Trump, now a convicted felon, insists he's a 'very innocent man' after landmark verdict

  • Donald Trump fumed over the verdict in his criminal New York hush-money trial.

  • A jury found Trump guilty of criminal charges related to a hush-money payment made to a porn star.

  • Prosecutors said Trump falsified 34 documents to cover up the $130,000 payment.

Former President Donald Trump, now a convicted felon, fumed over the verdict in his historic New York hush-money trial on Thursday, insisting that he's "a very innocent man."

A Manhattan jury on Thursday found the 77-year-old presumptive Republican presidential nominee guilty on criminal charges related to a hush-money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

"This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt," Trump told reporters in the Manhattan courtroom hallway after a jury found him guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

"We didn't do a thing wrong. I'm a very innocent man," said Trump, who added that the "real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people."

Trump continued, "This was a rigged decision right from day one, with a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case. Never. And we will fight for our Constitution. This is long from over."

Moments after the landmark guilty verdict was handed down, Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., said in a post on the social media site X, "Such bullshit."

"Guilty on all counts. The Democrats have succeeded in their years long attempt to turn America into a third-world shithole. November 5 is our last chance to save it," Trump Jr. said in another post.

Trump will appeal the verdict, Susan Necheles, a lawyer for the former president told Business Insider.

Trump's lead defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, immediately tried to fight the verdict after it was read into the court record, telling New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan there was "no way" the jury "could have reached this verdict without accepting the testimony" of Trump's attorney-turned-nemesis Michael Cohen.

Blanche claimed Cohen, the prosecution's star witness, committed perjury on the stand and told the judge "there is no reason the court should allow a verdict."

Joshua Steinglass, an assistant district attorney, told Merchan, "We, of course, disagree" and asked the judge to reject the motion by Trump's lawyers, which Merchan quickly did.

Since Trump was indicted in the hush-money case more than a year ago, he has relentlessly slammed the prosecution as a political "witch hunt."

Nearly every day of the five-week trial, Trump publicly criticized the Manhattan district attorney office's case against him as well as Merchan, the presiding judge.

Shortly before the hush-money jury began its deliberations on Wednesday, Trump, in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social, railed, "KANGAROO COURT! A CORRUPT AND CONFLICTED JUDGE," and again insisted, "THERE WAS NO CRIME."

In another post on Wednesday, Trump blasted prosecutors' closing statements, saying, "THE D.A.'s OFFICE WAS ALLOWED TO GO ON WITH 5 HOURS OF BULL…. YESTERDAY. I have no rights against this Crooked Judge's Gag Order!"

Moments after jurors started weighing a verdict, Trump told reporters in the courtroom hallway that the case against him was so "rigged" that not even "Mother Teresa" could get acquitted.

"These charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged. The whole country's a mess between the borders and the fake elections. And we have a trial like this where the judge is so conflicted he can't breathe," Trump said.

The former president added, "Mother Teresa could not beat those charges. But we'll see. We'll see how we do. It's a very disgraceful situation."

The verdict in the case follows the first-ever criminal trial of a former American president.

Jurors heard testimony from 20 prosecution witnesses, including Daniels and Cohen.

Prosecutors alleged that Trump falsified 34 business documents throughout 2017, including in his first week as president, when they say he reimbursed Cohen for paying Daniels the hush money.

Trump, according to prosecutors, orchestrated the payment to Daniels as part of an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

The payment was meant to buy Daniels' silence over a sexual encounter the porn star says she had with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel suite in 2006 during a celebrity golf tournament, prosecutors said. Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.

Read the original article on Business Insider