A Manhattan jury found former President Donald Trump guilty of all 34 charges of falsifying business records on Thursday, marking a historic and unprecedented verdict. This makes Trump the first former president in American history to be convicted of a felony.

Trump is not only the first former president to be found guilty of a felony but also the first major-party presidential nominee to be convicted of a crime during a campaign for the White House. If he defeats President Joe Biden in November, Trump will become the first sitting president in history to be a convicted felon.

The verdict in the hush money trial was announced after jurors deliberated for nearly 12 hours over two days.

Ultimately, it will be up to voters in November to decide the significance of the guilty verdict delivered by 12 ordinary New Yorkers, as it does not legally prevent Trump from being elected president again.

“We didn’t do anything wrong. I’m a very innocent man,” Trump said after leaving the courtroom. He called the trial “rigged” and “disgraceful.” He stated, “The real verdict is going to be November 5, by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here,” criticizing both the presiding judge and the prosecutor.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, announced charges against Trump last year. This first indictment of a former president accused Trump of falsifying the repayment to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to cover up a $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from speaking out about an alleged affair with Trump before the 2016 election. Trump has denied the affair.

During the seven-week trial, the district attorney’s office presented 20 witnesses to show jurors that the hush-money payment to Daniels was part of a pattern of payoffs to keep negative stories about Trump from surfacing before the election. The prosecution argued that Trump was concerned about the impact on his campaign when the payment was made in October 2016.

Cohen was the prosecution’s key witness, describing how Trump directed him to pay Daniels and then approved a scheme to repay him in $35,000 monthly instalments in 2017. The amount was “grossed up” partly to account for taxes Cohen would have to pay.

Judge Juan Merchan set Trump’s sentencing date for July 11, 2024, at 10 a.m., just days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.