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Donald Trump guilty on all counts in hush-money trial, New York jury finds

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Former United States President Donald Trump has been found guilty in a historic criminal hush-money trial, in a decision that could shake up the 2024 election campaign.

He has become the first US president, past or present, to be charged and convicted of a crime.

A New York City jury delivered the verdict on Thursday afternoon after a seven-week-long trial – and it found Trump guilty on all 34 counts he faced.

Prosecutors had called nearly two dozen witnesses to testify, and after closing arguments concluded on Tuesday, the jury took two days to render a verdict.

Trump was accused of 34 felony counts of falsifying business documents in relation to a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

Prosecutors argued that Trump attempted to cover up the payment in an effort to improve his chances in the race, which he ultimately won.

The former Republican president, who is set to face off against Democratic incumbent Joe Biden in November’s election, had pleaded not guilty.

He now faces a prison sentence of up to four years for each felony count, though court observers say it is unlikely he will face time behind bars, as opposed to probation or community service.

At the end of Thursday’s proceedings, a sentencing date was set for July 11, at the request of defence lawyer Todd Blanche. That hearing falls four days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Wisconsin, where Trump is expected to be officially recognised as the party’s presidential nominee

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