What You Need to Know After Trump’s Guilty Verdict

President Donald Trump holds up a fist as he arrives back at Trump Tower after being convicted in his criminal trial in New York City.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

What You Need to Know After Trump’s Guilty Verdict

Former United States President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 charges in his New York hush-money case. What does this mean and what’s next for Donald Trump and America?

What is he found guilty of? Donald Trump was charged with falsifying business records in order to conceal a crime. What crime? That was left up to the jurors’ imagination. The judge explicitly told them they did not have to agree on what that crime was to find Trump guilty.

The trial made clear that it had something to do with an alleged hush-money payment to pornographic actress Stephanie Clifford, aka “Stormy Daniels.” Paying hush money may be seedy, but it’s not illegal. Some say this broke campaign finance law, arguing that the payout was an illegal campaign contribution. Others said it was tax fraud. Regardless, the charge is that by filing the payment as “legal expenses” Donald Trump was concealing another crime.

Why 34 charges? Each invoice, check and entry into the business accounts was counted as a separate charge.

Is Donald Trump going to jail? Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just before the Republican National Convention on July 15. He faces up to four years in jail for each charge, a maximum of 20 years. The charge is a “class E” felony in New York, the least severe type. Under normal circumstances, a first-time offender on this kind of charge would not be sent to jail. But these are clearly not normal circumstances.

What else was unusual about this trial?

  • The star witness, Michael Cohen, admitted to stealing from Donald Trump in his testimony. He was also exposed for lying to court.
  • Clifford testified at length about the salacious details of her alleged encounter with Mr. Trump and even implied that he raped her. Normally, testimony on another issue that could prejudice the jury is not allowed.
  • Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter is the head of a business that has Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and other Democrats as important clients. Judge Merchan himself has donated to the Biden campaign. He refused requests to recuse himself.
  • Ninety percent of New York City voters voted for Joe Biden in 2020, meaning the jury likely leaned heavily against President Trump.
  • Judge Merchan also limited the testimony of defense witnesses. An expert on campaign finance violations, who argued that Trump committed no underlying crime, was not allowed to testify.
  • Merchan repeatedly gave President Trump gag orders to prevent him from speaking about the trial.
  • Merchan gave jurors detailed instructions but, unusually, did not allow them any printed copies of those instructions.

What does the left think about the trial? Several anti-Trump commentators have complained about the partisan prosecution at play here.

Trump is being prosecuted charged because he paid hush money to a mistress, something it’s inconceivable he would have been charged over if he were never a candidate for office.
—Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine columnist

I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office. Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda.
—Mitt Romney, “Never Trump” Republican senator

Bragg … has built one of the most controversial and high-profile criminal cases in American history upon the most uncertain of foundations. And that foundation could crumble into dust if the courts reject his legal arguments on a genuinely ambiguous question of law.
—Ian Millhiser, Vox senior correspondent

Have other politicians done something similar?

  • Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for campaign finance violations.
  • Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a private e-mail server as secretary of state. She deleted 33,000 messages and destroyed devices to cover up her message history. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said she and her team were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”—but declined to press charges because he did not believe she “intended to violate laws.”
  • Then of course, there’s the much bigger case of the Steele dossier, where Obama worked with law enforcement to concoct false accusations of Russian collusion to try to oust a sitting president.

Can Donald Trump still run for president? Yes. Even if he’s jailed, there’s nothing to stop him standing for office. In fact, his campaign website crashed immediately after the verdict, as so many people were trying to make donations.

Can Donald Trump appeal? Yes. Many of the unusual elements of this trial could be grounds for appeal. Whether any punishments kick in before or after that appeal is up to the judge. Mr. Trump could be jailed even if he’s able to appeal and get the conviction overturned.

What does the Bible say? We have forecast, based on Bible prophecy, that Donald Trump will come back.

A vital key to understanding end-time events is to know that Britain and America descended from the biblical tribes of Israel. Our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy proves this. These nations play an important role in God’s plan to bring the whole world to Him.

God is involved in this world’s events—but so is Satan, whom Jesus Christ referred to as “the prince of the world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The nations of Israel had an opportunity to set a godly example, demonstrating to the world that God’s way of life leads to security and prosperity. But they chose to disobey.

Even so, God promised massive physical prosperity to Israel. These blessings were delayed until modern times, but were fulfilled. The blessings of freedom and prosperity allowed God’s message to go out.

But the “prince of the world” is still out there, and he opposes all that God is doing. If free speech and the rule of law can be shut down, so can God’s work.

So Satan attacks the nations of Israel. God allows those attacks because of our disobedience. But that punishment is carefully calibrated. God wants His warning message to go out for just a little bit longer. And so He uses Donald Trump to save America temporarily.

That doesn’t mean Trump is righteous—he has major character flaws—but God is using him.

This is discussed in several specific Bible prophecies. They also show that this process won’t be easy. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that the prophecy in 2 Kings 14:28 shows that Trump “has to wage war to recover his presidency. After using the word saved … it uses another, even stronger word: warred. … There are different ways “war” could apply, but the indication is that regaining office may take considerable fighting. Donald Trump will have to fight for it.”

The radical left is using every tool possible to keep Donald Trump from office. It looks like even this conviction won’t be enough. Don’t expect them to quietly give up. The “war” will intensify.

Other aspects of these prophecies indicate the Supreme Court could play a role in returning Trump to office. If his conviction is upheld by the New York Court of Appeals, he could appeal it to the Supreme Court. Other key aspects of the “get Trump” operation could also end up at the Supreme Court.

Could the Supreme Court play a decisive role in this war? It’s certainly possible—and the left sees it too, which is why conservative justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are coming under such heavy attack.

Ultimately, God’s role in these events is the most important truth you need to know about this court case. It shows what is coming next and reveals the only real hope for America. Our book America Under Attack spells it all out, taking you through all the key prophecies so you can understand. Request your free copy.