Trump trial: Donald Trump guilty on all counts in hush-money trial...

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Published Time: 31.05.2024 - 09:14:10 Modified Time: 31.05.2024 - 09:14:10

"We are going to appeal as quickly as we can. We will seek expedited review of this case," Will Scharf, an attorney for Trump, told Fox News. Trump trial

The jury on Thursday convicted Trump of falsifying records in connection with a hush-money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the U.S. presidential election in 2016. Jurors made their decision after a tense five-week trial in Manhattan Criminal Court and two days of deliberations behind closed doors.

"This was a rigged, disgraceful trial, and the real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the ," he said, referring to the upcoming U.S. presidential election this fall.

"We didn't do a thing wrong. I'm an innocent man."

A lawyer for Trump signalled that an appeal will be made as quickly as possible.

"We are going to appeal as quickly as we can. We will seek expedited review of this case," Will Scharf, an attorney for Trump, told Fox News.

Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney, thanked the jurors for their service and said prosecutors followed the facts and the law.

"While this defendant may be unlike any other in American history, we arrived at this trial, and ultimately today at this verdict, in the same manner as every other case that comes through the courtroom doors — by following the facts and the law, and doing so without fear or favour," Bragg said in remarks after the verdict was announced. 

Trump faces up to four years in prison, though the sentence for such crimes is usually far shorter, if not addressed with fines or probation. The conviction does not prevent him from campaigning for the presidency or taking office if he beats Democratic President Joe Biden.

Trump will not be jailed before sentencing. As his motorcade left the courthouse Thursday, he gave a thumbs-up through the tinted window of his SUV.

The jurors emerged from their deliberations Thursday to announce they had reached a verdict at 4:20 p.m. ET, just minutes before they were expected to be excused for the day. After taking a few minutes to finish the forms, jurors were called back into the rigid courtroom at 5:03 p.m.

By 5:07 p.m., Trump had been convicted on all counts. His son, Eric, was the only one of his children in the courtroom. 

Judge Juan Merchan asked lawyers for both sides whether they had any final comments after the jury left. Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, stood and tried one last time for an acquittal. When the judge denied that request, Blanche asked for a sentencing date in mid- to late July because Trump will be busy with other court dates in several other cases.

Sentencing was set for July 11 — four days before Republican nominating convention in Milwaukee.

An appeal from Trump could see his lawyers alleging bias and judicial errors, arguing Merchan sealed Trump's fate by issuing unfair instructions to the jury. Appeals could take years to conclude.

In television interviews after the verdict, Trump lawyer Blanche said he believed the former president did not receive a fair trial and that the team would appeal based on the judge's refusal to recuse himself and because of what he suggested was excessive pretrial publicity.

Daniels, 45, testified during the trial the sexual encounter she said she had with Trump at a hotel in 2006, when he was married to his current wife Melania. 

Trump's then-fixer, Michael Cohen, told the court Trump gave the green light to send Daniels a payment of $130,000 US to keep her from speaking the incident in the final weeks of the 2016 election, when Trump faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

Cohen said he made the payment and that Trump had planned to pay him back with monthly payments disguised as legal work. 

Trump had pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and denied having had the alleged sexual encounter with Daniels in 2006. 

Reacting to the verdict Thursday, Cohen told The via text message that "today is an important day for accountability and the rule of law."

There is a wide range of potential penalties for the crime of which he now stands convicted: he could receive anything from probation to a maximum of four years behind bars.

Trump will have to first meet with a probation officer in coming days. The officer will put together a sentencing report for Merchan to use at sentencing in July, including details such as whether Trump shows any remorse.

The case in Manhattan District Court was the first of Trump's criminal cases to go to trial. He faces three other prosecutions in connection with other alleged criminal behaviour before, during and after his time in the White House.

Biden's campaign said the verdict showed that no one was above the law and urged voters to reject Trump in the election.

"There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box," the campaign said in a statement.

Senior Writer

Rhianna Schmunk is a senior writer for CBC News based in Vancouver. Over a decade in journalism, she has reported on subjects including criminal justice, civil litigation and climate change. You can send story tips to rhianna.schmunk@cbc.ca.

With files from Alexander Panetta, The and

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