Donald Trump Found Guilty of 34 Felony Charges in Stormy Daniels Fraud Case

Donald Trump was convicted Thursday on all 34 counts of criminal fraud as a Manhattan jury of seven men and five women found that the former president falsified business records in the murky exchange of a 2016 hush-money payment allegedly made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Read one-by-one, all 34 felony charges came back “guilty.” It marks the first time in U.S. history that a former president was convicted of a crime, and sets the table for a sentencing phase that’s prescribed for up to 20 years of jail time – though most legal scholars do not believe that Trump will ever wind up behind bars.

Wearing a blue tie and glowering as he walked out of the courtroom, Trump immediately began attacking the outcome in his remarks to the press, vowing that the matter was not over.

“This was a disgrace,” he said. “This was a rigged trial by a corrupt judge. It’s a rigged trial, it’s a disgrace. They wouldn’t give us a venue change, we had 5 percent in this jurisdiction, in this area. The real verdict will be Nov. 5, by the people. … I’m a very innocent man.”

The judge set Trump’s sentencing for July 11 – just days before Republicans are set to select him as 2024 nominee.

Jurors began deliberations Wednesday morning in New York City, and put in just over 10 hours before reaching their unanimous conclusions on all counts.

The key prosecution witness was Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer-lawyer who testified that he arranged the transfer to quiet adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the late stages of the 2016 election, then was later reimbursed in a way that violated campaign finance laws. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels and claims there was no payment; meanwhile he and his legal team made great efforts to paint Cohen as a serial liar.

The jury was made up of 18 Manhattan residents, six of whom were alternates. The seated jury included seven men and five women from various professional backgrounds — including several lawyers, an investment banker, a software engineer, a teacher and a retired wealth manager, the Associated Press reported.

The trial saw 22 witnesses testify – just two for the defense – across more than four weeks of trial. Besides Cohen and Daniels, other witnesses included tabloid publisher David Pecker and lawyer Keith Davidson, who testified that he negotiated hush money deals for Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Trump faced 34 felony charges of falsifying business records with the intent to violate federal campaign finance limits, influence the 2016 election and commit tax fraud. The charges carried a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted on five or more counts, though most legal scholars never believed Trump would be sentenced to serve any significant jail time.

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