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Trump Convicted on All 34 Counts in Historic New York Trial

May 31, Colombo (LNW): Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been convicted on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in a landmark criminal trial in New York. This conviction marks the first time a former or serving U.S. president has been found guilty of a crime. Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, and while he could face prison time, legal experts suggest that a fine is the more likely outcome.

Reacting to the verdict, Trump called it a “disgrace” and criticized Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the case. Despite these convictions, Trump remains eligible to run for president and continues his campaign to defeat incumbent President Joe Biden in the upcoming November election. The court proceedings featured testimonies from 22 witnesses over six weeks, including Stormy Daniels, whose alleged sexual encounter with Trump was central to the case.

The New York trial is one of four criminal cases currently facing Trump. In Washington DC, federal prosecutors accuse Trump of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss and inciting the Capitol rioters on January 6, 2021. This trial has been indefinitely postponed due to Trump’s appeal, which asserts that presidents cannot be prosecuted like ordinary citizens. In Georgia, Trump and 18 other defendants are charged with criminally conspiring to overturn his narrow defeat in the state in 2020. This trial has also been delayed after Trump launched an effort to disqualify the lead prosecutor. Additionally, Trump faces charges in a federal case in Florida for mishandling classified documents and taking them home after leaving the White House. This trial has been delayed as the judge considers motions from Trump’s legal team.

Reactions to Trump’s conviction have been sharply divided along party lines. Republican Congressman Jim Jordan called the verdict a “travesty of justice,” while Democrat Jerry Nadler said “justice was served.” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries emphasized that the U.S. “is a nation built upon the rule of law,” urging respect for the verdict. Conversely, House Speaker Mike Johnson and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, both Republicans, criticized the conviction as a “shameful day in American history” and a blow to the idea of blind justice.

Despite these convictions, Trump remains a formidable candidate in the 2024 presidential race. The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit individuals with criminal records from running for president. However, recent polls indicate that a significant portion of voters in key swing states might refuse to vote for Trump if he is convicted. A poll from Bloomberg and Morning Consult found that 53% of voters in key swing states would not vote for Trump if convicted, and a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 6% of Trump voters would be less likely to vote for him, which could be consequential in a tight race.

In an email to his supporters shortly after the verdict, Trump reiterated his stance, calling the trial a “disgrace” and declaring himself “a very innocent man.” He emphasized that the real verdict will come on November 5, during the presidential election.

As Trump navigates these legal battles, the implications for his political future remain uncertain. Legal proceedings and appeals are expected to extend over the next few years, potentially overlapping with the 2024 election cycle.

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