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People react after former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was convicted in his criminal trial outside of Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024. | Source: KENA BETANCUR / Getty

Former President Donald Trump has been found guilty of all counts in a criminal trial in which he was accused of paying hush money to a porn star via illegal means for political purposes.

The jury returned the verdict on Thursday afternoon following deliberations for about one day.

It is the first time a former president of the United States has been convicted of a felony crime.


Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media during his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024.  Source: MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO / Getty

NBC News reported more:

The verdict was read in the Manhattan courtroom where Trump has been on trial since April 15. He had pleaded not guilty to all 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made by his former lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump looked down with his eyes narrowed as the jury foreperson read the word “guilty” to each count.

The jury reached its verdict after 9.5 hours of deliberations, which began Wednesday.

The historic conviction comes as Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Trump, who laughably maintained his innocence from the start despite mounting evidence to the contrary, insisted in a statement following the verdict that he is not guilty.

Calling the verdict “a disgrace,” Trump decried what he called “a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt.”

He said that “the real verdict” will be on Election Day, but it’s unclear whether the conviction could derail his status of being the presumptive Republican nominee.

Conversely, the verdict was welcomed by civil rights leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton, who found irony that Trump was convicted in the same courthouse where the Exonerated Five — a group of Black and brown teens who Trump wanted to be executed under the death penalty over accusations of raping a white woman jogger that were ultimately determined to be false — were also found guilty decades earlier.

“I couldn’t help but think throughout this trial of Donald Trump sitting through days of testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court. This is the same building that Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise all passed into, day after day, as they endured a show trial for a crime they did not commit,” Sharpton said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “These children had to hear vitriol from people whose anger was incited by a man who spent a small fortune on full-page ads calling for their execution. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Donald Trump is the criminal, and those five men are exonerated. I’m reminded of Dr. King’s proverb that the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

What was the trial about?

More than a year ago, a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump for his now-confirmed role in paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. In the indictment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged that Trump committed business fraud, falsifying records while trying to hide the payment he made to Daniels.

The indictment made Trump the first former president to face criminal charges in U.S. history.

Prior to the indictment, Bragg’s office had been investigating alleged hush money Trump’s former lawyer paid to Daniels to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she had with the former president.

Specifically, attorney Micheal Cohen testified at a deposition that he paid Daniels $130,000 not to speak publicly to influence the 2016 election cycle that featured numerous women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct, including rape.

Cohen repeated those same claims during the trial.

The hush money trial was effectively a dress rehearsal for Trump as he awaits three other criminal cases moving toward their respective trial dates.

Implications for the 2024 election

Trump has already won enough delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination. But his New York trial and other legal cases threaten to affect his candidacy in a serious way.

His conviction could result in Trump being sentenced to four years in prison, the maximum punishment, or to an unspecified amount of time on probation.

However, the conviction in New York gives Trump a documented prior conviction heading into his other potential trials, a factor that could possibly increase the chances of prison time in those cases.

In March, a New York jury found that Trump exaggerated the worth of his business and assets to secure loans and other financial benefits without revealing that he’s not as wealthy as he claims. That resulted in a $464 million judgment against Trump.

Also looming is the most serious case of all of Trump’s cases: a federal indictment accusing the former president of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The indictment includes 31 counts of violating a part of the Espionage Act of 1917. According to The Conversation, willful unauthorized possession of information that, if obtained by a foreign government, might harm U.S. interests is generally enough to trigger a possible sentence of 10 years. 

This is a breaking news article that will be updated as additional information becomes available.


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