Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in historic NY hush money trial: Recap (2024)

Aysha Bagchi,Bart Jansen,David Jackson,Kinsey CrowleyUSA TODAY

Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in historic NY hush money trial: Recap (1)

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In a verdict that shook the 2024 presidential campaign, former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts in his New York criminal hush money trial. He was convicted of falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Trump is the first former U.S. president convicted of a crime.

Prosecutors charged Trump with falsifying business records. They alleged Trump falsified the records to conceal unlawfully interfering in the 2016 presidential election through the $130,000 hush money payment, making the falsification charges felonies.The crime carries a penalty of up to four years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for July 11, but legal experts previously told USA TODAY the presumptive Republican nominee is likely to get only probation or a shorter sentence.

Trump called the outcome a "disgrace" and vowed to keep fighting his conviction.

The more-than six weeks-long trial against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee − which featured dramatic clashes between lawyers and witnesses, the judge and Trump − was the first criminal trial in U.S. history against a former president.

Trump's conviction marks another historic moment, with an uncertain impact on the 2024 presidential election.He is not disqualified from running for office and while polls have suggested a conviction would harm his prospects, prominent Republican supporters quickly rallied to his side.

Follow along with USA TODAY's live coverage here:

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg: 'I did my job'

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said he did not have any response to Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the prosecutor and his staff, but he praised his office.

“I did my job. Our job is to follow the facts and the law without fear or favor. That’s exactly what we did here,” Bragg said. “I did my job. We did our job. Many voices out there. The only voice that matters is the voice of the jury and the jury has spoken.”

− Bart Jansen

Will Donald Trump go to jail?

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dodged a question about whether he would seek jail time when Trump is sentenced July 11.

“We will speak at that time,” Bragg said.

Bragg also declined to say whether he would oppose a request from Trump to remain free while he appeals the verdict. Bragg said prosecutors would respond formally at sentencing July 11.

“I’m going to let our words in court speak for themselves,” Bragg said.

− Bart Jansen

Trump still faces criminal prosecution in these other three cases

Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in historic NY hush money trial: Recap (3)

Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in historic NY hush money trial: Recap (4)

Judge schedules sentencing for Trump after historic guilty verdict

Sentencing for former President Donald Trump has been set for July 11, just four days before the start of the Republican National Convention.

With Donald Trump guilty on all charges in his Manhattan hush money trial, he still faces criminal charges in three other cases, including two for allegedly trying to illegally steal the 2020 election he lost to President Joe Biden.

In all, Trump faced a combined 88 criminal counts, including the 34 in Manhattan that he was convicted of Thursday by a jury. That leaves 54 counts between the three other cases, two of them in federal court that were brought by special counsel Jack Smith on behalf of the Justice Department.

One of those involves the retention of classified documents. The other federal case overseen by Smith accuses Trump of trying to subvert the 2020 election results.

The fourth case, in Fulton County, Ga., accuses Trump and 14 co-defendants − including some of his former lawyers, and administration aides − of trying to overturn Trump's loss in the Peach State in 2020.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in all of the cases. None of them have trial dates scheduled, and legal experts largely concur that it's unlikely that any will begin before election day on Nov. 5, a likely rematch between Biden and Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee.

−Josh Meyer

Watch DA Alvin Bragg's press conference live

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. will hold a press conference Thursday evening following theconviction of Donald Trump.

The press conference is scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. ET at the 8th Floor Training Room in New York, the DA's office said in a release.

You can watch his comments live here.

− Anthony Robledo

What was Trump found guilty of?

Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Each count is tied to a different business record that prosecutors argued Trump was responsible for changing in order to either conceal or commit another crime.

Those records include 11 checks paid to former lawyerMichael Cohen, 11 invoices from Cohen and 12 entries in Trump's ledgers.

The jury found that Trump authorized a plan to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 hush money payment issued toStormy Daniels and spread the payments across 12 months disguised as legal expenses.

− Kinsey Crowley

'Trump is in a deep hole here': Former federal prosecutor reacts to verdict

Kevin O’Brien, a former federal prosecutor now practicing at Ford O’Brien Landy, said Trump could appeal whether the evidence was sufficient to convict him. But Trump can no longer challenge the credibility of witnesses such as former lawyer Michael Cohen and p*rn actress Stormy Daniels because the jury believed them, O’Brien said.

“Trump is in a deep hole here,” O’Brien said. “It’s not like he gets to start over. That’s not how the appeal system works.”

Thejury weighed the evidence and decided that witnesses such as former lawyer Michael Cohen and p*rn actress Stormy Daniels were credible.

The counts each carry maximum sentences of four years, but legal experts say Judge Juan Merchan could give him probation or a shorter sentence as a first-time offender to a non-violent offense. The felony convictions don’t prohibit Trump from campaigning or potentially winning the White House.

“He could still easily wind up president of the United States,” O’Brien said. “There’s nothing that would prevent that from happening.”

− Bart Jansen

Can Trump run for president now?

Yes, even after being convicted on felony counts, the Thursday verdict does not impact Donald Trump's ability to seek another term in the White House. The Constitution is pretty clear − here are the qualifications to serve as president.

  • Be a natural-born citizen of the U.S.
  • Have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years
  • Be at least 35 years old

− Marina Pitofsky

What happens to Trump now? Trump sentencing date

Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled Trump's sentencing for July 11, and Trump is out free until then.

Because this is Trump's first felony offense, his sentence is likely to be as light as probation or home confinement. If he does receive a sentence, it would probably be less than a year.

Trump is likely to appeal the conviction. That would push any jailtime until after the election.

− Kinsey Crowley

Who were the key witnesses in Donald Trump's historic trial

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was a significant witness testifying that he submitted invoices for “legal expenses” that Trump knew were to reimburse him for paying $130,000 to silence p*rn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. But Trump lawyer Todd Blanche accused Cohen of lying on the stand when he testified he notified Trump about the payment to Daniels. In closing arguments, Blanche called Cohenthe “MVP of liars” and “the embodiment of reasonable doubt.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, described the alleged sexual encounter in enough detail that Merchan questioned why defense lawyers didn’t object more to block her testimony. Trump has repeatedly denied he had sex with Daniels and Blanche argued the payment “started out as an extortion” whether the allegation was true or not.

David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media Inc., which owned the National Enquirer, said he agreed in a meeting with Trump and Cohen in August 2015 to be the “eyes and ears” of Trump’s presidential campaign to buy negative stories about the candidate and never publish them.

Pecker acknowledged paying former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for her story and then refusing to pay for Daniels because Trump hadn’t reimbursed him. Cohen provided a recording, which prosecutor Joshua Steinglass called “jaw-dropping,” of Trump mentioning the $150,000 figure.

− Bart Jansen

Can Trump go to prison?

Yes. Each felony count of falsifying business records − elevated to a felony because prosecutors proved their purpose was to commit or conceal another crime − carries a maximum sentence of four years. However, New York caps such sentencing the type of felonies Trump faced – Class E felonies –at 20 years.

But given Trump doesn't have a criminal record and wasn't convicted of a violent crime, such a high sentence is very unlikely, according to legal experts. Several spoke to USA TODAY ahead of the trial about what could happen if Trump were convicted. Nearly all predicted that, if convicted, Trump would get a sentence ranging from just probation to up to four years in prison, and likely falling within the lower end of that range.

− Aysha Bagchi

Donald Trump reacts to guilty verdict

Donald Trump quickly reacted to the jury's decision finding him guilty on all 34 criminal counts.

“This is just a disgrace,” Trump told reporters in the hallway outside the courtroom. “We didn’t do anything wrong. I’m an innocent man.”

Trump ignored shouted questions about whether he would drop out of the presidential campaign.

“This is long from over,” Trump said. “We’ll keep fighting. We’ll fight to the end and we’ll win.”

− Bart Jansen

People surrounding courthouse react

Outside the courthouse, anti-Trump demonstrators cheered and drivers honked their horns as news of the guilty verdicts spread. “Guilty!” several people shouted out.

− David Jackson

Jury reaches a verdict

The jury has reached a verdict in former President Donald Trump's New York criminal hush money trial, which centers on allegations that he falsified business records to hide a hush money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Jurors confirmed that they had reached a verdict in a note signed by the foreperson at 4:20 p.m. local time. Jurors have requested an extra 30 minutes to fill out forms and take other steps, according to Judge Juan Merchan.

The former president, his attorneys, prosecutors reporters and others were waiting in near silence in the courtroom as the jury entered the courtroom.

− Aysha Bagchi

A drama-filled trial

The six-week trial featured dramatic clashes between lawyers and witnesses, the judge and Trump.

The testimony included tense moments, such as defense lawyer Todd Blanche accusing Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, of lying on the stand and former Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks breaking into tears.

Meanwhile, Judge Juan Merchan threatened to jail Trump if he continued to violate a gag order against talking about witnesses participating in the case. Merchan also scolded Blanche for an “outrageous” statement in closing arguments that the jury shouldn’t “send someone to prison” based on Cohen’s testimony.

A flock of Republican surrogates showed up to support Trump, and one conspiracy theorist set himself on fire outside the courthouse.

− Bart Jansen

Correction: A previous version of this story quoted Trump as saying "this is far from over."

Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in historic NY hush money trial: Recap (2024)
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