Trump responds to guilty verdict in NY trial: ‘Rigged decision’ 

Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, next to his lawyer Todd Blanche (R), speaks to the press during his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 21, 2024. Michael M. Santiago/Pool/AFP 
Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, next to his lawyer Todd Blanche (R), speaks to the press during his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on May 21, 2024. Michael M. Santiago/Pool/AFP 

By Jack Phillips 
Contributing Writer 

Former President Donald Trump responded after a jury in Manhattan found him guilty of falsifying business records, saying it’s a “disgrace” and a “rigged” affair. 

The former president made the comments to reporters after leaving the courtroom, also saying it’s a “witch hunt” allegedly carried out at the behest of the White House. 

“The real verdict is going to be on Nov. 5 by the people,” he said, adding: “This was a rigged decision from day one.” 

The former president, who did not make reference to the jury, also told reporters that he “didn’t do a thing wrong, I am a very innocent man.” He added, “We’ll keep fighting. We’ll fight to the end, and we’ll win.” 

“It’s OK, I’m fighting for our country … I’m fighting for our constitution,” Trump added. 

A lawyer for Trump told CNN earlier on Thursday that his legal team would “speedily appeal” the verdict, putting the case in the hands of the New York Court of Appeals. 

Judge Juan Merchan set the former commander-in-chief’s sentencing date for July 11 after he was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records, coming after he dismissed the jury and their alternates. 

“I do want to personally thank you for your service,” the judge told them. 

After the verdict, Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche had asked Merchan to throw it out, arguing it relied on the unreliable testimony of witness Michael Cohen. Merchan swiftly denied the request. 

Other Reactions 

A number of GOP lawmakers and politicians blasted the verdict, including some possibly on the shortlist to become Trump’s vice presidential pick in November’s election. 

“Today’s verdict shows how corrupt and rigged the American justice system has become under Joe Biden,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, said in a statement on social media. “I fully support President Trump appealing this decision and look forward to the New York Court of Appeals delivering justice and overturning this verdict.” 

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, described the trial as a “complete travesty that makes a mockery of our system of justice.” 

“This isn’t justice, it’s election interference,” Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, wrote on the social platform X, formerly Twitter. 

In a statement, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign responded to the guilty verdict by saying that “no one is above the law.” On social media, the campaign said that “there’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box.” It then asked supporters to donate. 

“Today, 12 ordinary American citizens found a former president guilty of dozens of felonies,” wrote Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, a California Senate candidate. “Despite his efforts to distract, delay, and deny — justice arrived for Donald Trump all the same. And the rule of law prevailed.” 


The jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business documents after sitting through a six-week trial that featured testimony from adult movie performer Stormy Daniels about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006. He denies the encounter ever happened and pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The verdict plunges the United States into unexplored territory ahead of the Nov. 5 presidential election, when Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, will try to win the White House back from Biden. 

Trump has denied wrongdoing and was expected to appeal. He faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison per count, though others convicted of that crime often receive shorter sentences, fines, or probation. 

Incarceration would not prevent him from campaigning, or taking office if he were to win the presidency under the U.S. Constitution. 

Opening arguments in the Trump trial started in mid-April, and the former president has attended court dates for four days per week since then. In media appearances and on social media, he’s said that the trial is a form of election interference because it has prevented him from campaigning ahead of the presidential election. 

He has also alleged that the judge’s gag order has unfairly blocked him from responding to claims in the case. It’s not clear when the judge will rescind the order, which prevents Trump from speaking about the jury, witnesses, court staff, or the judge’s family. 

Other Cases 

The former president faces charges in three other jurisdictions, including for allegedly illegally retaining classified records and for allegedly trying to illegally overturn the 2020 election. He’s pleaded not guilty in those cases, which have been brought in Georgia, Florida, and Washington. 

Legal analysts have said that it’s unlikely those cases will make it to trial before the November election. In the Washington and Florida cases, which were brought by a special counsel, Trump could — if he’s reelected — pardon himself or appoint a favorable attorney general to dismiss the charges. 

No trial date has been set in any of the three cases. 

Reuters and Michael Washburn contributed to this report. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS