The student news site of Ward Melville High School

Kaleidoscope

The student news site of Ward Melville High School

Kaleidoscope

The student news site of Ward Melville High School

Kaleidoscope

A Monumental Verdict: Trump’s Hush Money Trial

On May 30, 2024, Donald Trump became the first president to be found guilty in a criminal trial. Specifically, he was found guilty of all thirty-four felony counts of fabricating legal documents to conceal a hush money payment made to former adult star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. The trial ended with Trump’s conviction, but the verdict is still being processed across the country.

Pre-existing divisions throughout the United States are being illustrated through the responses to the trial’s verdict. In a recent ABC News poll, 51% of Americans think Trump had criminal intent, while the remaining 47% claimed that the charges made against Trump were to prevent him from winning the 2024 presidential election.

Like most Americans, Trump’s family has also been affected by the verdict. The former president claimed that his wife, former First Lady Melania Trump, thought living through the trial was “extremely difficult.” Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law and co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), avoided the topic of backing Maryland Republican Larry Hogan in his Senate campaign after he instructed fellow Republicans to abide by the verdict.

Many Republican leaders continue to support Trump despite his recent conviction. According to Republicans, the legal system is against him and Trump himself is the victim. Immediately after the trial, Trump claimed that the verdict was “rigged” in a ploy to prevent him from winning the 2024 election. Some have claimed that the judge, Juan Merchan, and the prosecutor, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, have a political bias against Trump. However, it is neither the judge nor the prosecutor who decides the verdict; it is the jury, who deliberated for over eleven hours. 

It is unknown how this monumental verdict will determine the course of our country’s future.The verdict will likely have the greatest impact on swing voters, as some Democrats and Republicans wouldn’t have changed their vote no matter what the verdict was. Additionally, Trump’s verdict and the response of his followers will have a significant impact on the 2024 presidential election, the future of the United States, and possibly the international realm as well.

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