Donald Trump found guilty in hush money case, becoming first former president criminally convicted | US News

Donald Trump has become the first former president of the United States to be criminally convicted.

In a landmark decision, a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying business records to commit election fraud.

He was found guilty of all 34 charges he faced. Unanimity was required for any verdict.

Follow live: Trump found guilty of all charges in case of silence

The former president will be sentenced on July 11.

Speaking outside court, Trump said the conviction was a “disgrace” and that he is “a very innocent man.”

He said the trial was “rigged” and that the judge was “conflicted” and “should never have been allowed to try this case.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Joe Biden said in a statement: “No one is above the law.”

“Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed that he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his personal gain,” said Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign.

“But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality.

“There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box.”

Read more: Can Donald Trump still be president now that he has been convicted in a hush money trial?

He added: “The threat Trump poses to our democracy has never been greater. He is waging an increasingly unhinged campaign of revenge and retribution, promising to be a dictator ‘from day one’ and calling for our Constitution to be ‘finished’. ‘ so that he can regain and maintain power.

“A second Trump term means chaos, rips apart Americans’ freedoms and fuels political violence, and the American people will reject him this November.”

Trump was at the center of a scheme to cover up “hush money” payments to buy a porn star’s silence in the days before the 2016 election.

When the revelations of Stormy Daniel Because a sexual relationship with Trump threatened to upend her presidential campaign, she ordered her lawyer to pay her $130,000 (£102,000) to keep her quiet.

The payment buried the story, and Triumph He was later elected as the 45th president of the United States.

Trump dispassionately watched the jurors as they were questioned to confirm the guilty verdict.

The trial in Manhattan Criminal Court heard how the backdrop to the crime was a scandal in Trump’s campaign a month before the 2016 election.

A videotape from the television show Access Hollywood was made public, in which Trump is caught on microphone speaking in lewd terms about groping women (“When you’re a star they let you do it, grab them by the ass”). and. You can do anything.”)

The trial heard how it was considered a “crisis” within Team Trump and that the campaign would soon face another.

Daniels, an adult film actress, claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in 2006.

Ten years later, while he was running for office, she was trumpeting her story.

The details, as heard in this trial, were that she had met Trump at a golf tournament and he had invited her to dinner.

Stormy Daniels in Manhattan in 2018. Photo: AP

She arrived at his hotel suite and found him dressed in satin pajamas, until she asked him to change.

At one point he pulled out a magazine and she told the court he had slapped her “right on the butt.”

Later, she came out of the bathroom and found him lying on the bed in a T-shirt and boxers, and they ended up having sex.

Trump denies that the link took place.

‘Catch and kill’

His plan to sell his story was communicated to Trump by David Pecker, former editor of the National Enquirer magazine.

He was a friend of Trump and operated a “catch and kill” scheme on his behalf, to capture negative stories and remove them before they could be published.

He had already paid $150,000 (£117,000) to silence Karen McDougal, a Playboy model with a story of a 10-month affair with Trump.

David Pecker vowed to stop publishing negative stories about Trump. Photo: Reuters

Trump also denies that such an issue ever existed.

Pecker told the court that he had attended a meeting at Trump Tower, New York, in August 2015 with Trump and Michael CohenTrump’s lawyer and fixer.

At the meeting, Pecker told Trump that he would be his “eyes and ears.”

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Michael Cohen testified that upon learning that Daniels planned to sell her story, Trump told him: “This is a disaster, a total disaster. Women are going to hate me.”

“This is really a disaster. Women are going to hate me. Guys, they think it’s cool. But this is going to be a disaster for the campaign.”

Michael Cohen said he paid the hush money on Trump’s orders. Photo: Reuters

Cohen subsequently paid Ms Daniels $130,000 (£102,000) to buy and bury the story.

Critically, he testified that he did so at Trump’s direction, placing the former president at the center of the conspiracy.

Paying hush money isn’t illegal: The crime was Trump’s way of reimbursing his ‘Mr. Fix-It’ and the reason the money was paid.

After Trump was elected president, he returned $420,000 (£329,000) to Cohen, representing the $130,000 (£102,000) and other payments and bonuses, “added up” to take into account the tax liability.

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Reimbursement was made through a series of checks, which were recorded as legal expenses.

That was the crime: falsification of business records, compounded by the motive for it: the effort to conceal from voters a negative story that could have harmed Trump’s electoral chances.

In the words of the prosecution, it was “a planned, coordinated and long-term conspiracy to influence the 2016 elections.”

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