Historic Verdict Donald Trump Found Guilty on 34 Charges of Falsifying Corporate Records

Historic Verdict: Donald Trump Found Guilty on 34 Charges of Falsifying Corporate Records

On Thursday, a Manhattan jury found Donald Trump guilty of all 34 charges of falsifying corporate records, marking the first time a former president in American history has been convicted of a felony.

Trump is not only the first former president to be found guilty of a felony, but also the first major-party presidential nominee to be convicted of a crime while running for president. If he defeats President Joe Biden in November, he will become the first sitting president in history to have been convicted of a felony.

Jurors deliberated for over 12 hours over two days in the hush money trial before announcing their judgment. It will ultimately be up to voters in November to determine the meaning of the guilty conviction issued by 12 regular New Yorkers, which, on legal grounds, does not exclude him from being elected president again.

“This was a crooked and shameful trial. The real verdict will be rendered by the people on November 5, and they and everyone else are aware of what occurred here,” Trump said as he exited the courtroom, criticizing the sitting judge and the prosecutor who filed the case. “We did not do anything improper. “I am a very innocent man,” he stated, vowing to keep fighting.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, announced charges against Trump last year and presented the first indictment of a former president, accusing him of falsifying his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s repayment in order to conceal a $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her from speaking out about an alleged affair with Trump prior to the 2016 election. (Trump denied the affair.)

At a news conference Thursday evening, Bragg acknowledged the case’s historical significance and the conviction. While Trump is a defendant “unlike any other in American history,” the district attorney stated that the verdict was reached “in the same manner as every other case that comes through the courtroom doors”: “by following the facts and the law and doing so without fear or favor.”

“The 12 daily jurors swore to base their decision solely on the evidence and the law. Their considerations lead them to a unanimous finding beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Donald J. Trump, is guilty of 34 counts of first-degree falsifying business records to conceal a plan to rig the 2016 election,” he stated.

Throughout the seven-week trial, the district attorney’s office presented 20 witnesses to show jurors how the hush-money payment to Daniels was part of a pattern of payoffs to keep negative stories about Trump out of the public eye before the election, and how Trump was concerned about the impact on the campaign when the payment was made in October 2016. Cohen was the prosecution’s major witness, outlining how Trump ordered him to pay Daniels and then approved a plot to repay him in $35,000 monthly installments in 2017, a sum that was “grossed up” to account for taxes Cohen would have to pay.

Judge Juan Merchan scheduled Trump’s sentence for July 11, 2024, at 10 a.m., just days before the opening of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

Todd Blanche, the former president’s attorney, told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on “The Source” that they will “vigorously fight” in Merchan’s post-trial motions, which are expected in the coming weeks. “If that is not successful,” Blanche stated after the sentencing.

Moments after Trump was found guilty, Biden stated that the only way to defeat his Republican opponent is through the voting box, with his campaign emphasizing the importance of the 2024 race.

“There’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the White House: Vote,” Biden wrote on X, connecting to a fundraising page.

His campaign said in a statement that the verdict demonstrated that “no one is above the law.”

“The threat Trump poses to our democracy has never been greater,” Michael Tyler, Biden 2024 campaign communications director, stated. “A second Trump term means chaos, ripping away Americans’ freedoms and fomenting political violence — and the American people will reject it this November.”

Trump’s campaign also moved fast to fundraise following the decision, portraying the case as a “political Witch Hunt trial,” a stance echoed by the former president’s allies as they came to his defense on Thursday.

“Today is a shameful day in American history,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said on X, describing the case as “a purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

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