, Ted Shaffrey, Ceder Attanasio, Julie Walker, Seth Wenig and Julia Nikhinson in New York and Alanna Durkin Richer in Washington contributed to this report.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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