Sham trial finds Trump guilty on all counts | Eastern North Carolina Now

We predict: Will never hold up


Epoch News is reporting:

Former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, as a jury of 12 unanimously returned their verdict on May 30 after less than two days of deliberation. With this result, President Trump becomes the first ever American president to be convicted of a crime.

As the verdicts were read, President Trump sat still, didn’t show emotion, and looked straight ahead.

President Trump’s attorney has previously vowed to appeal a conviction expeditiously.

Judge Juan Merchan set the sentencing hearing for 10 a.m. on July 11. This is four days before the Republican National Convention where the former president is set to be formally designated as GOP nominee. President Trump is not barred from running for president as a convicted felon.

President Trump blasted the decision, pledging to contest the conviction.

“This was a rigged decision right from day one. And we will fight for our Constitution,” he said outside the courtroom.

Jury Reaches Verdict in Trump NYC Trial

The verdict comes after a six-week trial with 22 witness testimonies. Closing arguments were made on May 28, and the jury began deliberations shortly before noon the next day. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had charged President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony.

Prosecutors alleged that President Trump fraudulently misclassified hush money payments to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford as part of an attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump has repeatedly called the criminal case political persecution and an act of election interference. He faces three other prosecutions in Washington, Georgia, and Florida over his efforts to contest the 2020 election results and handling of classified documents.

White House Defends Use of Trump Trial for Campaign

The Biden campaign responded to the conviction, saying that today “we saw 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,” Biden-Harris 2024 Communications Director Michael Tyler said in the statement.

“But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box. Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”

The White House spokesperson Ian Sams, in a post on X, formerly Twitter, declined to comment on the verdict, other than saying, “We respect the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, Republicans were swift to condemn the decision.

“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. This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), said in a statement posted on X.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called it a “sad day for America,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called the verdict a “travesty of Justice.”

Some Democrats celebrated the conviction, reiterating the message that no one is above the law.

“Donald Trump is a convicted felon. This verdict is not a win for any single person. It’s a win for an idea. The idea that we all follow the same rules. The rule of law won today,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) posted on X.New York Fraud Law

Manhatten prosecutors charged President Trump with felony-level business records falsification, which requires the fraud to be carried out to commit or conceal another crime.

Prosecutors alleged that the secondary crime is a New York election law that criminalizes conspiracy “to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.”

The unlawful means identified by prosecutors were violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act, the falsification of other business records, or violations of tax laws. Judge Merchan ruled that the jury did not have to unanimously agree on what the “unlawful means” was.

The prosecution also did not have to prove that the secondary crime was in fact committed.

The jury was instructed on the concept of accessorial liability, which explains that President Trump did not have to commit the crimes himself to be held criminally liable.

Competing Narratives

During closing arguments on May 28, defense attorneys spent two and a half hours trying to convince the jury the government had failed to prove its case.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche reminded jurors that key elements of the case—President Trump’s knowledge and involvement, and the method for the allegedly misclassified payments—hinged on ex-lawyer and witness Michael Cohen, who shared personal reasons for wanting to see his former boss punished.

“He lied to Congress. He lied to prosecutors. He lied to his family and business associates,” Mr. Blanche said of Mr. Cohen, calling him the “MVP of liars.” He asked jurors to question whether Mr. Cohen truly seemed the type to do work for President Trump for no pay in 2017 and 2018, after receiving a $525,000 salary during his decade at Trump Organization.

Prosecutors spent five hours, twice the time the defense took, to recap their case and try to convince the jury there was “overwhelming” evidence.

Prosecuting attorney Joshua Steinglass acknowledged their flawed witnesses, arguing the government didn’t “choose” Mr. Cohen to be their key witness, but that President Trump “chose” him to be his “fixer.” He claimed Mr. Cohen was the only alleged coconspirator to have paid for his role in a scheme to influence the election, and his animosity toward the former president was only to be expected.

“He made his bed. But you can hardly blame him for making money from the one thing he has left, which is his knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump Organization,” Mr. Steinglass argued.

He pointed to a secret recording Mr. Cohen made of his boss, capturing a truncated conversation, and the contract Mr. Cohen signed to secure a story that he believed would damage the Trump campaign, arguing this showed a “cavalier willingness to hide this payoff”—the intent to defraud.34 Records

The 34 records in question included 11 checks issued to Michael Cohen, formerly a personal attorney to President Trump, totaling $420,000 over 11 months in 2017, along with their corresponding invoices and vouchers. The additional single record is due to a lost check that necessitated the creation of a replacement to pay Mr. Cohen.

Mr. Cohen testified that he paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, better known as adult performer Stormy Daniels, in a non-disclosure settlement agreement, to prevent the publication of a story that then-candidate Trump believed would hurt his campaign.

Ms. Clifford claimed she had a story about a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump in 2006, and that media outlets were interested in this story after an Access Hollywood tape of Mr. Trump recorded via a hot mic was released. At trial, Ms. Clifford testified about this alleged sexual encounter, which President Trump has denied.

Mr. Cohen testified that he made this payment in 2016 with the understanding that his employer, then-candidate Trump, would reimburse him. The deal was closed less than a month before the election, and Mr. Cohen testified he originally intended to delay payment until after the election, after which he claimed his boss said it would not matter if the story was published and thus the $130,000 would no longer need to be paid.

On the witness stand, Mr. Cohen painted the picture of urgency in mid-October 2016, when representatives for Ms. Clifford pressed him for payment and said he only wanted to make his boss happy. He testified that, with Mr. Trump’s approval, he made the payment.

He also testified to being intensely angry later that year, when he discovered his bonus had been cut by two-thirds from what he typically received.

It prompted discussions with former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who purportedly drew up plans to reimburse Mr. Cohen $130,000 for the payment to Ms. Clifford and $50,000 for an earlier payment to Red Finch, which he said he still hadn’t been reimbursed for. The sum was then doubled to $360,000 to account for taxes, and Mr. Weisselberg added $60,000 to supplement Mr. Cohen’s bonus.

Prosecutors had claimed Mr. Weisselberg’s “grossing up” the figures for tax purposes was evidence he intended to “camouflage” reimbursement as income.

This $420,000 was then paid to Mr. Cohen via monthly checks throughout 2017. At trial, prosecutors sought to show that President Trump had caused false records to be entered when Mr. Weisselberg, acting as a co-conspirator, directed his comptroller Jeffrey McConney and bookkeeper Deb Tarasoff to process these payments.

President Trump was not directly charged with conspiracy, and prosecutors had no burden to prove either the goal or the state of mind behind any alleged conspiracy.

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Big Bob said:
( May 31st, 2024 @ 5:11 pm )
I'm sure the death threats and promises of violence are pouring in.
( May 31st, 2024 @ 4:39 pm )
This one non patriot injustice by the ignorant Left many be the last nail in the coffin for the corrupt Idiot President.
( May 31st, 2024 @ 4:10 pm )
"The justice system worked" in Manhattan the same way it does in North Korea, or Stalin's Russia, or Putin's Russia, or Red China or Iran, but NOT the way it is supposed to work in America with due process and a neutral unbiased judge and jury.

When one of the most prominent legal experts in the country, former Harvard Constitutional Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat who supported Biden in 2020 says this trial was the most "Sovietized" he has ever seen and a complete travesty, he has a lot more credibility as to the nature of this trial than a Marxist-loving Hamas apologist internet troll like Bolshevik Bob.

The dictatorship peoblem relates to those who pull Biden's strings. Biden himself is little more than the front man who barely knows if he is coming or going or what day it is or where he is, the perfect Manchurian candidate.

Non discloure agreements are common and not illegal. This was ginned up into a "crime" by a crooked Soros DA who commonly lets real felons go free. A heavily Democrat (and likely all Democrat) Manhatten jury is not a "jury of his peers" for a GOP presidential nominee. A fair jury could only have been obtained by a change of venue which the Biden-contributor judge denied. The "business record" involved was a computer menu drop down entry clearly made by someone much lower in the organization than Trump himself. This trial has added a whole new meaning to the term "trumped up charges".
Big Bob said:
( May 31st, 2024 @ 2:35 pm )
On planet earth it seems the justice system worked.
Those fearing a JB dictatorship ship seem to forget, the man is 80.

Trump, while not president, banged a porn star and tried to cover it up by falsifying business records. Apparently that is a crime. Who knew? Who said so? A jury of his peers. Our system. The one we fight and die to up hold.
The only person responsible for this mess is your Daddy Trump who says he can shoot someone on 5th Ave and not lose a vote.
Honestly that says more about you, than him.
( May 31st, 2024 @ 3:18 pm )
In an objective process, Juan Merchan would be likely to be removed from the bench for ethics violations and disbarred. Grant Stinchfield goes through the details supporting this in a good podcast.

But this is New York, and in New York the politics are such that will never happen. Merchan could have done anything and get away with it. That is why either federal authorities or authorities of other states need to get into this fiasco and take action against these bad actors including the crooked judge.
( May 31st, 2024 @ 11:21 am )
This morning, I probably feel a lot like a liberty-loving German in the waning days of the Weimar Republic. A wannabee dictator has come to power through electoral means and is now making his play for absolute power, seeking to sweep away opposition. What happened yesterday is like their Reichstag Fire. Biden is the budding dictator trying to extinguish our democracy and he and his movement simply must be stopped.

Using the courts with false and made-up charges to take down political opponents is what dictators and would-be dictators do. Biden is following the path of Stalin, Putin, Maduro, Hitler, and others.
( May 31st, 2024 @ 8:58 am )
The Biden Democrats are desperately trying to take attention away from their massive failings in office like the hordes of illegal aliens pouring in over Biden's open borders and Biden's rampant inflation. Abusing our judicial system for political prosecution of political opponents is not the way to do that in a democracy.
Bubba said:
( May 31st, 2024 @ 7:42 am )
America is now a full blown banana republic. Shameful.
( May 31st, 2024 @ 6:55 am )
Joe Stalin. . .err, Putin. . .err, Joe Biden got his political show trial, which is a huge threat to our Constitutional republic and to the Rule of Law. This abuse of the juditical system to go after political opponents on frivolous made up charges with corrupt judges should not be tolerated in a democratic country. To stop it there must be very sevvere punishment for the perpetrators.

One possibility is using the federal laws against election interference. The Biden dictatorship has already used them to put a comedian who did a satire of the Democrat voting shananigans in prison. These underhanded DA's and judges deserve it much, much more. Perhaps the new Trump administration will seek a special prosecutor on election interference to indict these politically corrupt individuals.

The other option is state laws on election interference. Since Trump is on the ballot in all states, every one of them can take a bite at this gang of thugs. It is good to see Missouri's Attorney General has already opened an investigation on election interference. From his subpoena's so far, he seems to be concentrating on the Jack Smith circus but he needs to expand this to Manhattan and Fulton County, too.

The best way to stamp this dictatorical behavior out in our republic and see that it never happens again is to send Alvin Bragg, Juan Merchan, Jack Smith, Letitia James, Judge Engeron, and Fani Willis, as well as their close associates to prison for the rest of their lives. Then no one will likely try to do it again.

This is the biggest threat to democracy and the rule of law in American history and firm action is needed to prevent it ever happening again. If they can twist the law like this on Trump for political purposes, all politically active citizens are in danger.
Big Bob said:
( May 30th, 2024 @ 8:05 pm )
...."that's a shame"....
Big Bob said:
( May 30th, 2024 @ 9:36 pm )
Maybe JB should pardon him?
Bhahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahahha
( May 30th, 2024 @ 9:40 pm )
Alexsi Navalny would have known exactly how Trump feels. He was Putin's political opponent that Putin had convicted of false charges to get him out of politics. Donald Trump is America's Alexsi Navalny, and Biden is America's Putin or Stalin, take your pick.

The difference is that Trump is still in the game and American voters are going to the polls on November 5 to smash the Biden dictatorship.
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