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30 May, 2024 21:48

Trump speaks out after conviction: Live Updates

The former president has addressed the media after a jury found the former president guilty of falsifying business records during the 2016 campaign
Trump speaks out after conviction: Live Updates

A New York jury has found that former US President Donald Trump falsified business records during the 2016 election campaign. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, charged Trump last year with 34 counts of criminal behavior, one for every invoice, voucher, and check involved in repaying his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment to former adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Bragg alleged that paying Daniels to keep quiet about their alleged affair amounted to the Republican seeking “to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.” Both Cohen and Daniels testified in court.

On Thursday evening, the jury found Trump guilty on all 34 counts, making him the first president in US history to be convicted of a felony. The judge will determine Trump’s sentence on July 11. He faces up to four years in prison per count.

Trump, who is running for reelection against President Joe Biden, has long argued that the prosecution is a politically motivated “witch hunt. 

  • 31 May 2024

    17:45 GMT

    Trump’s conviction reaffirmed “the American principle that no one is above the law,” President Joe Biden said at the White House, in his first public remarks since the verdict was handed down.

    “Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself” and may now appeal the decision “like anyone else,” Biden continued. Trump’s insistence that the trial was “rigged” is “dangerous,” the president added.

  • 16:16 GMT

    “Crooked Joe Biden” and the Democrats are trying to win the 2024 election “in the courts because they can’t win it at the ballot box,” Trump declared. “It’s my honor to be doing this,” the former president said in closing. “November 5, remember, November 5 is the most important day in the history of our country.”


  • 16:06 GMT

    Trump said that he intends to appeal Thursday’s verdict. “We’re going to be appealing it on many different things,” he said, adding that Merchan “wouldn’t allow us to have witnesses, he wouldn’t allow us to talk, he wouldn’t allow us to do anything – this judge was a tyrant.”

  • 15:51 GMT

    Trump revealed that his campaign took in a record $39 million from small donors in the ten hours after his conviction on Thursday. “I guess it’s backfired,” he told the crowd. “They shouldn’t have brought this case.”

  • 15:35 GMT

    Trump slammed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for elevating bookkeeping irregularities into 36 felony counts that could see him jailed for 187 years “when you have violent crime all over this city at levels that nobody’s ever seen before… when you have businesses leaving.”

    “This is bigger than Trump, this is bigger than me, this is bigger than my presidency, and the people understand it,” he continued, pointing to a Daily Mail poll published on Thursday evening, which showed his approval rating rising by six points following the conviction.

    “The public understands and they understand what’s going on,” Trump said. “This is a scam and it’s a rigged trial.”

  • 15:23 GMT

    Trump slammed judge Juan Merchan for placing him under a gag order, calling Merchan “conflicted” and the trial itself “very unfair.” Trump said that he would not get into specifics, as he can still be “put in jail” for violating the order, telling reporters that he would “play that game a little longer.”

  • 15:15 GMT

    Cheers erupted as Trump walked through the lobby at Trump Tower, the place where he announced his first presidential campaign in 2015. The presumptive Republican nominee in this year's election launched into a speech criticizing the state of the country under President Biden, hammering the Democrat over his taxation and immigration policies, and accusing him of orchestrating the case against him.

    “They’re in total conjunction with the White House and [Department of Justice],” Trump declared. “This is all done by Biden and his people. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it.”

  • 14:52 GMT

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) both had their best fundraising day of the 2024 election cycle on Thursday, the directors of both organizations announced on social media on Friday. The NRCC raised more than $300,000, “shattering the previous record by over $125k,” spokesman Jack Pandol wrote on X.

    Trump’s own donation website crashed shortly after the guilty verdict was read out. Among those who contributed to Trump’s campaign are venture capitalist Shaun Maguire, who announced a $300,000 donation to the presumptive Republican candidate, and an unnamed donor who pledged $800,000, according to former New York Representative Lee Zeldin.

  • 13:15 GMT

    Trump’s payments to Stormy Daniels were filed as legal expenses because they were paid through his lawyer, Michael Cohen, the former president argued on his Truth Social platform. “I was not involved in that designation, but what else would you have called it? It was, in fact, a LEGAL EXPENSE. That is the so-called ‘CRIME’,” he complained.

    Prosecutors argued that this bookkeeping decision amounted to “election fraud,” as the disclosure of these payments could have negatively influenced the 2016 election.

  • 11:32 GMT

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he would like to refrain from commenting on the Trump verdict, but noted that it was obvious that some forces in the US are seeking the “elimination of [their] political rivals by all possible legal and illegal means.”