Donald Trump becomes first former US President to be convicted of felony crimes

After deliberations over two days, the 12-member jury announced it had found former US president Donald Trump guilty on all 34 counts he faced. Unanimity was required for any verdict.
Donald Trump becomes first former US President to be convicted of felony crimes
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Donald Trump became the first former US president to be convicted of felony crimes on Thursday when a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

After deliberations over two days, the 12-member jury announced it had found Trump guilty on all 34 counts he faced, news agency Reuters reported. Unanimity was required for any verdict.

Justice Juan Merchan set sentencing for July 11, days before the July 15 start of the Republican National Convention expected to formally nominate Trump for president.

Merchan thanked the jurors for their service. “Nobody can make you do anything you don’t want to do. The choice is yours,” Merchan said.

The verdict plunges the US into unexplored territory ahead of the November 5 presidential election, when Trump, the Republican candidate, will try to win the White House back from Democratic President Joe Biden.

He faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison, though others convicted of that crime often receive shorter sentences, fines or probation. Incarceration would not prevent him from campaigning, or taking office if he were to win.

He will not be jailed ahead of sentencing.

Trump, 77, has denied wrongdoing and was expected to appeal.

Speaking outside the courtroom, Trump said, "We didn't do a thing wrong, I am a very innocent man. We'll keep fighting. We'll fight to the end, and we'll win."

The real verdict is going to be on November 5 by the people. This was a rigged decision from day one," he added.

Opinion polls show Trump and Biden, 81, locked in a tight race, and Reuters/Ipsos polling has found that a guilty verdict could cost Trump some support from independent and Republican voters.

A source familiar with the Trump campaign's inner workings said the verdict was expected to prompt him to intensify deliberations on picking a woman as his vice presidential running mate, according to Reuters.

Trump gave a thumbs-up sign through the tinted window of his SUV as his motorcade left the courthouse. Trump supporters stood in a park opposite the courthouse along with journalists, police and onlookers, Reuters reported.

Trump's fellow Republicans quickly condemned the verdict. "Today is a shameful day in American history," House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson said in a prepared statement.

Notably, Trump's fund-raising website, WinRed donation, temporarily crashed after the verdict.

In a flurry of support on Thursday, mega donors including casino billionaire Miriam Adelson and hotelier Robert Bigelow lined up behind Trump, with their donations set to bolster a wave of pro-Trump ads, door-knocking and phone banking in battleground states.

Robert Bigelow, who is one of Trump's top supporters, having already given over $9 million to an outside group supporting him, said criminal proceedings against Trump were a "disgrace."

"I'm sending President Trump another $5 million as I promised him," Bigelow told Reuters.

Don Tapia, a former Trump ambassador to Jamaica, said he and a small network of family and friends with whom he donates had planned to give around $250,000 this election to support Trump.

A Silicon Valley tech investor, Shaun Maguire, posted on social media site X after the verdict that he had donated $300,000 to support Trump.

Also Read
US-based Southwest Airlines faces 'brief' outage, over 1,300 flights delayed
Donald Trump becomes first former US President to be convicted of felony crimes

The jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business documents after sitting through a six-week trial that featured explicit testimony from porn star Stormy Daniels about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006 while he was married to his current wife Melania. Trump denies ever having sex with Daniels.

Source: ANI

Stay connected to Jaano Junction on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Koo. Listen to our Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Jaano Junction