Donald Trump becomes first US president convicted of a crime

Donald J. Trump became the first U.S. president to be convicted of a crime on Thursday when a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

After two days of deliberation, the 12-member jury pronounced Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts he faced. Trump watched dispassionately as the jurors were polled to confirm the unanimous verdict.

Justice Juan Merchan set sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican Party is scheduled to formally nominate Trump for president ahead of the November 5 election. The crime of falsifying business documents carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, though those convicted often receive shorter sentences, fines, or probation. Incarceration would not legally prevent him from campaigning or taking office if he were to win.

Trump, who will not be jailed ahead of sentencing, continues to deny wrongdoing. His attorney announced plans to appeal as quickly as possible.

“This was a disgrace,” Trump told reporters afterward, proclaiming his innocence and repeating his complaints that the trial had been rigged against him.

The verdict plunges the United States into unexplored territory ahead of the November vote, when Trump will try to win back the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden. Trump, 77, remains a significant figure in American politics despite this unprecedented conviction.