Jurors find Trump guilty in adult film star hush money trial

Despite intimidation, harassment, and threats from Trump and his allies, a New York jury found Trump guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records tied to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair out of fears that it would hurt his chances of winning the 2016 election.

Despite intimidation, harassment, and threats from Trump and his allies, a New York jury found Trump guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records tied to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair out of fears that it would hurt his chances of winning the 2016 election. (Photo by Justin Lane - Pool/Getty Images)

By Isabel Soisson

May 30, 2024

Despite intimidation, harassment, and threats from Trump and his allies, a New York jury found Trump guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records tied to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair out of fears that it would hurt his chances of winning the 2016 election.

Former president Donald Trump has been found guilty in his hush money trial, making him a convicted felon and the first American president to be found guilty of a crime.

A New York jury found Trump guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records tied to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair out of fears that it would hurt his chances of winning the 2016 election.

The jury reached its verdict Thursday afternoon, just one day after they began deliberations. Their decision comes despite intimidation, harassment, and threats from Trump and his allies. The former president violated a gag order barring him from commenting on witnesses, court staff, lawyers, and jurors nearly a dozen times during the course of his trial.

How we got here:

In April 2023, Trump was indicted over allegations that he made hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels—who claimed she had a sexual encounter with him—in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, in an effort to keep the information from voters.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney at the time, paid $130,000 to Daniels in Oct. 2016 to keep her quiet about her affair with Trump ahead of the election, according to prosecutors. Once elected, prosecutors said that Trump reimbursed Cohen in a series of installment payments processed by Trump’s company, which prosecutors argued violated New York state law because the payments were “fraudulently disguised” as legal expenses.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his prosecutors argued that by buying Daniels’ silence, Trump avoided a possible sex scandal in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

Prosecutors also had evidence of other hush money payments that Trump allegedly arranged to cover up damaging stories in the run-up to the 2016 election, according to Politico. This suggested a “coordinated effort to help his campaign rather than merely to avoid personal embarrassment,” the publication notes.

Ultimately, the jury agreed.

Sentencing has been scheduled for July 11. Trump could face up to four years behind bars, but he may not face any prison time and could receive probation, instead. He is certain to appeal the verdict as well.

Trump also faces dozens of charges across the three other cases he’s been indicted in. He faces both a federal and state-level inquiry into his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, as well as charges over his mishandling of classified documents that he kept after leaving office.

He is still the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States, however, as the US Constitution does not block candidates with criminal records from running.

Author

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

CATEGORIES: TRUMP
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