Donald Trump rails against ‘disgrace’ verdict - and rages the US ‘has gone to hell... is a nation in decline’

A New York jury convicted Trump on all 34 counts of falsifying business records Thurdsay afternoon

Ariana Baio
Friday 31 May 2024 07:46 BST
Donald Trump reacts after guilty verdict

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Donald Trump called the New York criminal trial “rigged” and “a disgrace” while blasting the US moments after a jury made him a convicted felon.

“I am a very innocent man,” Trump said in the hallway of the courthouse.

The former president gave a brief statement outside of the courtroom, railing against the judge and the Manhattan District Attorney while also targeting the Biden administration. Trump repeated many of the same accusations and excuses he has voiced throughout the six-week-long trial – that he is innocent, the trial is rigged, the judge was “conflicted” and more.

“We have a country that’s in big trouble, but this was a rigged decision right from day one, with a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case,” Trump said.

The convicted former president claimed the “real verdict” would come in November when the country votes for the next president.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media during his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media during his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“And we’ll keep fighting we’ll fight till the end and we’ll win because our country has gone to hell. We don’t have the same country anymore. We have a divided mess. We’re a nation in decline, serious decline, millions and millions of people pouring into our country right now, from prisons and from mental institutions terrorists, and they’re taking over our country,” Trump said.

After roughly 10 hours of deliberations, the panel of New York residents returned a verdict in the first criminal trial of a sitting or former president.

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records for covering up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her silent about an alleged affair. Prosecutors said this was part of a larger catch-and-kill scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump will return to Manhattan criminal court on July 11th for sentencing.

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