Trump Found Guilty of 'Falsifying Business Records' in New York 'Hush Money' Trial

Chris Menahan
May. 30, 2024

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday was found guilty on all 34 counts of "falsifying business records" in his "hush money" trial in New York.

From Politico, "Donald Trump found guilty in New York hush money trial":
Donald Trump was found guilty Thursday of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star, making him the first former president to become a convicted felon.

The unanimous verdict from the 12-person jury ends a six-week trial in which prosecutors accused Trump of orchestrating an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Now, Trump will have a criminal record as he seeks to become president again.
"Guilty on 34 counts, but no underlying crime," Rep. Thomas Massie commented on X. "Partisan hacks serving as judges, investigators, and prosecutors have turned our legal system into a farce at both the state and federal level."

"I obviously disagree with this verdict as do many others," legal analyst Jonathan Turley said. "I believe that the case will be reversed eventually either in the state or federal systems. However, this was the worst expectation for a trial in Manhattan. I am saddened by the result more for the New York legal system than the former president. I had hoped that the jurors might redeem the integrity of a system that has been used for political purposes."

Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen celebrated the guilty conviction on X:

This case is just one of many blatantly partisan witch hunts against the former president overturning all legal norms to punish him for winning the presidency.

"Import the Third World, become the Third World," Tucker Carlson commented. "That's what we just saw. This won't stop Trump. He'll win the election if he's not killed first. But it does mark the end of the fairest justice system in the world. Anyone who defends this verdict is a danger to you and your family."

"Republicans stood silent for 3 years as Biden’s DOJ/FBI investigated, raided, charged, prosecuted and incarcerated 1,400+ Trump supporters for Jan 6," Julie Kelly said. "They not only tacitly endorsed it but funded it."

"Of course this unprecedented conviction of Donald Trump would be the natural result," Kelly continued. "Today's verdict is as much an indictment of GOP weakness and cowardice as it is the lawless Marxist tendencies of the Democrats."

It's been said before but "falsifying business records" is a joke of a crime. New Yorkers are regularly being attacked in the streets by violent criminals protected by the "justice system" yet Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg went after a former president on a technicality to turn him into a "felon."

Here's a reminder of the ridiculous stretching of the law Bragg had to pull off to turn these charges into felonies, via Poynter:
On its own, falsifying records in the second degree is a misdemeanor. However, the charge transforms into a felony if the person accused is convicted of falsifying business records with the intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal a crime committed. The upgrade would make the crimes Class E felonies, New York's lowest level.

"Paying hush money is not illegal. People can disapprove of it, but it's not illegal," said Jon Sale, a criminal defense attorney in Miami and a former Watergate prosecutor.

Rather, Trump is accused of having made false entries in financial records to further another crime.

"Why did Donald Trump repeatedly make these false statements?" Bragg said when he announced the charges. "The evidence will show that he did so to cover up crimes relating to the 2016 election."

Bragg said Trump's actions "violated New York election law, which makes it a crime to conspire to promote a candidacy by unlawful means." He also said the wire payment exceeded the federal campaign contribution cap and falsified financial statements violated New York law.
This whole case is unbelievably stupid but that's now our legal system in the New America™.

I'm sure Joy Reid will say any minute now that it's a win for diversity.

Any pretense that we still have an impartial justice system died years ago when Derek Chauvin was found guilty.

[Header image by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED]

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