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BREAKING: Trump found guilty on 34 felony charges in hush-money trial

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Former president Donald Trump was convicted on Thursday by a New York jury on 34 felony charges for falsifying business records, making him the first president in U.S. history to become a convicted felon, reports National Review which explains of the trial:

Over the past six weeks at the state courthouse in lower Manhattan, the prosecution sought to demonstrate that Trump, his former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen, and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker participated in a conspiracy to defraud voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election by paying off women to conceal embarrassing stories about the then-presidential candidate’s sexual history without properly recording those payments as campaign-finance expenses.

Trump’s defense team, meanwhile, countered that the hush-money payment to Daniels and the catch-and-kill scheme, which Trump funded, did not qualify as campaign expenses and were unrelated to Trump’s political ambitions.

The jury began deliberating on Wednesday after receiving instructions from Judge Juan Merchan about the relevant legal definitions and considerations. The case is complicated by the fact that the prosecution was tasked with proving that Trump falsified business records in order to conceal an underlying crime, which they argue was a conspiracy to defraud the American people…

…Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg and his team of prosecutors pursued the case against Trump in front of Judge Merchan. The prosecution relied on an expansive legal theory to expand the business-records charges to felonies, arguing the falsifications were used to cover up alleged campaign-finance crimes, namely hush-money payments designed to help Trump’s electoral prospects. However, those federal campaign finance crimes are not being pursued by federal prosecutors, and the prosecution did not discuss the underlying crimes until the closing argument took place on Tuesday.

Bragg is an elected Democrat and Merchan previously donated to the Biden campaign. One of Bragg’s prosecutors previously received payments from the Democratic National Committee and another donated to the Biden campaign. Similarly, Merchan’s daughter is a Democratic strategist whose clients have fundraised off the Trump prosecution.

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Elections

BREAKING: Hunter Biden Found Guilty on All Three Felony Charges

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Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was found guilty on all three felony charges on Tuesday. After a six-day trial, a jury concluded that the first son lied on a federal gun-purchase background-check form by falsely claiming he was not a drug addict. The jury deliberated for three hours, starting Monday afternoon following the conclusion of closing arguments.

Hunter Biden was convicted on two charges for lying about his crack-cocaine addiction on federal gun paperwork when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver on October 12, 2018. Additionally, he was found guilty of a third charge for possessing the firearm while addicted to crack cocaine.

According to National Review, the criminal trial exposed deep rifts within the Biden family. Hunter’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and his deceased brother Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, testified against him. This created an emotional divide within the family, especially when Naomi Biden, the eldest daughter of Buhle and Hunter, testified for the defense, pitting mother against daughter.

Federal prosecutors Derek Hines and Leo Wise led the case against Hunter Biden as part of special counsel David Weiss’s legal team. Throughout the trial, Weiss was present in the courtroom, often seen conversing and eating chocolates during breaks.

Prosecutors presented what they described as “overwhelming evidence” of Hunter Biden’s drug addiction at the time he completed the gun purchase. This evidence included witness testimony, text messages, videos, images, bank records, and excerpts from Hunter’s memoir. Key testimonies from Hallie Biden, gun salesman Gordon Cleveland, and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan were crucial in establishing Hunter Biden’s pattern of drug use and his decision to lie about his addiction.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued that Hunter Biden’s behavior had improved around the time of the gun purchase, asserting that he did not “knowingly” lie on the federal paperwork. However, the testimonies of Kestan and Cleveland, along with Hunter Biden’s own admissions of drug use in texts and memoir excerpts, posed significant challenges to the defense’s narrative.

Throughout the trial, Lowell conducted extensive cross-examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses and disputed the context of the evidence presented. However, Leo Wise’s cross-examination of Naomi Biden, where he scrutinized her text messages with her father from October 2018, proved to be a pivotal moment, undermining her defense testimony.

Before the verdict, President Biden stated he would respect the jury’s decision and would not pardon his son if convicted. At the trial’s onset, President Biden issued a statement expressing pride in his son’s efforts to overcome his drug addiction.

Hunter Biden is scheduled to face another trial in September on nine federal tax charges related to his alleged failure to pay over $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

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