Former US President Donald Trump, left, and Emil Bove, attorney for former US President Donald Trump, right, at Manhattan criminal court in New York, US, on Thursday, May 30, 2024. The New York jury in Donald Trump's hush money case has begun deliberations, setting the stage for a historic verdict that could impact the former president's campaign to return to the White House. Photographer: Mark Peterson/New York Magazine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump found guilty in “hush money” trial as jury hands down verdict on felony charges

On May 30, 2024, former President Donald Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts related to falsification of business records in the first degree. The charges stem from payments made to Michael Cohen, which prosecutors allege were intended to reimburse Cohen for hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016. Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts and denied any wrongdoing.

At 4:41 PM, the jurors informed the judge that they had reached a verdict, leading to a swift conclusion to the trial. The verdict came just as the judge was preparing to dismiss the jurors for the day.

With the guilty verdict, the looming question is what will happen next. Trump is set to be sentenced on July 11, with his attorney requesting a sentencing date in mid to late July. Despite the felony conviction, Trump’s candidacy for president remains intact, as the Constitution does not explicitly bar individuals with felony convictions from running for office.

The conviction has sent shockwaves across the political landscape, with Republicans standing by Trump, calling the verdict a “travesty of justice.” Meanwhile, the Biden campaign warned that Trump could still become president, convicted felon or not.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the public awaits to see how Trump’s conviction will impact the 2024 presidential race. The uncertainty surrounding the situation has raised questions about the possibility of a self-pardon by Trump, a move that has never been attempted by a sitting president.

In response to the verdict, the White House issued a brief statement affirming their respect for the rule of law. The Manhattan District Attorney praised the jury’s careful consideration of the case, while declining to comment on whether he would seek a prison sentence for Trump.

Despite the conviction, Trump wasted no time in capitalizing on the outcome for fundraising purposes. The overwhelming response to his fundraising efforts indicates a strong show of support from his base, as the former president vows to fight the verdict and continue his campaign for the presidency.