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Trump Convicted on All Counts in Hush Money Trial

by | May 30, 2024

In a landmark decision, a Manhattan jury has convicted former President Donald Trump on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. The trial, presided over by Judge Juan Merchan, revealed evidence of a scheme to conceal payments intended to suppress damaging information ahead of the election.

Former President Donald Trump reacts as the verdict is read in his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records at Manhattan state court in New York City, on May 30. Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

The charges stemmed from a $130,000 payment to Daniels, orchestrated by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cohen testified that the payment was made to ensure Daniels’ silence about an alleged affair with Trump, which Trump has denied. Prosecutors argued that the payment was part of a broader effort to manipulate the election by preventing potentially damaging information from becoming public.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution presented detailed records and testimony demonstrating how Trump and his associates allegedly falsified business records to disguise the true nature of the payments. The defense argued that the payments were personal in nature and not intended to influence the election, but the jury ultimately sided with the prosecution.

This conviction marks an unprecedented legal outcome for a former U.S. president. Judge Merchan has scheduled sentencing for July 11, where Trump could face significant legal penalties. Despite the conviction, Trump remains eligible to run for president in the 2024 election, as the U.S. Constitution does not bar individuals with criminal records from holding the presidency.

Trump responded to the verdict with defiance, calling it a “disgrace” and asserting that the “real verdict” will come in the 2024 presidential election. The conviction adds a new layer of complexity to Trump’s ongoing political and legal battles, as he continues to campaign for another term in office.

The trial has captivated the nation, highlighting the legal and ethical issues surrounding campaign finance and the lengths to which individuals may go to influence the outcome of an election. As the sentencing date approaches, the case will undoubtedly continue to be a focal point of public and political discourse, with far-reaching implications for Trump’s future and the broader American political landscape.

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