Donald Trump Becomes First Ex-US President Convicted of a Crime

Donald TRUMP

Donald Trump has made history as the first former US president ever convicted of a crime. A New York jury found him guilty on all charges related to his hush money case, just months before an election that could see him return to the White House.

The jury convicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a payment intended to silence porn star Stormy Daniels. Each count could theoretically result in a four-year prison sentence, but he is more likely to receive probation.

The 77-year-old Republican, who was released without bail, is now officially a felon—a historic and startling first in a country where presidents are often considered the most powerful individuals in the world.

Despite his conviction, Trump is not barred from continuing his campaign to unseat President Joe Biden in November, even if he ends up in prison. Displaying defiance, Trump proclaimed, “I’m a very innocent man,” and criticized the trial as “rigged” and a “disgrace,” vowing that the “real verdict” would come from voters.

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Biden’s campaign responded by stating that the trial showed “no one is above the law,” adding that “the threat Trump poses to our democracy has never been greater.”

Sentencing and Jury Deliberation

Judge Juan Merchan has set the sentencing for July 11, just four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Trump is expected to receive the party’s formal nomination. The 12-member jury deliberated for more than 11 hours over two days before delivering their unanimous verdict.

Merchan thanked the jurors for completing the “difficult and stressful task,” noting that their identities were kept secret, a rare practice usually reserved for cases involving mafia or violent defendants.

Other Legal Challenges

Trump faces additional federal and state charges, including conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results and hoarding secret documents after leaving the White House. These trials, involving more serious allegations, are unlikely to commence before the presidential election.

Hush Money Case Details

Trump was convicted of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, provided lengthy testimony about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, which he has denied.

Prosecutors argued successfully that the hush money and its cover-up were part of a broader scheme to prevent voters from learning about Trump’s behavior. Cohen, a key witness who turned against Trump, called the verdict “an important day for accountability and the rule of law.”

Political and Legal Repercussions

The trial has been a distraction for Trump in his campaign to unseat Biden, but he has leveraged the media attention. Following the verdict, Trump’s campaign issued a fundraising appeal titled “I am a political prisoner!” and announced a public statement.

Political analyst Keith Gaddie noted that while the events might not shift many votes, they could influence swing votes in tight races. As a first-time convict, Trump is likely to receive probation. An appeal is expected, which could take months to resolve.

Should Trump win the presidency, he will be unable to pardon himself, as the case was brought by the state of New York, where only the governor could grant a pardon.

Stay updated with the latest developments in the Donald Trump case and its implications for the upcoming election.

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