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Trump has been convicted. Here’s a quick guide to his first criminal trial.

In the first of four criminal cases, the former president was accused of falsifying business records to hide hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.

Former president Donald Trump during his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on May 30, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/Getty Images)

Originally published by The 19th

Former President Donald Trump — also the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee — has been found guilty of all 34 felony charges he faced in his first criminal trial. He is the first former president to have stood trial on criminal charges — and be a convicted felon. He is charged in three other criminal cases; this is the first to go to trial.

What was Trump charged with? 

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide a $130,000 hush-money payment made to Stormy Daniels, who alleged that she had an affair with him. He has denied the affair. The records that Trump was accused over involve his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to crimes related to making the payments.

While these charges would normally be misdemeanors, the Manhattan district attorney said that the falsification was done to hide another crime, making it a felony. While prosecutors did not charge him with another crime, they focused on the idea that the records were falsified to hide information from voters in 2016. 

Trump pleaded not guilty.

Will Trump go to prison?

It’s possible. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, though that’s the maximum, and he wouldn’t necessarily be sentenced to any prison time. Judge Juan Merchan said sentencing would be July 11. After the verdict, Trump continued to profess his innocence. He is likely to appeal.

What about his other cases?

None of the other criminal cases against Trump are likely to go to trial before the election, though that could always change. He has denied all wrongdoing in these cases:

  • Trump faces four charges in a federal indictment brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith over the January 6, 2021, attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump has claimed that he can’t be prosecuted for anything he does while president; the Supreme Court is set to weigh in on whether that’s the case. 
  • Trump is also accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving office. It wasn’t just that he had the documents, according to the 37-count indictment — it was that he kept them, showed them off to people who shouldn't have seen them and stopped them from being returned to the government. Smith is also prosecuting this case.
  • In Georgia, Trump is charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis with trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He was charged along with 18 other people; four have pleaded guilty. Some of the charges against Trump have been dismissed by a judge, but he still faces 10 counts.

What about civil cases?

In February, a judge ruled in a civil case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James that Trump had lied about his net worth. He’s appealed and had to put up a bond of $175 million; he owes more than $450 million. 

Trump has also had rulings against him in civil cases related to accusations brought by former Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump assaulted her in a dressing room in the 1990s. In May 2023, Trump was found liable of sexual abuse and defamation; he was found liable again in January for defaming Carroll and ordered to pay $83.3 million. He is appealing. 

What do these cases mean for the election? 

We don’t know — Trump has upended many expectations over the course of his political career, and this is an unprecedented turn of events. Trump claims the cases against him are politically motivated, brought by enemies to keep him out of office again, as he denies wrongdoing. It’s possible that his supporters agree and dismiss the guilty finding. 

Polling has found some indication that a conviction could shake support for Trump, who currently has an advantage in most head-to-head polls vs. President Joe Biden. A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 16 percent of Trump’s supporters would reconsider their support for him if he’s found guilty in this case and 4 percent would withdraw it. That does mean that 80 percent said a guilty verdict wouldn’t make a difference. But the election is still more than five months off, and people aren’t always good at predicting what they will do.

Terri Rupar is political editor at The 19th News. She previously worked at The Washington Post, where she held editing and digital jobs, most recently covering politics. She joined the Post after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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