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Trump Guilty on All 34 Felony Counts, Vows to Appeal; Verdict Doesn't Stop Trump from Running for President; Biden Campaign Says Ballot Box Only Way to Defeat Trump; International Reaction to Trump's Criminal Conviction; Trump Faces Three More Criminal Court Cases; Stormy Daniels' Reaction to Verdict; IDF Confirms Troops in Central Rafah; Are Americans Interested in Trump's Conviction?; Trump Expected to Speak After Guilty Verdict. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 31, 2024 - 10:00   ET



OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you are looking at live pictures where next hour we expect Donald Trump to take the podium at Trump Tower. It is

10:00 a.m. here in New York.

Welcome to our continuing coverage of Thursday's historic verdict. I'm Omar Jimenez.

Now that Trump is the first U.S. president to be convicted of a felony, we're going to work to answer all your questions this hour. What is the

judge going to be weighing as he considers the sentence? What are the possible grounds for appeal available to Trump's legal team? And how is

this legal saga impacting a deeply divided U.S. electorate.

We've got a lot to get into. As I mentioned, we're expecting to hear Trump speak in about an hour from now. He's had a night to prepare his first set

piece response becoming a convicted felon. Now the jury in this hush money case found him guilty on all 34 counts of false to find business records

after deliberating for about 12 hours over two days. Sentencing is set for July 11th.

Now he could get probation, though the judge also has the power to impose a prison sentence of up to four years for each offense with the maximum of 20

years. For now, though, Trump remains out of prison.

CNN's U.S. national report Brynn Gingras is outside the courthouse in lower correspondent -- in Lower Manhattan, excuse me.

Brynn. Great to see you. So just get us up to speed on how this verdict unfolded and a little bit of what we can expect today.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. How this verdict unfolded was pretty incredible, Omar. I mean, the foreman in this case

reading guilty 34 times, the former president sitting in the courtroom listening to that remaining pretty stoic. And as you said, some of his

first words, his first -- my goodness, first press conference at least is going to happen at 11:00 this morning.

Let's walk through the punishment that he could face when sentencing happens on July 11th. So essentially, as you laid out for the viewers,

there are 34 charges here. Each one carry anywhere up to four years in prison. But because they're a class E felony in the state of New York, the

maximum that Donald Trump could see is 20 years. Very unlikely. It's more likely that he'll actually see some probation, but we don't know yet.

But there are a number of things that the Judge Juan Merchan can factor into before handing down that sentence on July 11th. For example, they're

going to look into the fact that the former president has no criminal history. The fact that these charges, they're not violent felonies,

although they are felonies. He's also going to be getting a recommendation from a probation officer who's going to have to interview Donald Trump just

as they would anytime there is a convicted criminal.

And also, he's going to get a recommendation or at least to character references from possibly Trump's family members, possibly other people who

are supporting the former president. So that'll be all factored in when he makes his sentencing.

What we don't know yet, though, is what the district attorney who brought these charges, Alvin Bragg, is going to recommend for the former president

when court resumes on the 11th. He is being very tightlipped about it. He had a news conference yesterday but said he's going to let the filings

speak for himself.

What we really can count on though, of course as you know, Omar, is some appeals process. We know from the interview of Todd Blanche, the lead

defense counsel for the Trump team, saying they have a number of motions that they are going to be filing in the next couple of days leading up to

that sentencing day. And then after that, they already have appeals that they are going to have in the works, appealing on the fact that they didn't

think they could get a fair jury in this jurisdiction.

The fact that they believe the testimony of Stormy Daniels was not fair in this trial. Remember, they tried to get a mistrial during the trial based

off of that testimony alone. So we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks leading up to July 11th, but that is the next time the former

president, now a convicted felon, will be back in court here in New York.

JIMENEZ: And Brynn, I want to just ask you since I know you've been out there this entire time, I've been next to you in some of it. I mean, what

has the environment been like outside of the courthouse throughout all of this? I know people have descended on it and did yesterday when the verdict

came down.

GINGRAS: Yes. I know it's been fascinating seeing all the different people coming here from all over the country. Some people just wanting to get into

the courtroom to witness this trial and witness history, and then other people just either supporting the president or not supporting the

president. A lot of his supporters usually actually assemble in the morning at Trump Tower before he left for court every day and then would eventually

make their way down here to the courthouse where they remained and supported him from where they were allowed to be.

And yesterday was, you know, a clash of both those sides, but it remained pretty calm. No major events to unfold here in New York after those guilty

convictions, but certainly all eyes now are on Trump Tower as we await for the former president to give some comments.

JIMENEZ: Yes, we will wait and see what comes out. We may be able to expect some of what we'll see, but we'll let him say it and we'll see what




JIMENEZ: Brynn Gingras, really appreciate it.


JIMENEZ: Now, Trump and his defense team have vowed to fight on despite the verdict and the entire process could drag on for months or even years.

Here's what Trump's attorney Todd Blanche told CNN about what's next.


TODD BLANCHE, TRUMP DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We have motions due in a couple of weeks in front of Judge Merchan, which we're going to vigorously fight and

restate a lot of what I'm saying to you tonight and other things that happened in the trial that we think just made the trial unfair, including

the testimony of Miss Daniels. If that is not successful then as soon as we can appeal, we will.


JIMENEZ: Now for more on the implications of this, I want to bring in national security attorney Bradley Moss, who joins us from Washington.

Now, look, we've heard from Trump's attorney. They're planning to appeal. Trump has consistently done that with court rulings against him. But also,

I mean, this case was brought by a grand jury, the selected jury was unanimous in their rulings here, despite an imperfect star witness in

Michael Cohen.

I mean, what do you see the real chances or real factors of an appeal actually working here?

BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: So it's difficult to get successful appeals. That's not meaning to say it's impossible. People have

convictions overturned at the time, they get new trials ordered all the time based off of pretrial rulings from the judge or based off of jury

instructions to the jury. But it's not the easiest thing and it's certainly -- the odds certainly aren't in Mr. Trump's favor.

He does have some interesting arguments. There is the question about whether or not the New York statute that was in play is constitutional in

the sense that the second, the additional crime that bumped it up to a felony, whether or not was constitutional that no specific crime had to be

identified. The jury was allowed to sort of pick and choose from three different options. Those are interesting and novel issues for an appeal.

It's been upheld to some extent by the appellate courts in New Yorker already but certainly the federal courts might get involved to the extent

as a constitutional issue. But the damage is done for Mr. Trump right now. He has been convicted by a jury of his peers in the place where he lived

and worked for decades. This will reverberate between now and the election at a minimum.

JIMENEZ: And look, before any appeals process, we have the sentencing and I think a major question here is, while he was convicted of felonies here,

they're class E felonies, the lowest that you could get in New York. And so you have a range of four years per count, but also much, much less than

that as well.

Given the factors here, whether it's his lack of criminal history or his age even, what do you anticipate the judge is really going to consider here

and what do you anticipate the sentence to be?

MOSS: Yes, that is $64,000 question everyone is going to be guessing about for the next six weeks because there is a bunch of discretion here. No one

expects that Judge Merchan is going to go for the maximum or anything like that. As you noted Mr. Trump is a first-time offender. It's not a violent

felony or anything like that. But there were the various gag order violations. We have no idea what, you know, Mr. Trump is going to state

today at this press conference at 11:00 a.m. whether or not he'll say something stupid, that will anger the judge even more.

All those things will come into play. So there's various aggravating factors where I could see maybe the judge gives him somewhere between three

to six months, but it's entirely possible that he simply puts him on probation for a period of time, maybe has him, you know, wear an ankle

monitor, something like that, and there is no prison time involved.

There will be a lot of time to assess that over the next six weeks and I'm certain that we'll all be analyzing whatever Judge Merchan decides in July.

JIMENEZ: Yes. No, it'll be interesting to see, as you mentioned. He's got a lot of discretion here, limited by the options laid out by the law, by the

range laid out by the law. But we'll see what he works out in between them.

Really appreciate taking the time. Thanks for being here.

MOSS: Good morning.

JIMENEZ: Of course.

So for now, Trump will remain out of prison without bond at least until he's sentenced in July. That's when we will even begin to approach any sort

of possibilities there. And even though he can still run for president, the case could have a big impact on voters.

In a new op-ed CNN's Stephen Collinson writes, quote, "Americans have never seen an ex-president convicted of a crime. And a country already torn apart

by bitter political and cultural polarization is likely in for a rocky time. The implications are enormous." And Stephen Collinson joins us now.

So, Stephen, I just want to pick up on that point there. You write the implications are enormous. What are those implications and why should we be

so concerned as we see some of those dynamics play out?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think the first big implication lies in the Republican reaction to this. Immediately Donald

Trump's supporters, almost every senior Republican, anybody that wants a future in the party came out and said that this verdict was unfair.


That the jury was wrong, that the legal system in New York couldn't give Donald Trump a fair trial because it is a Democratic dominated city. That

all does great damage to the legal institutions of the United States going forward. And I think it parallels the damage that Trump was able to do to

the faith in the integrity of U.S. elections among millions of his voters after the 2020 election when he tried to overturn democracy to stay in


So I think that is the most fundamental danger. Then we can talk about the immediate political impacts of this, which are a little bit more difficult

to divine. But Trump is going to use this verdict to fuel his campaign narrative that he's a persecuted victim of weaponized justice and to tell

his supporters that if he gets elected to a second term in November, he will run a presidency of retribution.

JIMENEZ: Yes. And, you know, the impact on voters is going to be I think the critical thing here, of course, in a presidential election year, but to

see actually how this translates to the campaign trail, one slight clue that we're getting is, at least enthusiasm wise, is Donald Trump's campaign

did say this morning that it's raised $34.8 million in small-dollar donations after the Manhattan jury found Trump guilty on all counts now.

You know, we'll verify those when the FEC filings come out and that sort of thing.

But assuming that that has a semblance of truth there, there does seem to be some sort of enthusiasm, but I guess the question is, is that enthusiasm

coming from people who were already on his side or is it coming from new folks who actually do have the ability to change the election in swing

states across the country?

COLLINSON: Well, the campaign and its surrogates have been on television ever since the verdict was announced, they're arguing these are new people

that are coming to Trump. Republicans, moderates, even some Democrats who are disgusted with the verdict. There's no way to verify that unless it

starts getting reflecting in polls.

I think one interesting development this morning, we're starting to see how the Biden campaign is going to respond to this. President Joe Biden has

tried to sort of hover above all these legal issues that are facing Trump so as not to give the former president any help in his narrative that this

is all politically motivated. But Mitch Landrieu, the co-chair of Biden's national campaign, was just on CNN's domestic channel. And he was talking

about the only way that Trump can get reelected is to destroy democracy.

He was raising several other of Trump's legal problems, including a defamation verdict and the civil fraud trial in which he now owes about

half a billion dollars to New York state to create this idea that Trump basically is a criminal who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Oval

Office again, and is unfit. And he was saying that the only way to keep Trump out of the White House now is for American voters to stop him.

That is the strongest language we've heard from the Biden campaign so far about Trump's legal problems. And I think it tells us at least how not

necessarily the president will handle this publicly, but how his campaign will try and make use of what is actually now in many ways a political

liability for the former president now that he is a convicted felon.

JIMENEZ: Yes, it'll be interesting to see how it reverberates out and when that first set of polling comes out with sometime after this to see if

there's any sort of shift in what we've seen up to this point.

Stephen Collinson. really appreciate the time. Thank you so much.


JIMENEZ: All right, coming up next, the message the Biden campaign is sending supporters about Trump's guilty verdict. We'll explain it, coming




JIMENEZ: The Biden campaign wasted no time slamming Donald Trump saying the verdict showed that in America no one is above the law. It also warned

supporters that Trump is likely to raise record levels of campaign funds now that the verdict is in and we have already seen some glimpses of that,

according to the Trump campaign at least. Biden is also repeating that the only way to beat Trump is at the ballot box in November.

Let's go live to the White House and CNN's Priscilla Alvarez.

Now, Priscilla, what are you hearing from the White House about the verdict?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is the campaign that is really leading the charge here while the White House has remained

relatively silent on this. In fact, only going so far as to say that they respect the rule of law and have no additional comment. A different story

from the campaign, though, as they take a bit of a subdued approach, but they also make very clear to voters that this is going to be determined at

the ballot box, not at the courtroom.

In a campaign statement last night, they said the following, quote, "There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office. At the

ballot box." Convicted felon or not Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.

Now the thinking within the campaign is that this doesn't really move the needle among voters. If it was an acquittal, it might be a different story.

But for now they really want to keep the focus on issues and say -- and frame this as a threat to democracy, which has been a central theme of

their campaign when talking about the president's Republican rival, Donald Trump.

Now, as you mentioned there, the Biden campaign was also asking for donations, telling its supporters that the Trump conviction could fire up

Trump's supporters and lead to fundraising records. And we have now learned from the Trump campaign that they raised $34 million in funds.

Now in the fundraising e-mail, the president said the following, quote, "You know that I hate to ask but there couldn't be a more important moment

for you to make your first donation to keep this guy out of the White House once and for all." So trying to shore up those grassroots donations.

I've asked the campaign if they have any numbers to read out and they don't at this point, but the president is on his way back to the White House. He

was in Delaware. He remained out of the public eye yesterday as he was commemorating the ninth anniversary of his son Beau's death. So this,

today, is the first time that we could potentially hear from him. He is going to have a closed-door meeting with the prime minister of Belgium.

And then later, he will have an event commemorating the Kansas City Chiefs celebrating their achievement at the Super Bowl. That is an opportunity

where reporters will be able to ask questions. It's a lighthearted event, but we'll see if the president decides to weigh in. So still haven't heard

from him directly, but certainly the campaign here are leading the charge in their response to the verdict.

JIMENEZ: That'll be something to watch for over the course of today.

Priscilla Alvarez, really appreciate it.

Now some Republican lawmakers have been fiercely defending Donald Trump and blasting the jury's verdict. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of

Trump's most vocal supporters, posted a U.S. flag on X, the upside down version, which has become a symbol of the January 6th insurrection. Senator

J.D. Vance accused Democrats of inventing a felony to get Trump. We should mention it was already a class E felony in New York and it's been that way

for a while.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik echoed that sentiment and urged voters to stand with Trump and never surrender. And let's give you a sense of the

kind of responses that are being aired on right-wing news outlets like FOX. Take a listen.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): This was certainly a hoax, a sham. This was devastating for the average American.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): This is the most outrageous travesty I've ever seen and the problem here is Democrats have crossed this line.

SEN. JD VANCE (R-OH): I've never heard constituents so frustrated and so angry at what they've seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are so afraid of Donald Trump that they're willing to ruin our election system.

STEPHEN MILLER, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: My reaction with that of many Americans is one of fury, outrage, contempt.



JIMENEZ: And that's echoed a lot of the reaction we've heard in the Republican sphere in the wake of this verdict. Now the guilty verdict could

impact Donald Trump's right to vote in November's election, where he's the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. Trump is now a Florida

resident. That state allows felons to vote after completing their sentence. But for out-of-state convictions, Florida defers to the other state's laws,

in this case, New York allows felons who are not incarcerated to vote.

Meanwhile, we're hearing reaction to the verdict from around the world, too, and Donald Trump is getting support from some predictable places.

CNN's Nada Bashir is in London to explain.

So what are we hearing from world leaders in the wake of this verdict?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We certainly have heard support from some supporters of former president Donald Trump, countries in Europe which have

a strong far-right presence within the political sphere. We've heard earlier today from Russia, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov

responding to questions in a call with journalists earlier today saying it is obvious political rivals are being eliminated there through all legal

and illegal means.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to his comment, saying, a classic case of projection. And in Europe, we have also heard from others

who have previously expressed support again for President Trump. We've heard from the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban. He spoke earlier

today saying that he has known President Trump to be a man of honor and said, in his words, let the people make their verdict this November, keep

on fighting. Mr. President.

Similarly, a statement from Italy's deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, saying and describing the verdict as judicial harassment, and also going on

to say that in Italy, we are sadly familiar with the weaponization of the justice system by the left, who he said for years has aimed to eliminate

political opponents through legal and illegal means.

Of course, we haven't had that strong an outcry of reaction from allied nations in Europe and of course in the United Kingdom as well. Questions

were put to the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. He declined to comments, said he would not be commenting or expected to comment on the

judicial processes of another nation. Similar questions were put to the spokesman for Germany's Foreign Office. Again declining to comment there.

But of course, this has drawn reaction across Europe. In the newspapers we've seen in the United Kingdom some newspapers of course struggling to

catch up with the news. The news of this coming quite late last night, U.K. time and European time. But again, some front pages going with a simple

statement, Trump guilty, but of course this is a delicate time for those allied nations. This is of course an election year in the United States and

indeed in the United Kingdom as well -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yes, lots of reaction. We'll continue to monitor for even more.

Nada Bashir, thanks for bringing them all to us. Thank you.

All right, still to come, one trial down, three more to go. Donald Trump's seemingly endless days in court. We're going to take a look at what's next

for the former president now turned convicted felon.

Plus the attorney for Stormy Daniels says he was first to share the news with her about the guilty verdict. What he says her reaction was, straight




JIMENEZ: Welcome back, everyone. As we've been discussing, we are standing by for reaction from Donald Trump. He's due to speak at the top of the hour

from Trump Tower in Manhattan. But despite this verdict that we've been talking about all our now, Trump's legal troubles are far from over. He's

facing three more court cases. Two are related to his efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election.

And a third case on his stashing of secret government documents at his Mar- a-Lago home in Florida. All three are bogged down in legal back-and-forth that could push their start dates past November's election. So what's next

for Trump?

Joining me now is CNN senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz.

All right, catch us up on what these cases are and what the status is of these cases are at this point.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Omar, they're bogged down, but they're not anchored to the ocean floor here.

These three criminal cases against Donald Trump are moving forward gradually, sometimes with pauses built in.

Let's start with the classified documents case in Florida. That is the criminal accusations in federal court against Donald Trump for mishandling

national security records, 32 of them. And then obstructing justice, hiding them when the government tried to get them back into safe hands. In that

case, the judge has a lot of work to do.

Donald Trump's defense team, the same guys that were arguing and presenting evidence on his behalf in court in New York, they're working on that case.

And in the next coming weeks, they're going to have a lot of hearings to go through the end of July. A lot of work to do specifically over the use of

classified documents potentially at trial before a jury.

But as of now, there's no trial date on the calendar and we may not even see a trial date or have a discussion about it again until at least another

month or two before the proceedings with Judge Aileen Cannon.

In the other case, it's two cases, one in Georgia in state court, one in federal court in Washington, D.C., both about the 2020 election and Donald

Trump, what he was doing leading up to and on January 6th of 2021 in the presidency. Because he was serving as president at the time, the Supreme

Court of the United States is now looking at questions of immunity around that office, if Trump can be prosecuted, and on what sort of things he may

have done where there could be charges and a prosecution in any court.

What the Supreme Court decides will affect both of those cases. They are both on hold for various reasons. Largely this Supreme Court question that

we're still waiting on a resolution for. The Supreme Court is very likely to rule before the end of their term, which is likely at the end of June.

So just about a month to go there. And once that ruling comes down, we'll see whether the federal case against Trump can go on to trial potentially

even this year in the next couple of months. And then of course, what will happen in Georgia will follow, flow very much from that as well -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Not to mention Donald Trump will be running for president throughout all of it so a lot to keep up with.

POLANTZ: There's that.

JIMENEZ: Katelyn Polantz, senior crime and justice reporter for us, thank you so much.

Now the attorney for the woman at the center of Trump's criminal hush money trial said Stormy Daniels was very emotional following the guilty verdict.

Clark Brewster said it had been a long and grueling road for his client. He spoke with CNN's Kaitlan Collins.


CLARK BREWSTER, ATTORNEY FOR STORMY DANIELS: I think I was the first to tell her. I texted her and then she called and we spoke and she was really

emotional. She was quite taken I think with the finality as much as anything, but she was really, really emotional.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: What was she emotional, just happy or just stunned? How would you describe it?

BREWSTER: I wouldn't call it -- I would call it more empathy and realization of the finality and just a combination of a lot of emotions

flowing. And I mean, I told her how proud I was that she was able to see this through and come up here and sat two days under examination in a

federal -- in a state courthouse that was so obviously watched by the world. And we had a good talk, but she was really emotional.

COLLINS: It must have been -- this whole process must have been a total whirlwind for her because when she was up here, that was the first time she

had been in the same room as Donald Trump since I think 2007.

BREWSTER: That's correct.

COLLINS: Or something.

BREWSTER: That's correct.

COLLINS: And the next time you see him be testifying against him.

BREWSTER: That's right.

COLLINS: And to know this verdict must be really remarkable and strange.

BREWSTER: Yes. It takes a lot of processing. She's so bright and she's a person with a lot of courage and really proud of the what she's done here

from the standpoint of standing up for the truth. Now, I think she would have been fine with what the jury would have done either way. She has great

trust in the system and the fact that these jurors gave their time and listened to that evidence very attentively, as you know, that's to be

commended and respected. But could have gone either way and she understood.

COLLINS: Is she glad she testified?

BREWSTER: I think so. I mean, I -- you know, the fact that it would have been like a half-eaten sandwich if the story never came out. It was just

accusations or whatever and the world didn't really get to hear all of the evidence like this jury did. So I think there's got to be a sense of

satisfaction from the standpoint you saw it through.


JIMENEZ: Interesting insight. We're going to be right back after this short break, my colleague Eleni Giokos will bring you some of the international

headlines we're following. Stay with CNN.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. Let's take a look at other stories making headlines.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has wrapped up a meeting with NATO foreign ministers in Prague today. The alliance is continuing to pledge its

support to Ukraine in its war with Russia. Now Blinken said NATO would announce a very robust package for Ukraine at NATO summit in July.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Stakes couldn't be higher in this moment. We know that if Russia's aggression is allowed to proceed in

Ukraine with impunity, it will not stop with Ukraine and other would-be aggressors and other parts of the world will take note and consider

pursuing their own aggressions.


GIOKOS: Well, the meeting follows Joe Biden's decision yesterday to allow Ukraine to use weapons to strike targets inside Russia near the besieged

city of Kharkiv.


The Israel Defense Forces says its troops are operating in Central Rafah. The statement confirmed what eyewitnesses told CNN on Tuesday when tanks

were spotted in Central Rafah for the first time since the IDF entered the city earlier this month.

U.S. President Biden has previously said he would stop sending bombs and artillery shells to Israel if it launches a major invasion of Rafah. A

short time ago, the White House said, Mr. Biden would publicly address the nation in the Middle East later today.

A lot of moving parts here. We've got CNN's Jeremy Diamond live from Jerusalem with the latest developments.

Look, here's a reality, Jeremy. We've seen so much international condemnation about what a full military operation into Rafah would mean. We

saw the tanks, the IDF now confirming they are operating in Central Rafah. But what does -- how are they defining this? Is this a full operation, a

ground operation that we're seeing by the IDF?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think two things can be true at the same time. On the one hand, the Israeli military is now operating in

the center of Rafah by their own admission. We had eyewitness reports a couple of days ago already spotting Israeli tanks in that area of Central

Rafah. And at the same time, it does appear that the Israeli military is carrying out this offensive in a more limited and targeted manner rather

than sending in tens of thousands of troops all at once to sweep across the city.

And that may have been the plan originally. I think there's no question that the United States brought enormous amounts of pressure to bear on

Israel to try and get it to carry out a more piece by piece targeted operation in Rafah, but that doesn't of course discount the facts that we

are witnessing enormous implications for what the Israeli military is doing in Rafah. We've already seen about a million Palestinians who were living

in Rafah forced to flee the city, displaced to areas that simply do not have adequate food water, sewage systems.

And also difficulties by the United Nations and other humanitarian aid groups to distribute humanitarian aid to those areas to where Palestinians

need it the most. The Israeli military, as it's carrying out this operation, we don't have a ton of details of course about what they are

doing. But they say that they are operating in Central Rafah locating rocket launchers, terror tunnel shafts, and weapons.

They also say that they dismantled a, quote, "Hamas weapons storage facility" in the area. We also know that this week the Israeli military

took control of that critical Philadelphi Corridor along the eight-mile long border between Gaza and Egypt. That was of course something that the

Israeli military has viewed with a particular strategic significance because they say that's where Hamas has been smuggling weapons in from

Egypt and then into tunnels throughout the Gaza Strip.

So that is something that the Israeli military has had its eyes on for a while, that they now say they have operational control of. So there's no

question that the overall picture here is one of significant advances by the Israeli military in Rafah, one that is having enormous implications for

the civilian population in the area and of course more broadly throughout the Gaza Strip -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, and really important to note that the president, President Biden, is going to be addressing a public address on the situation in the

Middle East. And this is where we've been asking questions, you know, where is that red line? They were talking about this earlier this week after the

strike in terms of that's not really a red line. If it is a full operation, you know, ground invasion, ground operation, then it would become a lot

more, you know, realistic to pull back from a U.S. perspective.

But as you mentioned, the Philadelphi Corridor also being under IDF control as well. What is the sense from the Israelis at this point, given the

condemnation and the strong words from President Biden?

DIAMOND: Well, just to pick up on what you were saying about that red line. I think it's important to note that there's the red line that the president

himself said in that interview with Erin Burnett and the way in which the administration has sought to define that red line in subsequent days and

weeks. When the president himself talked about it, he talked about a red line being the Israeli military going into Rafah, going into the population

center of Rafah.

And now that is exactly what we are seeing. We are seeing Israeli troops in the center of Rafah in the area that at least was most densely populated.

Although much of the civilian population has left, we still believe that there are perhaps about, you know, a few hundred thousand people who are

still living in Rafah. And so those folks are certainly at risk. Then there's a way that the administration has sought to define it since then.

And we've heard the National Security adviser, Jake Sullivan, for example, talk about the kind of all-out ground offensive, mass movements of troops,

mass death and destruction being caused by such an offensive.


And they are saying that they are not seeing that as of yet. And so that is going to be a key part of the equation here. And that appears to be the way

that the Biden administration is looking at it. But of course it will be interesting to see what the president says about it in a few hours.

GIOKOS: Yes. All right. All eyes on that address later on today.

Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much.

Well, still to come, with the elections still months away is the verdict of a New York jury sparking an extra interest in politics. We look at the

evidence in just a minute. Omar Jimenez will be joining you after the short break. Stay with CNN.


JIMENEZ: One thing that would be good to know amid all of the fallout around Donald Trump's conviction, did yesterday's verdict get more

Americans to tune in and pay attention to November's election?

We're going to see. CNN's Harry Enten is here.

Harry, all right, is there any evidence to tell us how much interest there has been in the verdict?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA CORRESPONDENT: You know, I've generally been a Debbie Downer when it comes to this trial on America's interests on this,

saying, eh, they don't really care. Well, yesterday perhaps they cared a little bit.

Take a look at the number of people who are searching on Google for Donald Trump. Compare that to where it was before the conviction. Get this, it was

up 3,233 percent. You don't have to be a mathematical genius to know that that is high. In fact, more people search for Donald Trump's name on Google

yesterday than at any point -- than at any point since he left the White House.

Of course interest and then changing of the presidential race are not necessarily things that coincide with each other. So the question is, will

this conviction in fact change the course of the presidential race? Well, let me give you the best-case scenario for Donald Trump first. Before the

conviction took place, a bunch of pollsters, Quinnipiac, Marist, asked folks, OK, if you're a Donald Trump voter, does a conviction mean that

you'll be less likely to support Donald Trump?

And what do we see here? Very few Donald Trump supporter said that a conviction would make them less likely to support the former president. 7

percent in May, 5 percent in April, 10 percent in March. These are very small percentages, and I'll also note that we had polling prior to this in

which folks would ask, OK, is your mind going to be changed if Donald Trump is even indicted. And it generally matched the polling that we see in that

last slide.

And then of course there was no change. Nothing has seen to shift the race so far. So I think that has to be where our default is. However, however,

there is some polling that suggests that maybe this conviction will change the course of this presidential campaign. The Marquette University Law

School earlier this month, polled the presidential race and what they found was pre-conviction, Donald Trump led over Joe Biden among likely voters by

three percentage points.

Those same folks were then asked the hypothetical. If Donald Trump were in fact convicted, would you in fact change your mind? What would your vote be

then? And you see a very clear shift from Donald Trump being up three points to Joe Biden being up five points. And in a race that's so close

even a few people who might change their mind because of a conviction can make the difference.


So on this question, Omar, I think we're just going to have to wait and see. There is some pre-conviction polling that suggests we won't see very

much changed, and then there's some pre-conviction polling that suggests enough might change to change the course of this presidential campaign.

This is a sample size of one. We have never had somebody running for president who is going to be a major party nominee who was convicted of a

crime during the course of their campaign.

So I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but we should get some numbers come Sunday, Monday, and we'll get a pretty decent idea of what's

cooking. But at this point, interest seems to be sky high, my friend.

JIMENEZ: Yes. And, you know, we just got those numbers from the Trump campaign. They say that they raised $34.8 million in small-donor donations

and that was just after the Manhattan verdict came out. So if those numbers are actually real there, there does seem to be enthusiasm. The question is,

is that enthusiasm from diehards are from people that could actually swing the election?

Harry, I know you want to say more, but I actually do have to go. Great to see you.

ENTEN: Omar, what are you doing to me? You're terrible. Fine. I'll talk to you in the office tomorrow.

JIMENEZ: Sorry, I'll see you soon. I'll see you soon.

That's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN. Special coverage of Donald Trump's comments is next.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers from around the world. I'm Rahel Solomon live in New York.

We are standing by for Donald Trump to hold a news conference outside of Trump Tower one day after he was found guilty on all 34 counts of

falsifying business records.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Quite a day yesterday. Promises to be quite a day today. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington where we are watching how that guilty

verdict is playing out politically with U.S. presidential election of course just a few months.

SOLOMON: And all eyes right now are on Trump Tower as Donald Trump gets ready to hold his first news conference as a convicted felon. Now yesterday

he sat stone-faced in court as the verdict was read. But today, well, today he is expected to come out firing against claims that he -- claims are a

persecution, a verdict that he claimed as a persecution, not a prosecution during an election year. Now supporters of the verdict say that it proves

in the United States no one is above the law.

SCIUTTO: Looking ahead, Trump could face probation or even possibly prison time as the first former U.S. president to ever be convicted of a crime. Of

course, he's also candidate for president in this cycle. Sentencing is set for July 11th, just a few days as it happens before Republicans are set to

formerly choose Donald Trump as their presidential nominee.

Jurors found Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records. The case stems from hush money payments made to a porn star right in the

middle of the last presidential election. That context is key. Prosecutors successfully argued to the jury that candidate Trump engaged in a

conspiracy to, quote, "hoodwink voters," covering up stories that could have damaged his White House bid.

Trump and his lawyers are certain to appeal the case. His campaign is already going into overdrive, trying to turn this historic blot on his

record into political points, also into money. Here's what Trump said right after the verdict.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5th by the people and they know

what happened here and everybody knows what happened here. You have a Soros-backed D.A. and the whole thing -- we didn't do a thing wrong. I'm a

very innocent man.


SOLOMON: All right. We have a team of reporters covering this story for you every angle. Our Brynn Gingras is outside the courthouse in New York. We

are also joined by Daniel Dale and Katelyn Polantz in Washington.

But, Brynn, let's begin with you. As I said, you're outside of that courthouse. What happens now?

GINGRAS: Yes. What happens now, Rahel, is the sentencing date that is set for July 11th at 10:00 a.m. in front of Judge Juan Merchan, who of course,

was overseeing this entire trial. He is the one who will make the determination of the penalty, the punishment that the former president will


Now, let's go through those charges. 34 counts of falsifying the business records that felonies and they each carry a sentence up to four years in

prison. But because they are class E felonies in the state of New York, the totality of years that Donald Trump could face is 20 years, very unlikely.

Of course, probation is also an option that Judge Merchan can give to Trump.

There are a few things that he factors in when looking over what he will eventually give to the former president for punishment. One of those things

is the fact that Trump doesn't have criminal record.


And also these are felonies, but they aren't violent felonies so that will be factored in. In addition to that, there is going to be an interview done

to Trump or with Trump by a probation officer and his recommendation will go toward to the judge, as well as any character sort of writings done by

the former president's wife, his family members, any friends. So all of that will be factored in before he makes that decision. And we hear about

it on July 11th.

What we don't know at this point is what the D.A. is going to recommend when Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, who brought these

charges against Donald Trump, was asked that at a news conference after the convictions were announced, he was very coy about it, really wouldn't give

any sort of inkling into what he's thinking or what his office plans to ask for. He says that his words will be in writing and filings, which of course

we fully expect to see.

Another thing we should mention, of course, is the fact that former president Donald Trump's defense team is going to be fighting tooth and

nail against these convictions. We know already that they're going to file a bunch of motions prior to that sentencing day and then likely start the

appeals process, which of course is, you know, characteristic of the former president. And we've already heard that they want to appeal on the

testimony of Stormy Daniels.

If you remember, they called for a mistrial after she took the witness stand during this trial. We know that they said they couldn't get a fair

trial no matter what in this Manhattan district. So we'll see when that begins, but likely very soon. And that's probably something we'll hear from

the former president once he begins speaking at 11:00 this morning -- Rahel.

SOLOMON: We'll also be speaking with a legal guest a little later in the hour to also sort of weigh out what a possible appeal could look like in

this case.

Brynn Gingras, outside the courthouse. Brynn, thank you.

SCIUTTO: I'm joined now here in Washington by Katelyn Polantz for more on the next legal steps.

Katelyn, sentencing July 11th. When -- first of all, how does that work? The next steps. I'm also curious, timeline for a possible, likely, I think

we should say, Trump appeal.

POLANTZ: Yes, the Trump appeal could take some time. It could be six months or even for that to be resolved. And appeals courts don't often put

sentencing on pause for that appeals process to happen. They could and then they also could -- Trump's team could want the sentencing to be delayed.

There's a lot of happen but --

SCIUTTO: But you're saying appeals courts typically will allow the sentencing process to go forward even as an appeal works its way through

the system?

POLANTZ: Yes, definitely.


POLANTZ: And then they can stay a sentence if there are continued appeals. Sometimes it takes a very long time. You just never know. So that will play

out. We have that date for an appeal, July 11th. But in the meantime, there is a long process leading up to the sentencing of interviews, research that

the court does, the probation office briefs on both sides what both sides want to ask for. We know Trump's team is very likely going to ask for no

jail time.


POLANTZ: We don't know what the district attorney yet --

SCIUTTO: We do know whether the district attorney will go that far.

POLANTZ: Right. And if the judge -- the judge has wide latitude to do what he wants. At the same time these same guys that were taking this through

trial in New York, they are Trump's lawyers in the other cases, at least the two federal cases, and they have a lot of work to do, especially in

Florida right now.

SCIUTTO: Interesting.

POLANTZ: Where the classified documents case continues on. It's a bit bogged down in some legal issues that have to be decided, but there's a lot

of work to do around what classified documents can be used at that trial if and when we get a trial date.

SCIUTTO: Not to mention waiting for the Supreme Court to decide immunity questions.

POLANTZ: Waiting, waiting. Yes.

SCIUTTO: And as it relates to that case.

Katelyn Polantz, you're going to have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks and months.


SCIUTTO: We're joined now by CNN senior reporter Daniel Dale here in Washington with me as well.

And Daniel, it's always important to do this because Donald Trump will often repeat what are often false statements about the process, about

individuals involved in the process, et cetera. You've been very good about tracking this so let's begin with one of those. Trump claimed that Judge

Merchan, who presided over this case, quote, "is not requiring a unanimous decision" on the fake charges against him. What are the facts?

DANIEL DALE, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The facts are that this claim is not true. The judge did make clear that a unanimous verdict was required on

each of the 34 counts, did make clear that the jury had to be unanimous in their belief that Trump falsified business records. Also had to be

unanimous on a belief that he did so with the intent to commit or conceal a violation of New York state election law.

Now, what unanimity was not required on, Jim, was the so-called unlawful means by which Trump violated that New York state election law. And the

judge said, you can basically pick from one of three options for those unlawful means. So there was a component of this that did not have to be

unanimous, but they did have to be unanimous on Trump falsifying records and trying to commit a violation of state law.

SCIUTTO: Daniel, Trump also claims, and by the way, many of his supporters use the same language, claims that this case was, quote, "all done by Joe

Biden." Tell us in fact how the system works --