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Donald Trump found guilty on all 34 felony counts in hush-money trial

Donald Trump
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The jurors in New York City rendered their verdict Thursday afternoon in the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

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Jurors in a New York City court have found Donald Trump guilty of all 34 felony counts in his so-called hush-money trial. They rendered the verdict Thursday afternoon.

In the first-ever criminal trial of a former president, Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels so she wouldn’t go public about a sexual affair with Trump. The jurors have said this is not a hush-money trial but an election fraud trial. Judge Juan Merchan will announce the sentence July 11. He could impose jail time, probation, or a fine.

The alleged affair happened in 2006, and the payment of $130,000 was made to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election, as Trump and his campaign staff feared that disclosure would hurt his chances of becoming president. He won the election, besting heavily favored Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump has slept through some of the proceedings, but outside the court and in social media posts, he has ranted against the trial, proclaiming his innocence and contending that he is the subject of a witch hunt by President Joe Biden — in the process, violating a gag order issued by Merchan. He continued that after the verdict was announced, saying it was a "rigged trial" in heavily Democratic Manhattan and that he was completely innocent. He once more contended that Judge Merchan was biased (his daughter has worked for a company that raises funds for Democratic politicians) and that Merchan was backed by liberal philanthropist George Soros, a favorite target of the far right.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office prosecuted Trump, had this to say after the verdict was released: "Our job is to follow the facts and the law without fear or favor. We did our job. [There are] many voices out there, the only voice that matters is the voice of the jury, and the jury has spoken."

In a statement to The Advocate, Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign said, “The twice-impeached, forever disgraced former President of the United States has now been convicted of 34 felony counts by a jury of his peers. Today’s conviction shows clearly that no one is above the law. And now, we must commit to showing up in November and ensuring that Trump doesn’t make his way from the courthouse back to the White House.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis released this statement: “The verdict underlines that no one is above the law, and that election interference is a serious crime that harms every American, including and especially vulnerable people whose voices should be heard and whose votes should be counted. The trial detailed how Donald Trump lied and schemed to get elected. In four horrific years in office he stripped LGBTQ Americans, all women, and others of our essential human rights, then lied about losing the 2020 election and encouraged a deadly riot at the Capitol to overturn it. Donald Trump is now a twice convicted, twice impeached, serial liar and sexual abuser who has always seen the presidency as a scam to enrich and protect himself. Today the jury emphatically said Trump is guilty as charged. Voters everywhere should follow the jury’s lead and continue to hold him accountable for his crimes, anti-American behavior and rhetoric.”

Story developing...

Christopher Wiggins contributed to this report.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.