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18 July, 2024
 
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Trump convicted on 34 felony counts

Becomes first former president to be charged with felony crimes

Source: AP

Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes Thursday, as a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 charges related to a scheme to influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels.

Trump sat stone-faced as the verdict was read, while cheers from the street below echoed in the courthouse. The jury reached its decision after more than nine hours of deliberations.

"This was a rigged, disgraceful trial," Trump said afterward. "The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people."

Judge Juan M. Merchan set sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention, where Trump is expected to be nominated for the 2024 election. Despite the conviction, Trump retains the right to vote unless imprisoned in New York.

The conviction exposes Trump to potential prison time. The falsifying business records charges carry up to four years behind bars, but it is unclear if prosecutors will seek imprisonment.

Trump plans to appeal the verdict. He is expected to continue fundraising and maintain his campaign efforts. His legal team argues the payments to Daniels were legitimate legal expenses, denying any wrongdoing.

The trial featured key testimonies from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who facilitated the payment, and Daniels, who described her alleged encounter with Trump.

Republican leaders, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, condemned the trial as politically motivated. The verdict underscores the ongoing legal challenges Trump faces as he seeks to return to the White House in 2024.

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