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Trump Vows to Appeal Conviction; Biden Calls Criticism of Trump Jury Verdict ‘Dangerous’

Former president says he would wait until after his sentencing on July 11 to pursue appeal

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 1, 2024, 21:58:11

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trump to appeal, joe biden, hush money trial verdict, trump guilty

Donald Trump indicated his intention to challenge the guilty verdict that marked him as the first US president convicted of a crime. However, he said he would wait until after his sentencing on July 11 to pursue this appeal.

Speaking at Trump Tower in Manhattan, where he launched his initial presidential campaign in 2015, Trump reiterated his allegations that the trial was a “rigged" attempt to hobble his comeback White House bid and warned that it showed no American was safe from politically motivated prosecution.

“If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone," Trump, 77, said in an unscripted 33-minute speech. Applauded by supporters, Trump, the Republican candidate in the 2024 election, took no questions from reporters. “We're going to be appealing this scam," he said. Trump will have 30 days from the date of his July 11 sentencing to file a notice of appeal.

Democratic President Joe Biden, who will face Trump in the November 5 election, said Trump had been given an opportunity to defend himself in the same justice system that applies to all Americans.

“But Trump's public criticism of jurors and witnesses during the trial, which prompted Justice Juan Merchan to impose a $10,000 fine, could push the judge to impose a tougher penalty," said Rebecca Roiphe, a former New York prosecutor, Reuters reported.

Incarceration would not prevent Trump from campaigning or taking office if he were to win. Trump's sentencing on July 11 coincides closely with the Republican Party's plan to formally nominate him as its presidential candidate at its convention in Milwaukee. He was convicted on 34 criminal counts related to falsifying documents to conceal a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, allegedly aimed at swaying the 2016 election, in which he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Despite this conviction, Trump confronts three other criminal prosecutions, including two concerning his efforts to challenge his defeat to Biden in the 2020 election. However, the New York verdict may be the sole one delivered before Americans head to the polls, as legal complications have delayed the other cases. Throughout, Trump maintains his innocence, denouncing all four cases as “politically driven".

Meanwhile, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with his campaign's inner workings, that the verdict was expected to prompt him to intensify deliberations on picking a woman as his vice presidential running mate.

Following a trial that included explicit testimony from Stormy Daniels regarding an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump while he was married to Melania, the jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business documents. Trump adamantly denies any sexual involvement with Daniels.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer, testified that Trump authorised a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels. Cohen, who facilitated the payment, stated that Trump sanctioned a plan to reimburse him through disguised monthly payments labelled as legal fees.

In his first public remarks since a New York jury convicted Donald Trump on 34 counts related to a payment to silence a porn star before the 2016 election, President Joe Biden emphasized the dangers of questioning the integrity of the guilty verdict. Biden, a Democrat, strongly criticised Trump and other Republicans who have voiced objections to the verdict.

“Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself," Biden said in remarks at the White House. He noted that the case against Trump in New York was brought by the state, that it was not a federal case, and that the verdict was delivered by “a jury of 12 citizens, 12 Americans, 12 people like you."

“The US justice system has endured for nearly 250 years," Biden said, and he criticized Trump and his supporters for attempting to tear it down with false allegations. “It's reckless, it's dangerous, it's irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don't like the verdict," Biden said.

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