New York jury finds former US president Donald Trump guilty on all counts in hush money trial News
White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
New York jury finds former US president Donald Trump guilty on all counts in hush money trial

JURIST News Managing Editor JP Leskovich and Deputy Editorial Director William Hibbitts contributed to this article.

A Manhattan jury has found former US President Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in his New York hush money criminal trial. Prosecutors alleged that Trump falsified records to conceal hush money payments to unlawfully influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office claimed that Trump made the payments via his erstwhile attorney Michael Cohen to individuals including adult film actress Stormy Daniels as part of a “catch-and-kill” scheme where Trump’s associates bought rights to stories that would damage Trump’s campaign without ever running them.

Much of the prosecution’s case centered around Michael Cohen’s testimony, in which Trump’s former lawyer highlighted the former president’s role in the hush money scheme. Trump’s defense counsel attacked Cohen’s credibility right from the start of the trial, raising the fact that Cohen was previously convicted of lying in front of the US House and Senate intelligence committees.

Still, Cohen’s conviction did not dissuade the jury from finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified business records.

Speaking to reporters after the verdict, Manhattan District Attorney Alving Bragg said, “Our job is to follow the facts and the law without fear or favor, and that’s exactly what we did here.” He stressed that while there are, “many voices out there, the only voice that matters is the voice of the jury.”

Trump said after being found guilty:

This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt. It’s a rigged trial, a disgrace. They wouldn’t give us a venue change. We were at 5 percent or 6 percent in this district, in this area. This was a rigged disgraceful trial. The real verdict is gonna be November 5th by the people, and they know what happened here, and everyone knows what happened here. You have a Soros-backed DA and a whole thing, we didn’t do a thing wrong. I’m a very innocent man, and it’s ok. 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. And I think it’s just a disgrace, and we’ll keep fighting; we’ll fight to the end, and we’ll win.

The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 11. The Republican National Convention, where Trump is set to be selected as the party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election, is set to begin four days later, on July 15.

Donald Trump is the first former US president to be convicted of a felony. His conviction will not disqualify him from running in the 2024 election.

This is the first of the four criminal cases against Trump. The former president faces federal and state cases related to election interference and another federal case regarding his handling of classified documents.