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Trump found guilty of hush money; now 1st ex-US leader to bag criminal conviction

Trump was convicted after being found guilty on each of the 34 charges of falsifying business records.

Donald Trump at the defense table during his hush-money trial in Manhattan.Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images

The earth-shattering development comes six months ahead of the next presidential election where he seeks to contest against incumbent Joe Biden for a return to the White House.

Historically, Trump was the first former U.S. president to be tried for a criminal offence and the 77-year-old billionaire was found guilty on each of the 34 charges of falsifying business records.

He was alleged to have perfected a scheme to cover up "hush money" payments to buy the silence of porn star, Stormy Daniels, in the days leading to the 2016 election.

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The former president is set for sentencing on July 11, four days before the commencement of the Republican National Convention on the 15th where he is expected to be formally nominated for president.

The conviction has pushed the U.S. into uncharted political waters but doesn't necessarily disqualify Trump from contesting the November 15 election, even in the likely event that Judge Juan Merchan sentences him to prison.

It took the 12-member jury 11 hours of deliberation over two days at the end of the extraordinary five-week trial to reach a verdict.

Trump was found guilty of cooking the books to reimburse his now-estranged lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to Daniels whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Clifford was paid the 'shush fund' on the eve of the 2016 election when her claim to have had sex with Trump could have proven politically fatal.

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