Politics

The Latest | Jury finds Trump guilty on all charges in hush money trial

NEW YORK — (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Thursday was found guilty on all 34 felony counts in his criminal hush money trial.

It was the first time a former U.S. president was ever tried or convicted in a criminal case, and was the first of Trump's four indictments to reach trial.

Prosecutors accused Trump of falsifying internal business records to cover up hush money payments tied to an alleged scheme to bury stories that might torpedo his 2016 White House bid.

At the heart of the charges were reimbursements paid to Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for not going public with her claim about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

Prosecutors said the reimbursements were falsely logged as “legal expenses” to hide the true nature of the transactions.

The charges Trump faces are punishable by up to four years in prison. He has denied any wrongdoing and had pleaded not guilty.

Judge Juan M. Merchan has set Trump’s sentencing for July 11.

Currently:

— Trump's hush money case has gone to the jury. What happens now?

— Highlights from the first day of jury deliberations

— Rallies and debates used to define campaigns. Now they're about juries and trials

— Trump hush money case: A timeline of key events

Here's the latest:

UNLESS HE'S SENT TO PRISON, TRUMP CAN STILL VOTE

Donald Trump may have been convicted of a felony and reside in Florida, a state notorious for restricting the voting rights of felons, but he can still vote as long as he stays out of prison in New York state.

That’s because Florida defers to other states’ disenfranchisement rules for residents convicted of out-of-state felonies. In Trump’s case, New York law only removes their right to vote when incarcerated. Once they’re out of prison, their rights are automatically restored — even if they’re on parole, per a 2021 law passed by the state’s Democratic legislature.

“If a Floridian’s voting rights are restored in the state of conviction, they are restored under Florida law,” Blair Bowie of the Campaign Legal Center wrote in a post explaining the state of law, noting that people without Trump’s legal resources are often confused by Florida’s complex rules.

BIDEN'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR REACTS TO VERDICT

President Joe Biden’s campaign sought to keep the focus on the November election even as it said Thursday that former President Donald Trump’s criminal conviction showed that “that no one is above the law.”

Communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement: “There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box. Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”

Biden himself has yet to weigh in on the verdict. He is spending the night at his family’s beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, after marking the anniversary of his son Beau’s death earlier Thursday at church in Wilmington.

Biden’s campaign has tried for months to remind Americans of what it sees as the peril of another Trump term in office, rather than the personal jeopardy faced by the former president in court.

“A second Trump term means chaos, ripping away Americans’ freedoms and fomenting political violence — and the American people will reject it this November,” Tyler said.

CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS SWIFTLY CONDEMN VERDICT

Trump allies released a flurry of statements just minutes after the jury’s decision in Donald Trump's hush money case was announced.

“The verdict in New York is a complete travesty that makes a mockery of our system of justice,” Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who is a potential vice president pick, posted on the social platform X.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican who is second in line to the presidency, in a statement called the trial “a purely political exercise, not a legal one.” Johnson added: “President Trump will rightfully appeal this absurd verdict—and he WILL WIN!”

Ahead of the jury announcing a verdict, one Republican urged people to respect the legal process.

Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland who is now running for the Senate, wrote on X that “all leaders—regardless of party—must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship. We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

SENTENCING SCHEDULED FOR JULY

Judge Juan M. Merchan has scheduled Donald Trump's sentencing in his hush money case for July 11, just days before Republicans are set to select him as the 2024 presidential nominee.

JUDGE DENIES DEFENSE'S POST-VERDICT REQUEST TO ACQUIT TRUMP

Defense lawyers in Donald Trump's hush money trial moved for an acquittal of the former president after the jury had delivered its verdict.

Defense lawyer Todd Blanche told Judge Juan M. Merchan: “We move for a judgment of acquittal.”

“There’s no basis and no way this jury could have reached a verdict without accepting the testimony of Michael Cohen,” Blanche said.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass rebutted the assertion, saying “We, of course, disagree with Mr. Blanche’s characterization of Michael Cohen’s testimony.”

Merchan denied the motion.

JURY FINDS TRUMP GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES

The jury in Donald Trump's hush money trial has found him guilty on all of the charges against him.

A LAST-MINUTE CHANGE OF PLANS

The “hurry up and wait” beat of jury deliberations in Donald Trump's hush money trial has given way to anticipatory tension — and some surprise. The jury transmitted the news that it reached a verdict by note to Judge Juan M. Merchan at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, just few minutes after he’d announced to the courtroom — minus the jury — that court would adjourn at 4:30 p.m. barring a verdict.

Merchan said his plan was to allow jurors to keep working until that time and then send them home to start fresh on Friday.

Moments later, that plan went out the window. The verdict will be read in court soon.

TRUMP WAITS FOR READING OF VERDICT

Donald Trump is now sitting in the courtroom with his arms folded across his chest as he awaits the reading of the verdict in his hush money trial.

JURY REACHE
S A VERDICT AND REQUESTS EXTRA TIME TO FINALIZE FORMS

The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money case has reached a verdict. It asked for and additional 30 minutes to fill out the form.

JURY WILL DELIBERATE UNTIL 4:30 P.M. THURSDAY, JUDGE SAYS

Judge Juan Merchan announced jurors in Donald Trump's hush money trial will continue deliberating until 4:30 p.m. and then, if they haven’t reached a verdict, they will be sent home for the day and resume their work on Friday.

Merchan summoned Trump, his lawyers and prosecutors to the courtroom to inform them of his scheduling plans. The former president told reporters in the hallway before entering, “I want to campaign.”

Once inside, he surveyed the crowd as he walked to his seat at the defense table. His son Eric returned to his place in the gallery behind the defense table.

Following the judge's announcement, Trump and one of his attorneys, Todd Blanche, had an animated, whispered exchange, but Blanche was smiling.

IN A COURTROOM DEVOID OF JUDGE AND JURY, REPORTERS WAIT FOR NEWS

As deliberations wear on in Donald Trump's hush money trial, it’s a bit of the old adage “hurry up and wait” at the New York courthouse.

With the jury working in secret in a separate room, and Trump and his team holed up elsewhere in the building, reporters remain in the courtroom waiting for word — or rather the sound — of a new development.

Each time the jury has a question — and eventually, if it reaches a verdict — it must send a note to the judge. The way it signals that it has a note is by ringing a bell that blares in the courtroom. The sound is akin to that of an old telephone or alarm clock.

So far Thursday, the bell hasn’t rung at all. It tolled twice within an hour on Wednesday signaling notes from the jury to have certain testimony read to them along with a portion of the jury instructions.

That’s made for a somewhat surreal scene in the normally bustling Manhattan courtroom. The front of the room where the action happens is empty, save for a few court officers and staff: no judge, no prosecutors, no defense team, no former president, and certainly no jurors.

The room that reverberated with dramatic testimony and tense arguments over the last six weeks is now eerily quiet, save for the clicks of laptop keys and the din of chatter amongst reporters and members of the public sitting, watching and waiting for the bell to ring.

NORTH DAKOTA'S BURGUM SEEN OUTSIDE OF MANHATTAN COURTROOM

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, seen as one of the potential running mates for Donald Trump, was outside the courthouse in Manhattan on Thursday doing television interviews.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is being tried on 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Burgum was among the Republican officials who accompanied Trump to court in recent weeks as a show of support, but he was not seen inside court with him Thursday.

Also seen outside the courthouse was Trump senior campaign advisor Jason Miller. He said Trump is “doing great” when asked how the former president was doing while waiting for the jury to deliberate. Miller is among the aides who accompanied Trump on Thursday.

The former president is accused of falsifying internal Trump Organization records as part of a scheme to bury damaging stories that he feared could hurt his 2016 campaign, particularly as Trump's reputation was suffering at the time from comments he had made about women.

The courtroom has closed for lunch. Proceedings resume at 2:15 p.m.

TRUMP PROCLAIMS INNOCENCE AS JURY DELIBERATES

Former President Donald Trump is continuing to rail against his hush-money trial and proclaim his innocence.

“I DID NOTHING WRONG! IN FACT, I DID EVERYTHING RIGHT,” he wrote on Truth Social. “The testimony in Court was amazing for the Defense!”

Trump has pleaded not guilty.

The jury began its second day of deliberations on Thursday. The panel is deciding whether to convict or acquit Trump of some, all or none of the felony counts he’s charged with.

The former president is accused of falsifying internal Trump Organization records as part of a scheme to bury damaging stories that he feared could hurt his 2016 campaign, particularly as Trump's reputation was suffering at the time from comments he had made about women.

JURORS ARE SENT TO RESUME DELIBERATIONS

Jurors have been sent to resume deliberations in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial after rehearing testimony from key witnesses.

The 12 jurors reheard portions of testimony given by former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker as well as Michael Cohen.

The jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Before day's end, they asked to rehear testimony from the tabloid publisher, and Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and personal fixer. On Thursday morning, the judge responded to a jury request by rereading 30 pages of jury instructions related to how inferences may be drawn from evidence.

Trump faces 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

A guilty verdict would deliver a stunning legal reckoning for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as Trump seeks to reclaim the White House.

JURY REHEARS PORTIONS OF TESTIMONY FROM NATIONAL ENQUIRER PUBLISHER

After roughly a half hour of rehearing some of the judge's legal instructions, jurors in Donald Trump's hush-money trial listened to something else they requested: portions of testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

Court stenographers reread both witnesses’ testimony about an August 2015 Trump Tower meeting at which Pecker agreed to publish articles that favored then-candidate Trump and assailed his opponents and to serve as the campaign’s “eyes and ears” for potentially damaging stories and rumors so they could be suppressed.

The jury also asked to rehear Pecker's testimony about a phone call he says he had with Trump about a hush money deal that the National Enquirer's parent company made with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and about Pecker's his decision not to sell the rights to McDougal's story to Trump.

She claimed she had an affair with Trump, which he denies.

Trump faces 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

JURORS REHEAR INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO MICHAEL COHEN'S TESTIMONY

The 12 jurors who are weighing the evidence in Donald Trump's 'hush-money' trial have reheard instructions relating to Michael Cohen's testimony.

It was one of many instructions jurors asked Judge Juan M. Merchan to reread on Thursday, the second day of jury deliberations.

Trump fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen is crucial to the prosecution's case against Trump, jurors were reminded that they can't convict the former president on Cohen's word alone.

“Under our law, Michael Cohen is an accomplice,” and a defendant can’t be convicted of any crime based only on the testimony of an accomplice unless it is supported by corroborative evidence," Merchan said.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records.

LARA TRUMP: TRUMP WILL TRY TO CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENCY EVEN IF HE'S CONVICTED

It appears that — if he is convicted — a guilty verdict won't stop presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from trying to reclaim the White House.

That is according to Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.

Lara Trump serves as co-chair of the Republican National Committee. She told Fox News Channel on Thursday that Trump would still try to campaign for the presidency if he's convicted. Trump faces 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Lara Trump said if Trump is convicted and given a sentence of home confinement, "We will have him doing virtual rallies and campaign events if that is the case. And we’ll have to play the hand that we’re dealt,” according to a transcript of the interview.

The 34 counts against Trump are all the same charge, a low-level felony punishable by up to four years in prison, though it’s not clear that the judge would opt to put Trump behind bars if the jury convicts him.

Other punishments could include a fine or probation.

JUDGE REREADS INSTRUCTIONS TO JURORS IN TRUMP'S ‘HUSH-MONEY’ TRIAL

The 12 jurors weighing the fate of Donald Trump in his 'hush-money' trial listened intently as Judge Juan M. Merchan reread a portion of his instructions.

The jurors, who asked for instructions to be reread, began their second day of deliberations Thursday.

The jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Before day's end, they asked to rehear testimony from a tabloid publisher and Trump's former lawyer and personal fixer, and on Thursday morning, the judge responded to a jury request by rereading 30 pages of jury instructions related to how inferences may be drawn from evidence.

Trump faces 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

A guilty verdict would deliver a stunning legal reckoning for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as Trump seeks to reclaim the White House.

At the heart of the charges are reimbursements paid to Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for not going public with her claim about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

JURY SET TO BEGIN SECOND DAY OF DELIBERATIONS

The jury that is set to determine guilt or innocence in Donald Trump's ‘hush-money’ trial in Manhattan has asked for headphones that can plug into a laptop computer provided to jurors so they can listen to the recordings that were put into evidence.

Presiding Judge Juan M. Merchan has also suggested that a speaker could be provided so that jurors can listen to the audio together.

Merchan asked jury members to decide which option they preferred on Thursday morning, at the start of the second day of their deliberations. Deliberations began Wednesday in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president. The seven-man, five-woman panel is tasked with deciding whether Trump is guilty of any of 34 felony counts of falsifying his company's records.

Prosecutors say Trump falsified the records to veil reimbursements to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen, who had paid porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign not to air her claim that she and Trump had sex a decade earlier.

The former president and presumptive Republican nominee has pleaded not guilty.

DONALD TRUMP ARRIVES AT COURTHOUSE IN MANHATTAN

Donald Trump has arrived at the courthouse in Manhattan where jury deliberations in his ‘hush-money’ trial are getting underway.

At the heart of the charges are reimbursements paid to Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for not going public with her claim about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

“Here we go again,” the former president said outside the courtroom, adding that he can't talk about the case as much as he wants to.

“There was no fraud, there was no conspiracy,” he said.

Minutes later, Trump walked into the courtroom clutching a sheet of paper as he surveyed the gallery of reporters and public observers. His son Eric Trump is among the entourage of lawyers and aides that followed him in.

DONALD TRUMP HEADS TO COURT IN MANHATTAN

Former President Donald Trump has left Trump Tower. His motorcade headed to the courthouse in Manhattan, where he will await a verdict in his ‘hush-money’ case.

Jury deliberations begin Thursday for a second day.

At the heart of the charges are reimbursements paid to Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for not going public with her claim about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

A LOOK BACK AT MEMORABLE APPEARANCES DURING TRUMP'S DAYS IN COURT

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden's campaign showed up outside of Donald Trump's trial with actor Robert De Niro and a pair of former police officers.

Even as Trump and his aides denounce the trial as politically motivated, he has been working to turn the proceedings into an offshoot of his presidential campaign. He's used his time in front of the cameras outside the courtroom to criticize Biden and showcase a parade of his own political supporters.

Some notable appearances at Trump’s trial include House Speaker Mike Johnson, former GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

WHAT A VERDICT COULD MEAN FOR TRUMP

A guilty verdict would deliver a stunning legal reckoning for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as Donald Trump seeks to reclaim the White House.

An acquittal would represent a major win for Trump and embolden him on the campaign trail.

Since verdicts must be unanimous, it’s also possible the case ends in a mistrial if the jury can’t reach a consensus after days of deliberations.

Trump struck a pessimistic tone after leaving the courtroom following the reading of jury instructions, repeating his assertions of a “very unfair trial” and saying: “Mother Teresa could not beat those charges, but we’ll see. We’ll see how we do.”

WHO IS ON THE JURY?

The jury in Donald Trump's hush money trial is comprised of 18 Manhattan residents.

The main jury includes seven men and five women. There are also six alternate jurors who’ve listened to the testimony, but won’t join in the deliberations unless one of the main jurors needs to drop out or is removed.

The jury represents a diverse cross-section of the borough and come from various professional backgrounds, including a sales professional, a software engineer, a security engineer, a teacher, a speech therapist, multiple lawyers, an investment banker and a retired wealth manager.

Jurors' names are being kept from the public.

WHAT MUST BE PROVED FOR A CONVICTION?

Jurors in Donald Trump's hush money trial are expected to begin deliberations on Wednesday after receiving instructions from the judge on the law that governs the case and what they can consider as they strive toward a verdict in the first criminal case against a former U.S. president.

The panel has a weighty task ahead of them — deciding whether to convict or acquit Trump of some, all or none of the 34 felony counts he's charged with.

But what had to be proved for a conviction?

To convict Trump of felony falsifying business records, prosecutors had to convince jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that he not only falsified or caused business records to be entered falsely but also did so with intent to commit or conceal another crime. Any verdict must be unanimous.

THE JURY HAS BEEN SENT TO DELIBERATE. WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT MEAN?

Jury deliberations proceed in secret, in a room reserved specifically for jurors and through an intentionally opaque process.

Jurors can communicate with the court through notes that ask the judge, for instance, for legal guidance or to have particular excerpts of testimony read back to them. But without knowing what jurors are saying to each other, it’s hard to read too much into the meaning of any note.

It’s anyone’s guess how long the jury in Donald Trump’s hush money case will deliberate for and there’s no time limit either. The jury must evaluate 34 counts of falsifying business records and that could take some time. A verdict might not come by the end of the week.

To reach a verdict on any given count, either guilty or not guilty, all 12 jurors must agree with the decision for the judge to accept it.

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