Trump Convicted On 34 Counts In Historic Hush Money Trial

Former President Donald Trump
Trump found guilty on all charges in hush money case in New York

Former President Donald Trump was convicted on all counts in his criminal trial in New York City on Thursday, concluding an extraordinary trial and making him the first U.S. president to have ever been convicted of a crime.

By Virginia Van Zandt and Arjun Singh

The jury of his peers found Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records regarding his reimbursement of his attorney Michael Cohen for a “hush money” payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic actress with whom he reportedly had an affair. Trump’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to be held on July 11 – four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, WI – before which he will report to probation officers to inform the final decision on sentencing.

“This was a rigged trial by a corrupted judge who was corrupt,” Trump said outside the courtroom after the verdict was read. “It was a disgrace…the real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people, and they know what happened here.”

Many in Trump’s orbit foresaw a guilty verdict. “I think sadly, they’ll probably find him guilty on something,” said former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka shortly after the jury resumed its deliberations on Thursday.

The jury reached a verdict after two days of deliberation, which saw them request testimony from David Pecker, the publisher of the National Inquirer, and revisit the jury instructions.

Trump is currently the presumptive Republican Party’s nominee for the presidential election in November. He is currently leading President Joe Biden in several battleground states.

Trump previously was found in contempt of court several times for violating the “gag order” imposed by the presiding judge, Acting Justice Juan Merchan of the New York Supreme Court Trial Division, in the case. The repeated findings of contempt, and financial penalties for the same, raise the possibility that he could be sentenced to confinement, though many Trump allies have rebuffed this possibility.

“I find it hard to believe that even a guilty verdict would lead to incarceration, because how do you incarcerate a man who is under 24/7 Secret Service protection,” Gorka said.

Trump’s campaign immediately sent a series of emails and social media posts to raise funds for his campaign after the verdict. “Let me assure you that they have a plan,” said Gorka, speaking of the campaign’s plans post-conviction.

Trump’s conviction does not affect his eligibility to run for president. The U.S. Constitution specifies few qualifications to serve as president – with felony convictions being unmentioned – which the Supreme Court has previously ruled are exhaustive, meaning that Trump can still be elected in November and assume office in 2025 if he wins.

Following the verdict, Biden’s campaign issued a statement affirming the decision. “In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law… convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”