July 18, 2024

In an unprecedented legal decision, a New York jury has convicted former U.S. President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts related to falsifying business records.

This landmark conviction marks the first time in American history that a former president has been found guilty of a crime, as reported by NBC News.

The verdict was handed down in a Manhattan courtroom where Trump had been on trial since April 15. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges, which revolved around a hush money payment made by his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.

As the jury foreperson pronounced “guilty” for each of the 34 counts, Trump reportedly looked down with narrowed eyes. The jury reached its decision after 9.5 hours of deliberations, which began on Wednesday.

This conviction is particularly significant as Trump is the presumed Republican nominee for the upcoming presidential election. The judge presiding over the case, Judge Juan Merchan, thanked the jurors for their diligent service throughout the extensive trial.

“You gave this matter the attention it deserved, and I want to thank you for that,” Judge Merchan said, according to NBC News.

Following the verdict, Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, filed a motion for acquittal, which was promptly denied by Judge Merchan.

In his closing arguments earlier in the week, Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass emphasized the principle of equal justice under the law. “The law is the law and it applies to everyone equally. There is no special standard for this defendant,” Steinglass asserted. “You, the jury, have the ability to hold the defendant accountable.”

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July, marking a consequential moment in U.S. legal and political history. This case sets a significant precedent and underscores the principle that no individual is above the law, regardless of their status or position.

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