Donald Trump guilty on all counts in hush-money trial

Twelve jurors have found former U.S. president Donald Trump guilty on all counts in his hush-money trial in New York, making him the first American president to be convicted of a felony in the nation’s history. 

The jury convicted Trump, 77, of falsifying business documents in connection with a hush-money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the U.S. presidential election in 2016. The jury made its decision after a tense five-week trial in Manhattan Criminal Court and two days of deliberations behind closed doors.

Trump sat expressionless as jurors were polled, one by one, to confirm the verdict was unanimous. Minutes later, he emerged from the courthouse to speak to reporters gathered outside. 

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial, and the real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people,” he said, referring to the upcoming U.S. presidential election this fall.

“We didn’t do a thing wrong. I’m an innocent man.”

WATCH | Trump’s full remarks after being criminally convicted: 

Trump found guilty on all counts in hush-money trial

Started 1 hour ago

A decision in former U.S. president Donald Trump’s hush-money case is expected, with a New York jury set to issue a verdict in the historic trial.

He faces up to four years in prison, though the sentence for such crimes is usually far shorter, if not addressed with fines or probation. The conviction does not prevent him from campaigning for the presidency or taking office if he beats Democratic President Joe Biden.

Trump will not be jailed before sentencing.

Appeal likely

The jurors emerged from their deliberations Thursday to announce they had reached a verdict at 4:20 p.m. ET, just minutes before they were expected to be excused for the day. After taking a few minutes to finish the forms, jurors were called back into the courtroom at 5:03 p.m.

By 5:07 p.m., Trump had been convicted on all counts. His son, Eric, was the only one of his children in the courtroom. 

Judge Juan Merchan asked the parties whether they had any final comments after the jury left. Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, stood and tried one last time for an acquittal. When the judge denied that request, Blanche asked for a sentencing date in mid- to late July because Trump will be busy with other court dates in several other cases.

A man in a navy suit with a light blue tie appears defeated as he walks out of a courthouse.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump walks out of Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 after being convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection to a hush money payment made to a porn star in 2016. (Michael M. Santiago/Reuters)

Sentencing was set for July 11 — four days before Republican nominating convention in Milwaukee.

Trump will certainly appeal the verdict, alleging bias and judicial errors, arguing Merchan sealed Trump’s fate by issuing unfair instructions to the jury. Appeals could take years to conclude.

During the trial, Trump’s then-fixer, Michael Cohen, told the court Trump gave the green light to send Daniels a hush-money payment of $130,000 US in the final weeks of the 2016 election, when the then-candidate faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

Cohen said he made the payment and that Trump had planned to pay him back with monthly payments disguised as legal work. Trump had pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and denied having had the alleged sexual encounter with Daniels in 2006. 

The gamut of potential penalties for this crime is vast: Trump could receive anything from a verbal warning to probation conditions to serious prison time, potentially up to four years for each count.

First, he will be asked to meet with a probation officer in the coming days. That officer will be asked to write a sentencing report for Merchan to use at sentencing in July, including details such as whether Trump shows contrition.

The case in Manhattan District Court was the first of Trump’s criminal cases to go to trial. He faces three other prosecutions in connection with other alleged criminal behaviour before, during and after his time in the White House.


Posted in CBC