DemDaily: Guilty! The 34-Count Conviction

May 31, 2024

Democracy worked, for now.

At 5:06pm yesterday, former President Donald Trump became the first president in US history to be tried and convicted of a felony, having been found guilty by a New York jury on 34 felony counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.

The unanimous verdict after just nine hours of deliberation was astounding -- not merely for the breadth or severity of the charges, as Trump faces three other felony indictments, but for the fact that the twice-impeached former president was finally being held accountable for some of his many crimes.

Cheering and applause erupted from the crowd outside the courthouse as the decision was read.

The case, which was brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, centered on an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election in which Trump paid adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep mum about their past affair, and falsified documents to cover up the hush money scheme.

"Donald Trump is guilty of repeatedly and fraudulently falsifying business records in a scheme to conceal damaging information from American voters during the 2016 presidential election...a jury of 12 everyday New Yorkers was presented with overwhelming evidence – including invoices, checks, bank statements, audio recordings, phone logs, text messages, and direct testimony from 22 witnesses – that led them to the unanimous conclusion, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant..is guilty...We did our job. Many voices out there. The only voice that matters is the voice of the jury. And the jury has spoken." - District Attorney Alvin Bragg

According to the indictment, the charges include 11 falsified invoices, 12 falsified ledger entries and 11 checks falsely recording the repayment as legal “retainers.” Nine of the checks were signed by Trump himself.

When leaving the courthouse, an angry Donald Trump said, “This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people. They know what happened, and everyone knows what happened here.”

This morning, in an aimless tirade that spanned a myriad topics that covered everything from the immigrants, the President and "fascists destroying our country," to the "nasty" gag order and direct attacks on Judge Juan Merchan -- the "highly conflicted judge who can't put two sentences together."

At one point he claimed, "This is all done by Biden and his people. I don't know if Biden knows too much about it because I don't know if he knows about anything."Judge Merchan set sentencing for July 11, just four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The GOP leadership remains resolute in their support of Trump's nomination.

Trump is expected to quickly appeal the verdict as he returns to the campaign trail. Neither the conviction nor imprisonment bar Trump from continuing his pursuit of the White House.

"The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed; it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict, It was heard by a jury of 12 citizens, 12 Americans, 12 people like you..chosen the same way every jury in America is chosen...The jury heard five weeks of evidence, five weeks. And after careful deliberation, the jury reached a unanimous verdict. They found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts." - President Joe Biden

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Politico, CNN, Manhattan DA's office, PBS, The Guardian

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