Trump convicted on all counts

A New York jury today convicted former President Donald Trump of all 34 counts of filing false tax returns, handing a major victory to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who was severely criticized before filing the charges against Trump when two of his lead prosecutors quit. 

Donald Trump walked out of the courtroom after the verdict was read, calling it a rigged trial brought by the Biden Administration and the hiring of Judge Juan Merchan, the judge who oversaw the month-long trial.

After deliberating over two days, the 12-member jury announced it had found Trump guilty on all 34 of his charges. Unanimity was required for any verdict.

Justice Juan Merchan set sentencing for July 11, days before the July 15 start of the Republican National Convention expected to formally nominate Trump for president.

Merchan thanked the jurors for their service. “Nobody can make you do anything you don’t want to do. The choice is yours,” Merchan said.

Donald Trump was convicted of falsifying business records to influence the 2016 presidential campaign. The historic trial saw a former U.S. president face criminal charges for the first time in the nation’s history.

The prosecution had alleged that former adult film star Stormy Daniels was paid $130,000 to keep secret a 2006 tryst she had with Trump in order to influence the results of the 2016 election, which Trump ultimately won.

Bragg’s initial reluctance to charge Trump caused a great dissension in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. 

On February 23, 2022, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz, the lead prosecutors in the New York County District Attorney’s investigation into Donald Trump and his businesses, resigned abruptly after Bragg “indicated to them that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr. Trump”. 

In his letter of resignation, Pomerantz wrote that the “team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes, including falsifying business records, and that it was “a grave failure of justice not to pursue criminal charges.”

The New York Times reported that Bragg “balked at pursuing an indictment against Mr. Trump” and lacked confidence in proving in court that Trump “knowingly falsified the value of his assets on annual financial statements.”