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GUILTY: Trump Convicted on All Counts in Hush Money Case

On Thursday afternoon, jurors reached a guilty verdict of 34 counts of falsification of business records in the former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial in New York.

Jurors deliberated over the course of two days before reaching their verdict on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday morning, the jury asked for the court for a rereading of testimony from witnesses such as David Pecker and Michael Cohen, as well as a review of the rules provided by presiding New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan. At 4:45pm Eastern, Jurors asked the judge for half an hour to fill out the forms, and at 5:09pm it was announced that Trump was found guilty on all counts, which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg upgraded from misdemeanors to felonies.

Trump will return to the New York courthouse on July 11 at 10 a.m. for a sentencing hearing. Trump is expected to appeal the ruling. Whether Trump will be behind bars before the election rests on Merchan.

“This was a disgrace,” Trump said at an impromptu press conference at the courthouse, calling the trial “rigged” and Merchan “corrupt.”

“The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people,” the former president added.

The trial hinged on the testimony of Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer who has admitted to stealing $60,000 from the Trump organization. The Soros-backed Bragg had brought charges based on a novel theory raising misdemeanor charges to felonies via the vague charge of “election interference.” Many of the prosecutors in the case, such as Matthew Colangelo, had previously worked in Democratic politics, including in the the Biden administration’s Department of Justice.

The former president is not alone in his critiques of the handling of the trial. Many legal scholars have criticized Bragg’s legal theory, which never fully fleshed out the underlying crime that spurred Trump to falsify business records. The way in which Merchan has conducted the trial also drew criticism. Andrew McCarthy of National Review has argued that the jury instructions given by Judge Merchan represent an “one of many insidious ways he is putting his thumb on the scale to get Trump convicted.” Merchan instructed the jury that, to convict Trump, they do not need to agree on what the underlying crime actually was.

Another potential conflict of interest in the case as Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan, is the President of Authentic Campaigns, a firm that represents Democratic politicians and their campaigns. Loren Merchan famously has represented both Representative Adam Schiff, who has fundraised on prosecuting the former President, and New York’s Representative Dan Goldman, who prepped Michael Cohen ahead of latter’s testimony against Donald Trump. When Trump attempted to speak out about this clear conflict of interest on the part of Judge Merchan, the judge fined him for violating a gag order that Merchan had created earlier in the trial. Judge Merchan has also donated to Democratic candidates in the past, which has caused many, including Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, to question whether his selection as the judge for such a politically-fraught case was truly random.

Even without the Merchan angle, the cards appeared stacked in the prosecution’s favor. The Manhattan jury was subject to a lengthy process to try and parse out whether or not they could be fair and impartial to the former president. When the jury was selected in late April, 96 prospective jurors filled out a 42-question form that solicited a wide range of information from the potential jurors. One of the questions inquired into the jury’s chosen media outlets. The results were shared with the New York Times.

Seven men and five women were ultimately appointed to the jury. A majority of jurors and alternates got their news was the New York Times. Just one of the jurors claimed to consume Fox News’ products. Only one other claimed to read the New York Post. And another juror claimed to get news from X (formerly Twitter) and Truth Social. 

While Trump still meets the qualifications to run for President, if the conviction is not successfully appealed by Trump’s legal team and he is sentenced on July 11th, the legal questions concerning a presidential self-pardon will come to the fore.



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