'Historic Win for Accountability': New York Jury Finds Trump Guilty on 34 Felony Counts

People react after former U.S. President Donald Trump was convicted in his criminal trial outside of Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024

(Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

'Historic Win for Accountability': New York Jury Finds Trump Guilty on 34 Felony Counts

"Now it's up to the American people to protect our democracy by holding Trump accountable at the ballot box and ensuring that a convicted fraudster never steps foot in the Oval Office again," said one democracy defender.

A New York jury on Thursday found former U.S. President Donald Trump guilty of all 34 felony charges related to the falsification of business records regarding hush money payments to cover up sex scandals during the 2016 presidential election.

The verdict—which came on the second day of jury deliberations—marked the first time in U.S. history that a former president has been convicted of felony crimes. The presumptive 2024 Republican nominee faces 54 other federal and state felony charges across three more cases.

"I never thought I'd see the day," journalist Mehdi Hasan said on social media following the verdict's announcement. "Teflon Trump finally found guilty of crimes."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington president Noah Bookbinder said after the verdict:

The conviction of a former leader is a sad day for the country, but today's conviction is also a historic win for accountability, and affirms that Donald Trump indeed broke the law by falsifying records in order to hide information from the American people ahead of the 2016 election. After reviewing an enormous amount of overwhelming evidence, the jury unanimously concluded that Trump engaged in criminal activity that demands accountability, all the more so because it may be only the first piece of what appears to have been a presidential crime spree.

Speaking after his conviction, Trump said: "This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who is corrupt."

"I'm a very innocent man," added Trump, who is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, just days before the Republican convention. He could face up to four years behind bars.

Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000, while the owner of the The National Enquirer tabloid paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000. Both women say they had sexual relations with Trump.

President Joe Biden's reelection campaign issued a statement following Trump's conviction:

In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law.

Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his own personal gain. But today's verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box. Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.

Public Citizen executive vice president Lisa Gilbert said that "this is an historic moment for democracy."

"A jury heard evidence that Donald Trump illegally interfered in the 2016 election and rendered a fair and appropriate verdict," she continued. "New York's prosecutors served justice by bringing this case. We applaud the jury for doing its job and standing up for the fundamental principle that no one is above the law, not even a former president."

"Justice was served today, Gilbert added. "On to the next trial!"

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, asserted that "this case was always about hiding key information from voters, and now a jury of the former president's peers have confirmed that he lied to the public by falsifying business records in order to influence the outcome of the 2016 election."

"This is a felony punishable with jail time or probation, and just like anyone else convicted of the same crime, we expect him to be sentenced accordingly," Lerner added. "We thank the jury—whom Mr. Trump and his lawyers helped to select—for doing their civic duty, and trust that the public will accept their decision as well as their right to privacy. Respect for the rule of law is the foundation of our democracy, but so is public trust in the process."

Sean Eldridge, founder and president of Stand Up America, said in a statement that "today's verdict reaffirms that no one is above the law in the United States of America, including a former president."

"Falsification of business records is a serious crime, and Trump is finally being held accountable like any other American would," he continued. "This verdict is not just about 'hush money payments.' It's about an illegal attempt to hide the truth from voters just days before the 2016 election, and it's part of Trump's clear pattern of doing anything—including breaking the law—in order to cling to power."

"Despite this monumental verdict, one trial isn't going to keep Trump out of the White House," Eldridge added. "The jurors have done their duty, and now it's up to the American people to protect our democracy by holding Trump accountable at the ballot box and ensuring that a convicted fraudster never steps foot in the Oval Office again."

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