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Trump Attacks Judge and Witness After Felony Conviction, Turns Verdict into Campaign Fuel

NEW YORK – Former President Donald Trump launched a fierce attack on the judge and star witness in his criminal hush money trial on Friday, attempting to undermine New York’s criminal justice system while seeking to convert his conviction on 34 felony charges into a rallying point for his 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump’s Defiant Response

Speaking from Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump addressed reporters with his characteristic defiance, dismissing the verdict as politically motivated. The previous day, Trump had been found guilty of falsifying business records to conceal a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed they had an affair.

“It’s not hush money. It’s a nondisclosure agreement. Totally legal, totally common,” Trump asserted, framing the payments as standard practice. He described himself as a victim of a biased legal system, suggesting that his prosecution was part of a broader conspiracy to prevent his return to the White House.

“If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,” Trump warned, casting himself as a martyr fighting for the American people.

Legal and Political Ramifications

Trump is set to be sentenced on July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention, where he is expected to be nominated as the 2024 GOP candidate. Despite his conviction, Trump can still vote as long as he remains out of prison in New York state. Legal experts are divided on how the felony conviction might affect his chances in the upcoming election, particularly among independent voters.

President Joe Biden, reacting to the verdict, emphasized that Trump was afforded ample opportunity to defend himself. “It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this is rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said from the White House.

Campaign Strategy Amid Conviction

Trump’s campaign has seized on the conviction as a fundraising tool, reporting $34.8 million in donations pouring in within hours of the verdict. This figure surpasses the combined total raised in January and February. The campaign has framed Trump as a “political prisoner,” despite the fact that he has not yet been sentenced to prison.

Returning to campaign mode in the atrium of Trump Tower, Trump appeared more relaxed, delivering a speech reminiscent of his rally performances. He criticized Biden’s immigration and tax policies before pivoting to his own legal battles, characterizing the trial as unfair and misrepresenting aspects of the proceedings.

Courtroom Drama and Public Reaction

The courtroom scene on Thursday was tense as Trump listened to the jury deliver a guilty verdict on every count. Trump maintained a stoic demeanor, but his anger was palpable as he left the courthouse. His campaign quickly capitalized on the moment, sending out a flurry of fundraising appeals and selling black “Make America Great Again” caps to mark what they called a “dark day in history.”

Outside Trump Tower, supporters and protesters gathered, reflecting the deep divisions his conviction has sparked. Trump’s loyal base remains energized, but the broader impact on his campaign is still uncertain.

Looking Ahead

Trump faces a critical period in the coming months, including his first debate with Biden, the announcement of his running mate, and his formal nomination at the Republican National Convention. However, before these events, he must return to court on July 11 for sentencing, where he could face penalties ranging from a fine or probation to up to four years in prison.

Despite the historic nature of his conviction, Trump’s rhetoric and campaign strategy show little change, underscoring his determination to remain a central figure in American politics. As the legal battles continue and the election approaches, the former president’s ability to navigate these challenges will be closely watched by supporters and critics alike.

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Patrick Zarrelli

Tech CEO, Aggressive Progressive, and Unrelenting Realist. @PJZNY Across the Web!!!