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Donald Trump’s guilty verdict: How long could he serve in prison? What did he actually do? All you need to know as a former US president is convicted


Donald Trump was last night found guilty on all counts in his historic criminal trial involving «hush money» payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels.

A jury of seven men and five women at Manhattan Criminal Court deliberated for nearly 10 hours before convicting the former president of all 34 counts he faced of falsifying business records.

It was the first time that a former US president faced criminal proceedings atthe verdict could reverse 2024 White House race, a pivotal moment in United States history.

A visibly shaken Trump, speaking outside the courthouse, called the verdict a «disgrace» and the trial «rigged by a questionable judge,» before continuing to fight the conviction and subsequent sentencing before the November election.

“The real verdict will be given on November 5 by the people and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here.

«I think it’s just a shame. And we will fight and fight until the end and we will win because our country is in hell,” he said.

Now MailOnline explains what happens next.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after being sentenced in his criminal trial in New York on May 30, 2024

Former US President Donald Trump pumped his fist as he returned to Trump Tower after the sentencing

Former US President Donald Trump pumped his fist as he returned to Trump Tower after the sentencing

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

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

Can he run for president?

Yes.

No part of the US Constitution prevents convicted felons from running for president, meaning Trump could be elected the 47th president of the United States in November.

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However, he is the only former or serving U.S. president to be found guilty of a felony, as well as the first major-party presidential candidate to be a convicted felon.

Can they still vote?

Yes – for now.

In Florida, where Trump lives, it is notoriously difficult for felons to get their voting rights back.

But he was convicted in New York, and the Sunshine State generally obeys rules disenfranchising other residents convicted out of state.

This means that Trump would be able to vote provided he is not behind bars on Election Day — a New York rule that would apply in Florida.

This leads us to another question…

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

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

Former US President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom during his arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

Former US President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom during his arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

Will he go to jail?

Maybe.

Trump was found guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records.

But it will be up to Judge Juan Merchan to decide whether his sentence will include jail time.

Legal experts told the Mail that Trump was unlikely to receive a prison sentence given that he is a non-violent first offender.

But it’s possible, though unlikely, that the GOP nominee could end up in a prison cell.

Trump’s team has vowed to appeal the ruling.

He will now face the Manhattan Appellate Division and possibly the Court of Appeals, and will remain free on bail while he does so.

What punishment can he get?

The charges for which Trump was convicted carry a maximum potential sentence of up to four years in prison.

If given the maximum sentence on each count, he would face a very long prison sentence – but legal experts agree that is unlikely.

Lawyers believe the most likely outcome of the trial would be a hefty fine, given that Trump had never committed a crime before his guilty verdict in the case.

But the former president is sure to appeal any sentence handed down.

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

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

Anti-Trump protesters gather to celebrate the sentencing of Donald Trump near Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

Anti-Trump protesters gather to celebrate the sentencing of Donald Trump near Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

What did he actually do?

The case revolved around allegations that Trump tried to «spoil» the 2016 election by hiding $130,000 in hush money from his «fixer» Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors say it was a fraudulent label designed to conceal the purpose of the secret transaction and illegally interfere with the 2016 election.

Daniels claimed that she and Trump had sex a decade earlier, which he denied.

The case featured explosive evidence from Daniels and lifted the lid on the «catch and kill» practices of the National Enquirer tabloid, which bought and suppressed stories that could damage Trump.

However, the actual criminal charges related to the reimbursements that Trump signed off on to pay Cohen.

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

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

The case revolved around allegations that Trump

The case revolved around allegations that Trump «spoiled» the 2016 election by hiding $130,000 in hush money from his «fixer» Michael Cohen (right) to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Reimbursements, which Trump paid in monthly installments, were recorded as legal fees.

Prosecutors said it was a fraudulent designation designed to conceal the purpose of the secret transaction and to illegally interfere with the 2016 election — hence the falsifying business records charge.

Trump’s lawyers, meanwhile, have argued that Cohen actually did substantial legal work for Trump and his family, and his fees were therefore recorded as legal expenses.

The jury ultimately agreed with the indictment, finding Trump guilty on all counts.

When will he be sentenced?

Judge Juan Merchan set Trump’s sentencing for July 11.

The date comes just four days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where he is expected to formally accept the GOP presidential nomination.

Trump is expected to address the convention in person on its final night as the nominee.

But those plans could be derailed if Trump receives a prison sentence.

Donald Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11

Donald Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11

Dozens of Trump supporters gather outside Trump Tower after the verdict of Trump's trial in New York, United States on May 30, 2024

Dozens of Trump supporters gather outside Trump Tower after the verdict of Trump’s trial in New York, United States on May 30, 2024

What about his other legal cases?

Trump’s criminal trial related to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels was just the first of four criminal cases against the former president to go to trial.

The former president also faces charges stemming from special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into election interference and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as allegations of mishandling classified documents in Florida.

Trump faces a total of 88 charges, including 34 for which he was convicted in New York on Thursday. That leaves another 54 points that the president and his legal team must defend at some point in the future.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

However, court dates for three other criminal cases have not yet been set, so they are unlikely to interrupt the election process.



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