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Trump in handcuffs.

Jess Frampton

Trump's guilty verdict is a historic first, but will it matter?

You knew it, I knew it, everybody knew it. But now it’s on the record: Donald Trump is officially a crook.

Last Thursday, after two days of deliberations, a jury of his peers unanimously found the former president and 2024 Republican presumptive nominee guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in the hush money criminal case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Bragg charged Trump with cooking the books to hide a $130,000 payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels – with whom he’d allegedly had an affair – from voters during the 2016 election campaign by disguising it as legal fees to his then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Falsifying business records is normally a misdemeanor, but Bragg, an elected Democrat in deep-blue Manhattan, had campaigned on putting Trump in cuffs. To upgrade the charges to felonies, he drew on a controversial legal theory to claim that the records were falsified in an attempt to commit or conceal an underlying federal crime of the jury’s choice. Judging by the outcome, the gambit worked – although it also helped further politicize and delegitimize the case and could make the conviction vulnerable to reversal on appeal.

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A flow chart of possible outcomes to Trump's hush money case

Luisa Vieira

Graphic Truth: How will Trump's hush money trial end?

After weeks of witness testimony in what is likely the only criminal case Donald Trump will face before November’s election, the jury heard closing arguments in the New York hush money trial on Tuesday.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment made to former adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels to ensure she did not go public about their alleged sexual encounter before the 2016 election. Under New York law, falsifying business records on its own is a misdemeanor but can be considered a felony if done to hide another crime. If the prosecution can prove that Trump did so to protect his 2016 campaign, then he could find himself in hot water.

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns from a break at Manhattan criminal court in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2024.


Hard Numbers: Trump’s independent voters, Supreme Court's refusal to hear protest case, Singapore’s new PM, Samsung’s new chipmaking hub, Tesla’s layoffs, Beijing’s half marathon scandal

36: A recent poll found that 36% of voters registered as independent would be “less likely to support [Donald] Trump” if he’s convicted on any of the 34 felony charges in the so-called hush money case now underway in New York City.

3: On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it will not hear a case from the Fifth Circuit Court that effectively eliminated the right to protest in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. This leaves the lower court's decision – which ruled that a protest organizer faces potentially ruinous financial consequences if a single attendee at a mass protest commits an illegal act – in place, jeopardizing the First Amendment right to protest in these three southern US states.

20: After nearly 20 years in power, Lee Hsien Loong, son of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, will step down on May 15 as prime minister. Deputy PM and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, Lee’s heir apparent for the past two years, will take the job. After almost six decades of political dominance by the People’s Action Party, Singapore may have its first genuinely competitive elections as early as later this year as the party becomes less popular.

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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.


Trump charged in document case

The US Justice Department took the mammoth step Thursday of handing down federal criminal charges against former President Donald Trump. The indictment relates to his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Florida estate.

This is a huge deal, marking the first time in history that a former US president has been charged with a federal crime.

While the indictment itself has not yet been made public, it's been widely reported that Trump was charged with seven counts, including violating the Espionage Act, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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