Former US President Trump convicted for paying hush money to pornographic star

Trump Stormy Daniels

Former US President Trump convicted for paying hush money to pornographic star

New York ( Agencies): In a historic verdict, former US President Donald Trump has been found guilty on all 34 charges related to paying hush money to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. This marks the first time a former US president has been convicted in a criminal case.

Sentencing is set for July, but the judge’s decision remains uncertain. Given the non-violent nature of the crime and Trump’s clean criminal record, New York law usually favors fines and probation over imprisonment for such offenses.

Despite the conviction, Trump remains eligible to run for president. The allegations of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to Daniels do not disqualify him from candidacy.

Trump, 77, remained silent as the verdict was read. Outside the court, he decried the trial as a “rigged hearing by a controversial and corrupt judge,” asserting, “The real decision will be made by the people on November 5. I am a very innocent man.”

The jury deliberated for more than 11 hours over two days, concluding a five-week trial in Manhattan. Trump was found guilty of falsifying business records to conceal the payment to his lawyer, Michael Cohen, intended to silence Daniels before the 2016 election, potentially preventing political fallout from allegations of a sexual relationship.

Prosecutors argued the payment and its concealment were part of a broader scheme to mislead voters. Trump’s defense claimed these actions were typical political maneuvers and not illegal.

According to the US Constitution, a person must be at least 35 years old and have lived in the US for 14 years to run for president. Neither a criminal conviction nor imprisonment can bar Trump from the presidency. Even if imprisoned, he could still take office if elected in the November 5 election against Joe Biden.

Trump faces a potential prison sentence of one to four years, though a shorter term is more likely. He plans to appeal the sentence, which could extend the legal battle for years. Speaking to reporters, Trump reiterated his position, calling the trial a “controversial and rigged hearing by a corrupt judge” and emphasized, “The people will make the real decision on November 5. I am a very innocent man.”