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Donald Trump’s trial was a SHAM says his former staffer as the ex-president vows to fight guilty verdict that could see him go to jail for four years

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Donald Trump’s trial was a ‘sham’ and he will fight the guilty verdict, his supporters and advisors have said, after the ex-president became the first in US history to be convicted of a crime in a historic day for America.

A Manhattan jury found the real estate tycoon guilty of all 34 charges he was facing of falsifying business records to conceal a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who said she had sex with Trump in 2006.

The felonies could land Trump in jail for a maximum of four years when he is sentenced by Judge Juan Merchan on July 11, though legal experts anticipate that he is more likely to get a hefty fine.

The Republican presidential candidate has slammed the trial as a ‘disgrace’ and alleged it was ‘rigged by a conflicted judge’, a claim he has not provided evidence to support, and has vowed to fight the conviction.

Now, a chorus of Trump’s supporters have doubled down on his claims – labelling the trial a political witch hunt and ‘show trial’ staged by the Biden camp ahead of November’s US election.

Former US President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30

Former US President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30

Trump supporters and anti-Trump demonstrators clash outside the Manhattan criminal court following the announcement of former US President Donald Trump's verdict

Trump supporters and anti-Trump demonstrators clash outside the Manhattan criminal court following the announcement of former US President Donald Trump’s verdict

Trump supporters outside of Trump Tower after the former USA president was found guilty in "Hush Money" Trial

Trump supporters outside of Trump Tower after the former USA president was found guilty in ‘Hush Money’ Trial

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as the verdict is read in his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, at Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 30, 2024 in this courtroom sketch

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as the verdict is read in his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, at Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 30, 2024 in this courtroom sketch

Brian Lanza, Trump’s former communications director, said he was ‘not surprised at the verdict’ due to Manhattan being a predominantly blue county.

‘It’s Manhattan, it’s New York, this is a place that’s sort of stretched the law to try to go after Trump,’ he told the BBC’s Today Programme.

‘They picked a jury that was… you know you call it a representation of your peers but any place that is 92 per cent Democrat is truly not a representation of Donald Trump‘s peers.’

Despite his former boss’s conviction, Lanza said Trump remained a strong contender in the presidential race and argued he may even have been strengthened further in the eyes of voters.

‘Do people see this trial and walk away with a negative impression of how it’s been operated, I think you have to say yes,’ he said, arguing that the former president’s popularity had increased since the trial began.

Trump’s legal team has indicated that he will appeal against the verdict, having argued that it was impossible to compile an unbiased jury in a city that voted overwhelmingly against him in 2020.

‘They wouldn’t give us a venue change,’ Trump said in a furious speech outside the courthouse. ‘This was done by the Biden administration in order to remove and to hurt opponents.’

Last week, a panel of New York State appellate judges denied Trump’s appeal to the trial, which had already been underway for six weeks, out of Manhattan to another New York county.

While Trump complained about not being allowed to move venue, commentators pointed out that the venue was set in Manhattan as the charges fell within its jurisdiction.

Stormy Daniels, a key witness in the trial, with Donald Trump in 2006

Stormy Daniels, a key witness in the trial, with Donald Trump in 2006

Trials can, on occasion, be changed to another county or district. One reason this could be for, according to the American Bar Association, is if a case has received widespread pre-trial publicity and one of the parties makes a request for change to secure jurors who haven t already formed an opinion about the case.

Trump and his campaign had been preparing for a guilty verdict for days, even as they held out hope for a hung jury. On Tuesday, Trump railed that not even Mother Teresa, the nun and saint, could beat the charges, which he repeatedly labeled as ‘rigged.’ 

‘There is nobody who is more defiant,’ said Trump spokesman Jason Miller on Fox News hours after the verdict was read. ‘He’s ready to get out there and start fighting again.’ 

Trump supporters hold up flags and placards as one shouts at a police officer outside Manhattan Criminal Court

Trump supporters hold up flags and placards as one shouts at a police officer outside Manhattan Criminal Court

Trump campaign spokesman Brian Hughes cited the outpouring as a sign ‘that Americans have seen this sham trial as the political election interference that Biden and Democrats have always intended.’ 

Trump’s daughter Ivanka made a show of support last night as she posted a throwback picture of her as a baby sitting with her father with the caption ‘I love you dad’.

Texas governor Greg Abbott hit out at it a ‘Kangaroo Court’ with a verdict that he said ‘will never stand on appeal’.

‘Americans deserve better than a sitting US President weaponizing our justice system against a political opponent— all to win an election,’ he said in a tirade on social media, adding ‘we must FIRE Joe Biden in November.’

Ivanka Trump posted an adorable snap on social media following her father's tough day in court

Ivanka Trump posted an adorable snap on social media following her father’s tough day in court

Responding to last night’s news, Biden wrote on social media: ‘There’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box.’

Meanwhile Trump’s former political opponent Hilary Clinton appeared to react to the news as she spoke at an event in Washington DC yesterday, joking ‘anything going on today?’ as she took to the stage.

It comes after talk show host Megyn Kelly predicted ‘tit-for-tat’ indictments of anyone from President Joe Biden and his wife Jill to former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

‘This is ridiculous. What a sad day. The country’s been disgraced. That’s what’s happened,’ she began.

‘We made it almost 250 years without doing this. And now, because of falsified business records, we’ve convicted as a felon a former president of the US.’

Anti-Trump demonstrators gather to celebrate Donald Trump's conviction near Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

Anti-Trump demonstrators gather to celebrate Donald Trump’s conviction near Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump cheer as his motorcade leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after he was found guilty in his hush-money trial on May 30, 2024

Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump cheer as his motorcade leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after he was found guilty in his hush-money trial on May 30, 2024

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and lawyer Alina Habba after he was found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records during his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court May 30, 2024

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and lawyer Alina Habba after he was found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records during his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court May 30, 2024

Trump sat stone-faced while the verdict was read as cheering from the street below could be heard in the hallway on the courthouse’s 15th floor where the decision was revealed after more than nine hours of deliberations. 

As the verdict was read yesterday, GOP allies rallied to Trump’s side.

But the presidential candidate is set to face an awkward dynamic as he returns to the campaign trail tagged with convictions. 

There are no campaign rallies on the calendar for now, though he traveled Thursday evening to a fundraiser in Manhattan that was planned before the verdict, according to three people familiar with his plans who were not authorized to speak publicly.

He’s expected to appear Friday at Trump Tower and will continue fundraising next week.

After the verdict came through, aides reported an immediate rush of contributions so intense that WinRed, the platform the campaign uses for fundraising, crashed.

The campaign began selling black ‘Make America Great Again’ caps to reflect a ‘dark day in history.’

Trump’s campaign is now pitching their candidate as a ‘political prisoner’, despite evidence to support their claims that the trial was ‘rigged’ and sentencing not yet carried out.

Protesters and counter-protesters come face to face outside of Manhattan Criminal Court where former US President Donald Trump's trial was held

Protesters and counter-protesters come face to face outside of Manhattan Criminal Court where former US President Donald Trump’s trial was held

The falsifying business records charges carry up to four years behind bars, though Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would not say Thursday whether prosecutors intend to seek imprisonment.

It is also not clear whether the judge – who earlier in the trial warned of jail time for gag order violations – would impose that punishment even if asked.

The conviction, and even imprisonment, will not bar Trump from continuing his White House pursuit.

Trump faces three other felony indictments, but the New York case may be the only one to reach a conclusion before the November election, adding to the significance of the outcome. 

Though the legal and historical implications of the verdict are readily apparent, the political consequences are less so, with it yet to be seen how voters will react to a convicted felon being on the ballot.



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