Donald Trump Found Guilty on All Counts in Historic Hush Money Case

Jimmy Williams

On Thursday, jurors in New York state court found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. This conviction marks a historic moment as Trump becomes the first former U.S. president to be found guilty in a criminal trial.

The case centers on hush money payments made to a porn star to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s conviction follows deliberations by the jury for over 11 hours. The verdict was delivered to Justice Juan Merchan just after 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Trump, the Republican Party’s leading candidate for the 2024 presidential election, now faces penalties ranging from probation to up to four years in prison for each charge. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention.

The Charges and Trial

Trump faced 34 felony charges for falsifying business records tied to reimbursements to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cohen testified that he wired $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election to keep her from speaking about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

The jury’s guilty verdict came after prosecutors presented evidence that Trump and his company falsely recorded these payments as legal expenses.

Trump’s Reaction

Outside the courtroom, Trump condemned the trial as a “rigged, disgraceful trial.” He told reporters, “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people, and they know what happened here.”

Despite his conviction, Trump can still vote in the upcoming November election in Florida, where he is registered. Florida law allows convicted felons to vote if they are not incarcerated and if the state where they were convicted restores their voting rights, which New York does upon release from prison.

Political Reactions

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson criticized the verdict, calling it a “shameful day in American history.” He described the charges as a political maneuver rather than a legal one. Similarly, Sen. Joni Ernst claimed the trial was politically motivated, stating, “This was never about justice. It was always about politics.”

Conversely, Democrats praised the verdict. Rep. Betty McCollum remarked, “Today our system of justice worked, and former President Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts by a jury of American citizens. No person is above the law.” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse added that Trump’s conviction underscored the importance of honest courtrooms.

Other Pending Cases

Trump’s legal battles are far from over. He faces additional federal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and mishandling classified documents. He also faces state charges in Georgia regarding alleged election interference in 2020.

Biden Campaign’s Response

Michael Tyler, a spokesman for President Joe Biden’s campaign, stated that the verdict demonstrated that “no one is above the law” and emphasized that Trump remains a threat to democracy. Tyler noted that Trump’s actions warrant vigilance from voters to prevent him from returning to the presidency.

Broader Implications

The conviction of a former president on criminal charges sets a significant precedent. As Trump continues his campaign for the 2024 presidential election, the legal and political ramifications of this verdict will undoubtedly influence the race and the nation’s political landscape. The verdict serves as a stark reminder of the legal principles that underpin American democracy and the accountability of those who hold its highest offices.

About J. Williams

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