Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts in hush-money plot to influence 2016 election

Trump will be sentenced on July 11 and could face a prison sentence, although legal experts say a fine is the more likely outcome.

Former US president Donald Trump has been found guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records in a hush-money scheme to influence the result of the 2016 election.

He is the first-ever former president to be found guilty of felony crimes in America’s almost 250-year history.

He was accused of concealing a payment made by his former lawyer to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged sexual encounter ahead of the presidential election.

The District Attorney’s office alleged that Trump falsely recorded reimbursements made to his former layer, Michael Cohen, for the hush money payments as ‘legal expenses’.

The jury debated for just under 12 hours following the six-week trial, during which more than 22 witnesses took the stand.

People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, May 30, 2024
People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, May 30, 2024Julia Nikhinson/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Speaking outside the courthouse after the verdict had been read, Trump blasted the trial as a “disgrace”.

“We didn’t do a thing wrong. I’m a very innocent man,” he said.

“I’m fighting for our country. I’m fighting for our constitution. Our whole country is being rigged right now. This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent, a political opponent.”

But Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said prosecutors followed facts and the law “without fear or favour”.

“The 12 everyday jurors vowed to make a decision based on the evidence and the law and the evidence and the law alone. Their deliberations led them to a unanimous conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Donald J Trump, is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree to conceal a scheme to corrupt the 2016 election,” he said.

Just minutes after Trump was convicted, the Biden campaign released a statement saying “no one is above the law”.

“Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his own personal gain,” said campaign spokesperson Michael Tyler.

“But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality.”

Coming six months before the presidential election in which Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, the verdict will test voters’ willingness to elect for the first time a candidate with a criminal record.

This trial is just one of six cases — four criminal and two civil — that Trump is currently facing.

He will be sentenced on 11 July and could face time in prison, although legal experts say a fine is the more likely outcome.

Trump to turn guilty verdict into campaign fuel

Trump will return to the campaign trail Friday with a news conference at his namesake tower in Manhattan, just a day after the conviction.

Trump and his campaign had been preparing for a guilty verdict for days, even as they held out hope for a hung jury. On Tuesday, Trump railed that not even Mother Teresa, the nun and saint, could beat the charges, which he repeatedly labelled as “rigged”.

His top aides on Wednesday released a memo in which they insisted a verdict would have no impact on the election, whether Trump was convicted or acquitted.

Following the conviction Friday, Trump’s campaign fired off a flurry of fundraising appeals, and GOP allies rallied to his side. One text message called him a “political prisoner.” The campaign also began selling black “Make America Great Again” caps to reflect a “dark day in history.”

Aides reported an immediate rush of contributions so intense that WinRed, the platform the campaign uses for fundraising, crashed.

Trump campaign spokesman Brian Hughes cited the outpouring of support as a sign “that Americans have seen this sham trial as the political election interference that Biden and Democrats have always intended.”

“5 November,” he said, echoing Trump, “is the day Americans will deliver the real verdict.”

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Categories: Big Brother, Politics, Shame on You
Anton Nieuwenhuizen

Written by:Anton Nieuwenhuizen All posts by the author

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