Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Trump found guilty on 34 felony counts in NY hush money trial • Source New Mexico

WASHINGTON — Jurors in New York state court on Thursday found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to a porn star ultimately to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president wrapped up in Manhattan, marking an extraordinary moment in American history not only for a former leader, but for one who is seeking to again hold the Oval Office. Trump, the Republican Party’s presumed 2024 presidential nominee, is now a convicted felon.

The jury deliberated for more than 11 hours, beginning Wednesday just before 11:30 a.m. Eastern and delivering the verdict to Justice Juan Merchan just after 5 p.m. Thursday, according to reporters at the courthouse.

New York does not allow recording in the courtroom but provides public transcripts of the proceedings. States Newsroom covered the trial in person on May 20.

Trump now faces penalties ranging from probation to up to four years in prison for each charge of falsifying business records in the first degree.

Merchan set a sentencing date for July 11 at 10 a.m. That’s just days before the Republican National Convention where Trump is expected to be officially nominated as the party’s presidential candidate.

New York state prosecutors charged 34 felonies against the former president for each of the 11 invoices, 11 checks, and 12 ledger entries tied to reimbursing his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen, often referred to as Trump’s former “fixer,” said during trial testimony that he wired $130,000 to adult film star and director Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election to silence her about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Three criminal cases, two federal and one in Georgia, also still hang in the balance for Trump, but the likelihood of another trial happening before November’s election is slim.

Trump briefly spoke to news cameras outside the courtroom, criticizing the proceeding as a “rigged, disgraceful trial.”

“The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here,” Trump said in remarks live-streamed and cataloged on C-SPAN.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, released a statement saying the verdict marked “a shameful day in American history.”

“Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon,” Johnson wrote. “This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

This developing story will be updated.

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