Donald Trump found guilty in New York hush money trial

Source: Politico | May 30, 2024 | Erica Orden

The former president is now a convicted felon. A Manhattan jury found him guilty of falsifying business records to cover up a payoff to a porn star.

NEW YORK — Donald Trump was found guilty Thursday of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star, making him the first former president to become a convicted felon.

The unanimous verdict from the 12-person jury ends a six-week trial in which prosecutors accused Trump of orchestrating an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Now, Trump will have a criminal record as he seeks to become president again.

The judge, Justice Juan Merchan, will decide Trump’s sentence in the coming weeks. Falsifying business records carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, but because the crime is nonviolent and Trump has no prior convictions, any prison time is far from guaranteed. Merchan could opt instead for home confinement, probation or a milder form of supervised release.

The judge also could impose fines or community service.

Trump is certain to appeal the verdict — a process that could take many months or even years. Meanwhile, he stands accused of additional wide-ranging criminal conduct in three other cases: two for subverting the 2020 election results and one for hoarding classified documents after he left office. But none of those cases appears likely to go to trial before Election Day.

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