Trump convicted of felony crimes in New York after hush money trial

Donald Trump was convicted of felony crimes on Thursday after a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 charges in a case involving a hush money payment to a porn actor ahead of the 2016 election. This is the first time a former US president has ever been convicted of felony crimes.

The jury revealed their decision at the courthouse after more than nine hours of deliberation, with Trump reportedly sitting stone-faced whilst listening to the verdict. The sentencing for these crimes will occur on July 11, just days before the Republican party is set to pick Trump as their nominee once again.

Trump has already indicated that he will appeal the verdict. Whilst this decision undoubtedly marks a significant legal reckoning for the former president, it remains to be seen whether it will have any impact on his popularity with voters ahead of the election. A key takeaway is that Trump may be able to continue his White House pursuit even with this conviction hanging over him.

Trump's lawyers have indicated that they will appeal the verdict on the basis of the judge's refusal to recuse himself and what they perceive as excessive pretrial publicity. The hush money case involved charges of falsifying business records to cover up the payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels, who claims that she had an intimate encounter with Trump in 2006 whilst he was married.

Cohen, who was once Trump's personal fixer, gave compelling testimony about the hush money scheme and quoted Trump as saying, "Just take care of it." He broke down emotionally as he told jurors about his decision to cooperate with prosecutors in 2018, saying, "I violated my moral compass, and I suffered the penalty, as has my family."

The general allegations of the case have been widely known amongst voters for years, and despite being tawdry, they are viewed as less grievous than the allegations he faces in other cases. Republicans have also remained resolute in their support for Trump, with House Speaker Mike Johnson lamenting the conviction as "a shameful day in American history."

It remains to be seen whether the conviction will provide Biden and Democrats with ammunition to argue that Trump is unfit for office. At this stage, it is unclear whether the conviction will shift opinions or reinforce hardened views of Trump's supporters.

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