NewsTrump found guilty, faces July sentencing for Daniels case

Trump found guilty, faces July sentencing for Daniels case

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Images source: © Getty Images | JUSTIN LANE

3:14 AM EDT, May 31, 2024

Donald Trump has been found guilty in the case of hiding payment for the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels. The charges, classified as felonies, carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison, but the sentencing will be decided by Judge Juan Merchan on July 11.

The jury in the state court in Manhattan, New York, found former President Donald Trump guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with hiding a payment for the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election campaign regarding their alleged sexual relationship.

Trump faces prison

The charges are classified as felonies and carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison. However, the sentencing will be decided by Judge Juan Merchan on July 11.

Most commentators do not expect Trump to be sentenced to prison; possible scenarios include house arrest or supervision. After the verdict is announced, Trump will be able to appeal, and in the meantime, he will remain free.

$130,000 for silence

The prosecution accused Trump of hiding the payment of $130,000 for Daniels' silence regarding their alleged relationship, aiming to influence the election illegally.

The jurors agreed with investigators that by classifying the invoices for intermediary lawyer Michael Cohen as payment for legal services, Trump broke the law with the intent to commit another crime, including violating campaign finance laws.

The verdict came after less than two days of jury deliberation and a trial lasting over a month.

First such verdict in history

Trump thus became the first president in U.S. history convicted in a criminal case. Just after the verdict, the former president declared the jury's decision "shameful."

"This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt. It's a rigged trial, a disgrace. The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people," Trump said after the conclusion of his criminal trial.

You have a Soros-backed DA and the whole thing, we didn't do anything wrong. I'm a very innocent man - Trump declared.

He also accused that the trial conducted by New York state authorities was the work of the Biden administration to harm a political opponent.

"I'm fighting for our country; I'm fighting for our Constitution. This is long from over," he declared.

Trump was echoed by House Speaker Mike Johnson, who called the trial politically motivated.

"Today is a shameful day in American history. Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon (former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen - ed.). This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one," Johnson said in a statement, accusing the Biden administration of "weaponizing the justice system."

Biden reacts

President Biden limited himself to a one-sentence comment on Platform X.

There is only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box - Joe Biden wrote.

Similarly brief was a statement from White House spokesperson Ian Sams. "We respect the rule of law and have no additional comment," he said.

Biden's campaign team issued a statement assessing that the Thursday verdict shows 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," the statement read, adding that regardless of whether Trump is a "convicted criminal," he will still remain the Republican Party candidate in the November presidential elections.


The New York prosecutor's office portrayed the payment concealment for Daniels as part of Trump's illegal efforts to influence the 2016 election and circumvent campaign finance laws. In addition to Daniels, payments to "destroy" unfavorable stories for Trump were also made—through Cohen and then-tabloid publisher "National Enquirer" David Pecker—to model Karen MacDougal and a Trump Tower doorman, Dino Sajudin. The prosecutor also presented evidence that Trump meticulously oversees his interests and had to be involved in the cover-up.

During the month-long trial, held without cameras, witnesses included Stormy Daniels—who gave detailed testimony about her relationship with Trump—as well as Michael Cohen and David Pecker. Cohen was already sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison on various charges, including those related to the payment for Daniels' silence.

The New York trial is one of four cases in which prosecutors have brought criminal charges against Trump. However, it will likely be the only one concluding before the November elections. If Trump wins, he could order the charges against him in cases related to the illegal retention of secret documents and attempts to stay in power to be dropped illegally. However, he will still face charges from the state prosecutor's office in Georgia, which accused him of running a criminal organization aimed at remaining in power despite losing the 2020 election.

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