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Donald Trump Found Guilty On All Counts in Hush Money Trial

On Thursday, Donald Trump became the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes as a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying business records. This conviction stems from a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to a porn actor who claimed they had an affair.

After almost ten hours of deliberation, the jurors convicted Trump on all 34 counts.

Trump remained stone-faced as the verdict was read, while cheers from the street below could be heard in the courthouse hallway on the 15th floor where the decision was announced after more than nine hours of deliberations.

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial,” an angry Trump told reporters after leaving the courtroom. “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people. They know what happened, and everyone knows what happened here.”

Judge Juan M. Merchan has scheduled Donald Trump’s sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Despite the verdict, GOP leaders are expected to remain steadfast in their support and formally nominate him as their candidate.

This conviction marks a stunning legal reckoning for Trump, exposing him to potential prison time in the very city where his manipulation of the tabloid press propelled him from a real estate mogul to a reality TV star and ultimately to the presidency. As he aims to reclaim the White House in this year’s election, voters are presented with another test of their willingness to overlook Trump’s boundary-breaking behavior.

Trump is expected to appeal the verdict. However, he faces a challenging dynamic as he returns to the campaign trail with these convictions. Although there are no campaign rallies currently scheduled, he attended a fundraiser in Manhattan on Thursday evening, which had been planned before the verdict. He is expected to appear at Trump Tower on Friday and continue fundraising next week. His campaign is already capitalizing on the verdict, issuing a fundraising appeal that labels him a “political prisoner.”

The charges of falsifying business records carry a maximum of four years in prison. However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has not disclosed whether prosecutors will seek imprisonment. It is also unclear whether Judge Merchan, who previously warned of jail time for gag order violations, would impose such a sentence even if requested.

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