Trump Guilty of 34 Felonies, a First for a US President

New York jury returns guilty verdicts on all charges
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2024 4:21 PM CDT
Trump Convicted of 34 Felonies, a First for a US President
Former President Donald Trump arrives to the courthouse as the jury in his criminal trial is scheduled to continue deliberations at Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.   (Justin Lane/Pool Photo via AP)

A Manhattan jury has found Donald Trump guilty of all 34 counts he was charged with in his hush-money trial, making him the first onetime president to become a felon. Trump sat expressionless and slack at the defense table, the New York Times reports, as he heard "guilty" read in court 34 times on Thursday afternoon. Cheering from the street below, where supporters and opponents of Trump assembled, could be heard in the hallway outside the 15th-floor courtroom. As jurors filed out, they did not look at Trump, and he did not look at them. Minutes later, the former president and current candidate told reporters, "I'm a very innocent man."

Prosecutors accused Trump of falsifying internal business records to cover up hush-money payments tied to an alleged scheme to bury stories that might torpedo his 2016 White House bid, per the AP. At the heart of the charges were reimbursements paid to Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for not going public with her claim about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump. Prosecutors said the reimbursements were falsely logged as "legal expenses" to hide the true nature of the transactions. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. The charges he was convicted of are punishable by up to four years in prison.

The jury of 12 New Yorkers had deliberated for 9½ hours hours over two days. The verdicts the panel returned involved 11 counts related to invoices, 12 related to ledger entries, and 11 involving checks. Trump still faces charges in three other criminal cases elsewhere, per the Washington Post. He has pleaded not guilty in them and called the prosecutions politically motivated. All are embroiled in motions and delays and seem unlikely to go to trial before the November election. (More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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