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Friday, June 21, 2024

Donald Trump Makes History With Guilty Verdict

U.S.Donald Trump Makes History With Guilty Verdict

“Guilty.”

The single word that rang out in a Manhattan courtroom a little past 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoon shook the country, making Donald Trump the first American president convicted of a crime.

It was a landmark — and, for Trump’s supporters, a black mark — in American history.

The word “guilty” actually was heard 34 times, as the jury — seven men and five women — found the former president guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels.

The verdict shattered a late afternoon languor inside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump’s trial had played out over the last month and a half, during which time the jury heard a sweeping and sometimes sordid tale of sex, payoffs and presidential politics.

How the outcome affects the 2024 presidential campaign remains to be seen. Trump could use the conviction to galvanize his base and fund-raising, as he has after arrests in other cases, three of which are still pending. On Thursday, after the verdict was read, he assailed what he called “a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who is corrupt.”

“A disgrace,” he said.

Shortly after the verdict was read aloud in court, President Biden posted a fund-raising appeal, saying that the verdict alone would not be enough to derail Trump or his supporters.

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