Connecticut residents react to former President Donald Trump’s guilty verdict in hush money trial

The sentencing has been set for July 11, days before Donald Trump is expected to win the Republican nomination for presidency.

John Craven and Robyn Karashik

May 31, 2024, 2:31 AM

Updated 16 days ago


Former President Donald Trump was found guilty Thursday afternoon on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
The convictions could land him four years in prison. This is the first time a former U.S. president has ever been tried or convicted in a criminal case. As Trump left the courthouse, he once again claimed the trial was “rigged.”
“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5, by the people,” said Trump.
In Connecticut, reactions poured in from voters and legal experts. Some voters agreed that the ruling was unfair.
“The judge was totally against him. Our democracy is ruined, and ruined with the guy in the White House,” said Patrick McGuire, of New Milford.
While others said the verdict was justified.
“Happy. it's overdue,” said Susan, of New Milford.
Prosecutors said the evidence was clear.
“They reviewed call logs, text messages, and emails. They heard recordings. They saw checks and invoices,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Chris Mattei is a former federal prosecutor who sent Gov. John Rowland to prison. He said the jury not only found that Trump falsified business records, but that he did it to influence the 2016 election.
“They found that, yes, Donald Trump falsified – or caused to be falsified – his business records. And the reason that he did so was because he wanted to commit a campaign finance violation,” said Mattei.
It all has to do with “hush money” payments totaling $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.
Mattei said he believes the former president will appeal the charges and be allowed to remain free while on appeal.
“The question becomes, if he remains a candidate for President of the United States and wins, whether or not the sentence could be carried out during his presidency. I think, of course, the answer is likely 'no.’ In which case, the sentence would be suspended until he leaves office,” said Mattei.
Trump still faces three other trials, but it is unlikely they will begin before this year’s presidential election in November.
House Republican leader Vincent Candelora and Senate Republican leader Stephen Harding also reacted to the verdict with the following statement:
“As attorneys, we have the utmost respect for the American justice system and share an unequivocal belief in the rule of law. As legislators, we do all we can to support the work of our judges, juries, and prosecutors in preserving the most fundamental institutions of our republic. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the events that have transpired in New York City point to a weaponization of those very institutions to achieve a political end. These events have created a highly troubling scenario which will invariably end up on appeal and raise serious Constitutional challenges. The one thing we are sure of is that our Constitution will prevail.”
Connecticut State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo also issued the following statement on the verdict:
"Today’s verdict is welcome and sends a strong message that nobody is above the law. We are going to work every day until November 5th to make sure Connecticut voters deliver another verdict, that Donald Trump is profoundly unfit to serve as President, and Joe Biden is the leader we need in the White House.”
Trump’s sentencing is set for July 11, just days before he's expected to officially win the Republican nomination for president.
The Associated Press contributed to this copy.

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