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Jury Reaches Verdict In Trump Trial; Donald Trump Guilty On All 34 Felony Charges. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 30, 2024 - 17:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: This is how lengthy it was. Thirty-four charges they had to go through, each of them. Some involve ledgers entries, some involve invoices, others involve personal checks. If this is a mixed verdict, as Karen has articulated, well, it's perhaps not surprising that there are different ways in which the evidence came in to support each one defendants tie to the individual accounts. But this cannot be overstated.


COATES: We have a moment of extraordinary history.

TAPPER: It is a moment of unbelievable history, unprecedented. We've said that so many times involving Donald Trump. But truly, this moment involving a former US president and the legal system, the criminal justice system in this country may have an intense consequence. Judge Merchan is on the bench, we do expect the jury to come forward with their verdict in 10 minutes or so, so we are really in the in the closing minutes.

And, again, we don't know what the verdict is going to be. We know it can't be a hung jury, because they've only been doing it for less than 12 hours and so that's not enough time to say, hey, we can't come to a conclusion. It could be 12 -- it could be 34 counts of acquittal, it could be 34 counts of guilt and conviction. It could be, and one of our experts at least has gone out on a limb and said that she thinks that it's possible that it's a mixed verdict, because otherwise, why would you need 30 minutes to go over and check boxes.

Merchan is reading the note into the record one more time. The judge has called for the jury. We are just minutes away from finding out. For those wondering what differences there are in the case, Elie and then Tim, of the different checks and ledgers, two of them or one-two counts, 1 to 4, and counts 5 to 7 were not signed by Donald Trump himself. Those are in February and March 2017. All the others counts, 8 through 34 have to do with invoices vouchers, checks and stubs and where Donald Trump was the one who signed the check in question.

Elie Honig, Cnn Senior Legal Analyst: Crucial point here, we are about to receive not a verdict or the verdict but 34 verdicts. And we need to take them one at a time because I have seen it happen plenty of times where count one is guilty, and then later on there's a bunch of not guilty. I've seen it where count 1, 2, 3, 4 are all not guilty, and then the rest of them are guilty. And if there's a split verdict here, which is a possibility, one way the jury might decide to split this verdict is to convict on the checks that Donald Trump signed but not the other documents. And if that's the case, I believe the first check that Donald Trump actually signed is count 10.

TAPPER: Yes. So the judge has called for the jury. He asked both parties, the defense and the prosecution, are we ready to bring out the jury? Both parties said yes. Kaitlan Collins, a huge moment in American history.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And a remarkable shift in demeanor inside the court, Jake, of course, as we watched Trump and his attorney kind of just chatting with each other as they were initially inside the courtroom laughing, smiling. Now when the judge got on the bench at about 4:30 and said that, yes, there was indeed a higher demeanor in that room shifted, and Trump grew quite serious. His son, Eric Trump, briefly walked out of the room and then returned and is sitting behind him.

I should note, Eric Trump is the only family member who is going to be in the courtroom when this verdict is read. It is basically entirely locked down inside that room. That was the plan all along. We can now hear helicopters circling overhead as they are also planning to increase security precautions, because court officials had wanted to make sure that it didn't get crazy outside of the courthouse once it was announced that there was here a verdict in this case, our reporters inside the room say there's a few more court officers. Also in this -- in the room. There's usually four or five standing as members of the public had been inside that courtroom, just a few but mainly reporters as well.

They're now waiting for the jury to come in after six weeks now in its seventh week where they have been hearing all this evidence now deliberating for about 10 to 11 hours roughly, inside that firm, also listening to jury instructions yet again. I've got Paula Reid and Kristen Holmes here with me.

And, Paula, obviously, you know, no one knows what this verdict is going to be. But they have spent the last 30 minutes or so filling out the court forms that they're going to bring in there, and then read aloud inside that room.

PAULA REID, CNN LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Historic documents that they've just filled out. Both sides of this case, the prosecution and Trump's defense attorneys, have framed this as some form of election interference. Trump has argued that this case was brought against him, it was about eight years old, because they want to prevent him from getting into the White House. Now, we're going to go back to Jake, as I understand it, because the verdict is going to get underway in just a moment.

TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much, Kaitlan Collins. And we're all just trying to speculate here if this is a mixed verdict, what might that mean. We still do not know of course. It could be 34 votes of not guilty, it could be 34 votes of guilty. The jury is right now entering the courtroom to render their verdict on these 34 felony criminal charges against the former president of the United States Donald John Trump.


And, Tim Parlatore, you have represented President Trump in the past. First of all, are you surprised that a verdict came so? I mean, to me, it seems very quickly. We were, you know, could it -- I thought the Weinstein jury was out for six days, I'm not comparing the two but that was another high profile case. This was not even 12 hours.

TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Right. This is a very complicated case. I mean, I do think it's interesting that they told the judge that they have a verdict, but then ask for additional time to fill out the form.

TAPPER: You agree with Karen's assessment?

Tim: I do. And I also think that they did that because they would normally just say we have the verdict. I haven't seen where they've asked for additional time, but I think they were looking at the clock and saying, hey, if we don't tell the judge now, he's going to send us home.

TAPPER: And the jurors -- and the jury alternates. There are six alternates as well. All 18 of them are now in the courtroom. Tim, please continue on. I'm sorry.

PARLATORE: I think that they wanted to let the judge know, hey, don't --

TAPPER: Don't dismiss us for the day.

PARLATORE: Let's get it done today. I'll tell you right now, this is the most stressful moment. And when they read this verdict, the majority of defendants that I've represented at this moment, it's so pressurized. They can't hear. Their ears shut down. And especially when you have this many counts, you're going to have to have one of the lawyers, you know, taking it down and a complicated case, when they're done. And they say this is the verdict.

Donald Trump is going to turn to his lawyers and he's going to say, what did they say?

TAPPER: So the judge just turned to the jurors and said we received a note from you signed by your jury foreperson at 4:20 PM, 4:20. Here come the verdicts we have the verdicts.

OK. Count 1 is guilty, that is felony charge, count one falsifying business register. Count 2 also guilty, falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 3, guilty, falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 4, guilty. That's another felony charge falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 5, guilty. That's another false fine business record in the first degree felony charge.

Those -- so that is five felony charges that Donald Trump has been found guilty by this New York jury. We still have 29 other felony counts to go, but that is five guilty verdicts by this jury when it comes to when it comes to falsify felony charges of falsifying business records in the first degree in service of another crime. And that crime would be covering up the stormy Daniels hush money payment.

Count 6, guilty. So that is six charges. Count 7, guilty. That is another charge. Count 8, guilty. that is yet another charge, eight out of eight he has been found guilty. Count nine, guilty. So that is nine out of nine. Count 10, guilty. Another felony charge, falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 11, guilty another felony charge of falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 12, guilty. Another felony charge, falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 13, guilty. Another felony charge of falsifying business records in the first degree.

Count 14, guilty. Count 15, guilty. That is 15 out of 15 so far. Count 16, Donald Trump found guilty, 16 out of 16 when it comes to falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 17, guilty. That is from a July 2017 payment to Michael Cohen, Count 18, guilty. That is another felony charge. Count 19, guilty, another felony charge, falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 20, guilty. Another felony charge falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 21, 20 and 21 both guilty. This is for an August 2017 payment, so is Count 22 also guilty.

Counts 23, guilty, also guilty. Donald Trump found guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 24, guilty, another felony charge. Count 25, guilty. Another felony charge, falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 26, guilty. Another felony charge falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 27, guilty, another felony charge falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 28, guilty. Another felony charge falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 29, guilty felony charge falsifying business records in the first degree. Count 30, guilty, felony charge falsifying business records.

Counts 31, guilty, falsifying business records in the first degree. Counts 32, guilty, falsifying business records in the first degree.


Only two counts left. Count 33, former President Donald Trump found guilty falsifying business records. Count 34, guilty. Donald Trump found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. All 34 are felonies. Donald Trump has now been convicted of 34 different felony crimes by a jury of his peers in Manhattan. Thirty-four felony charges for former President Donald J. Trump convicted of 34 felony charges, having to do with falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, an unbelievable moment in American history.

They, the jurors, are now being asked about their agreement with these charges and they are responding yes. Trump has a frown expression on his face as the verdict reading is completed. He is not moving. The former president of the United States now a convicted felon, having been found guilty of 34 felony charges by a jury of his peers in Manhattan, New York. The court officer is asked if either party wants the jury polled. Trump attorney Todd Blanche says yes. This is when they go around and ask each juror if they agree with what has just been read by the foreperson. The jurors all have straight faces. They are now being pulled.

Karen, when they do this, do they ask each juror for each charge for each count, or they -- or would they simplify it and say to each of the 12 jurors, do you agree you convict him on all 34 charges

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: In this particular instance, because it was a clean sweep of all 34, what the judge would do is he would say, juror number one, you just heard that there was just a 34 count all guilty. Is that your verdict? And they would say yes, sir. Juror number two --

TAPPER: Yes. The juror is being pulled right now. They all said yes, yes, it is. And they are each going, as you just said, Karen, juror number one, is this your conclusion? Yes, it is. Juror number two, is this your conclusion? Yes, it is.

And the alternate jurors, Judge Merchan said we couldn't have done this without you. He thanks all of the jurors very much for their service in this case. Trump is returning to look over the jurors as they're being pulled. The former president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a convicted felon, 34 times over found guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree by a jury of his peers in Manhattan minutes ago, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, as you said, it is a remarkable moment in American history. I'm here with Kaitlan Collins and CNN's Paula Reid who have been covering this obviously from the beginning. The judge has said that he will meet privately with all the jurors just to thank them again, but that he cannot actually discuss any parts of the case with them.

What happens now, Paula Reid?

REID: So this is going to be a long road even before this jury took their seats in that courtroom, that Trump team was preparing their strategy for appeal. And the first argument they're probably going to make is that, they believe their client never would have been able to get a fair trial in Manhattan. They tried to move this out of Manhattan arguing that he wouldn't get a fair shake. And they've tried to rack up every possible objection already.

Attorney Todd Blanche moves for an acquittal of the charges, not understanding the verdict, certainly something that any defense attorney would do in this circumstance. But they're thinking -- they're playing the long game here, and they're thinking of every possible objection. The strategy was described to me as death by a thousand cuts. And they've been racking up every objection, every possible constitutional question that they could raise before an appeals court.

So I guarantee you, I'm told this will be appealed. And it's a long road, the appellate process,

COOPER: You know, Kaitlan, it's so interesting in the last 24 hours now, there had been some supporters of the former president who said that, you know, they thought maybe there was a rogue juror or maybe there was a juror who seemed to smile at -- or look over at Donald Trump or look over (inaudible) the team or some of the acolytes, the politicians who were in the room. They sense perhaps there would be one holdout.

There wasn't a lot of hope among the Trump team from all the reporting, your reporting and others that there would be an acquittal. But their hope was that there was some holdout juror.

COLLINS: And what a remarkable moment this is because Donald Trump himself always thinks that he can somehow sway everyone. I mean, he always -- that's why he says he wants often wants to testify in his own defense when he speaks with people, when he speaks with voters. And for him to sit there and listen to all of these jurors, and Donald Trump looked on as every juror confirmed that yes, this was their finding, that they did find him guilty on all 34 counts is remarkable in and of itself. And it's something that Donald Trump has never experienced before in his life.


And the idea that even he was holding out hope that some of these jurors would be on his side, some of these jurors would help deadlock this or at least lead to an Allen charge where they had to be told by the judge, tried to come to a unanimous decision here is remarkable. And one thing I'll say is, Trump has been falsely claiming that the jury did not have to come to a unanimous decision here.

They did have to come to a unanimous decision on all of the -- and they did on all of these charges. They found him guilty on every single one. Yes, as attorney is moving and saying that Michael Cohen, without his testimony, Donald Trump would not have been found guilty on all accounts. He is saying that the defense believes Michael Cohen committed perjury on the stand. Those are all issues that they'll take up.

But for this moment, in and of itself, for Donald Trump's trusted attorney and personal fixer for so many years, to have been at the center of this case that did ultimately lead to make him a convicted felon, while he's in the middle of a presidential campaign is completely uncharted territory. Even for Donald Trump, even with the bravado that you'll see from him, the appeals that you'll see from his legal team, he did not want to be here and now he does find himself here.

COOPER: This is also now Donald, you know, who rightly would be proud of being a former president of the United States on his record forever in history. He is a convicted felon, of course, unless it's overturned on appeal or somebody pardons him. Trump attorney Todd Blanche asked for sentencing a date in late July.

We should also note that jurors did not look at Donald Trump as they left the courtroom. Every time I was in the courtroom, I assume you were in the courtroom too, we watched jurors come and go. I never saw jurors look at Donald Trump. I'm not sure if you did as well. Trump is sitting at the defense table without moving. That's been reporting now all during this, during the reading of the sentence, as the fourth person was reading each guilty verdict. It was said that he had a frown on his face, but that he was not moving.

COLLINS: And this is a jury of his peers, I should note. That they will try to say, well, he would have never gotten a fair shake in New York. Obviously, Trump built his business in New York. He was defined as a New Yorker when he ran for president, even though he's a resident of Florida that's still how he's seen.

Some of these jurors followed him on Truth Social. Some of them said they had no opinions of him at all. Some of them -- one of the jurors described him she said she thought he was selfish, but they all said they could put their political beliefs aside and listen to the evidence here. And clearly that is what they were doing because just this morning, they were asking for headphones to listen to the evidence. They wanted the judge to reread the instructions to them. It's clear how seriously they took this responsibility and these findings that they have come to.

REID: And speaking of politics, the district attorney, Alvin Gragg, who brought this case. He was in the courtroom for the verdict. When he brought this case against former President Trump, there was a lot of scrutiny, questions about whether he was bowing to political pressure. And right now, Todd Blanche talking about Trump's other legal cases. He, of course, faces three other criminal prosecutions. And he's arguing that Trump's legal team needs to prepare for a three day hearing in Florida scheduled for late June, likely related to the classified documents prosecution.

But this is validation of Alvin Bragg's decision to bring this years old case, a historic case that among --

COOPER: Sentencing date is set for July 11 at 10:00AM. Donald Trump is leaving the courthouse -- courtroom, let's watch.

COLLINS: And he went from hours ago in a room across from where he's about to exit eating pizza, laughing with his team, moments later to find out that he's been found guilty on all 34 counts.

COOPER: You see Bove there, Boris Epstein, one of his top advisors.

COLLINS: That's Stephen Cheung who's back is to as a campaign spokesperson. Alina Habba, Trump's other attorney. They're clearly huddling. This is what they did the other day when Trump was about to come address the cameras. They sat outside the courtroom and kind of talked about it.

COOPER: Which prosecutors told the judge that there is no bail. So sentencing will be now in July. See if he's --

COLLINS: Donald Trump and Todd Blanche are talking. That's Jason Miller you can see in the back with his glasses on, and Eric Trump is the tall one right there, deciding what he's going to say to the cameras.

COOPER: You know, it's interesting to hear the rhetoric that Trump has used against a Judge Juan Merchan for, I think anybody witnessing this inside the courtroom. He seemed to bend over backwards to try to be fair to all the parties in this. The Trump team has to file any motions by June 13th, and the prosecution must respond by June 27th.

COLLINS: The judge certainly did everything --

COOPER: Here's the former president now a convicted felon 34 times about to address reporters.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER US PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt. It's a rig trial, a disgrace.


They wouldn't give us a venue change. We were at 5 percent or 6 percent in this district, in this area. 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 (inaudible) back, DA, and the whole thing, we didn't do anything wrong. I'm a very innocent man, that -- it's OK, I'm fighting for our country. I'm fighting for our Constitution.

Our whole country is being rigged right now. This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent, a political opponent. And I think it's just a disgrace. And we'll keep fighting. We'll fight till the end and we'll win because our country has gone to hell. We don't have the same country anymore. We have a divided mess.

We're a nation in decline, serious decline, millions and millions of people pouring into our country right now, from prisons and from mental institutions, terrorists. And they're taking over our country. We have a country that's in big trouble. But this was a rigged decision right from day one. With a conflicted judge, you should have never been allowed to try this case, never. And we will fight for our Constitution. This is long from over. Thank you very much.

COOPER: Donald Trump not talking details of the case, but attacking as he has pretty much every day, consistently and often late at night, the judicial system, the United States claiming that this is rigged, that this shouldn't have been brought in New York where his business is, in fact, located.

Here with Paula Reid and Kaitlan Collins. I mean, this is again, clearly, he's turning this to politics, into the campaign, and trying to leave this what he calls a rigged system to a rigged system that he hopes his voters believe in it.

REID: Yes. He has to now, right, because he's the Republican nominee. And this is going to be a factor. Perhaps not a big one, perhaps not one that'll change the hearts and minds of voters, but this is something he's going to have to contend with. And his framing is again, that this is all election interference. The same argument the prosecutors made against him, right?

He was trying to subvert democracy. That's how he's going to try to frame this to the American public to explain why he is now a convicted felon.

COLLINS: And what's remarkable is the sentencing for Donald Trump in this case is going to happen. That hearing four days before he will attend the Republican National Convention as the party's -- he's the presumptive Republican nominee, now he will become the Party's official nominee there. That's also when he's expected to announce who is going to be the vice presidential candidate. And it's remarkable that obviously we've never been at this moment in history, but the fact that he will be at that convention for days after he is sentenced in this case, when we find out.

What the judge here, Judge Juan Merchan, who is attacked repeatedly as corrupt without any basis for that, is a remarkable moment in where this election is headed. We don't know what the political impact of this will be. But the fact that he'll be sentenced as a convicted felon four days before the Republican Convention is something we've never seen before.

TAPPER: Yes. Daniel Dale, a fact checker for us, is with us. Daniel, you heard what former president said there what stood out to you.

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: He made the false claim that he made before the trial made almost every day during the trial and repeat it again now after the trial. He said that this was all done by the Biden administration. As I said I think on TV more than 10 times at this point, there is not a shred of evidence that the Biden administration did anything to bring this case, to orchestrate this case, to run this case. This was a case brought by a locally-elected prosecutor. Yes, a Democrat, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

There is no sign that Joe Biden, his DOJ, his White House had anything to do with it. Now former President Trump continues to reference a former DOJ official under President Biden who went to work for DA Bragg's team. There was no sign that anyone else at DOJ or the President himself had anything to do with that personal employment decision.

And then off topic, not a focus today, he repeated his claim that people are pouring in over the border for mental institutions. As Kaitlan has repeatedly noted, I've specifically asked the Trump campaign for any evidence to corroborate that claim. They have provided zero, nothing at all.

COOPER: Daniel Dale, thanks so much. You can hear helicopters now circling above the location. We are right outside the courthouse obviously. This is something police in New York's service and others have certainly been preparing for very carefully. We're going to have continuing coverage throughout the day and throughout the evening. Right now let's go back to Jake Tapper in Washington. Jake?

[17:25:03] TAPPER: Thank you, Anderson. And for those wondering about the political consequences of these 34 guilty verdicts, the short answer is nobody has any idea, period. Nobody has any idea what the effect will be. We do know that there has been polling information about how a guilty verdict might affect individuals, but theoretical is obviously different from actual.

There was a new NPR-PBS NewsHour Marist Poll released recently that suggested that any verdict in the hush money trial would be unlikely to have a major effect on most voters choice. It wouldn't impact for most people. Overall, 67 percent of registered voters had a guilty verdict and trial would not make a difference, 76 percent said the same thing about a not guilty verdict. Where there is significance is in the margins because this is, as far as we can tell right now going to be a very close election in a handful of battleground states. And a few people defecting from Biden or Trump could make the difference between winning the White House and losing the White House.

And in the polls, a small share of people who support Trump say that a guilty verdict would dissuade them from supporting Trump and the Marist Poll, 7 percent of those who say they would vote for Trump in the presidential race, say a guilty verdict would make them less likely to back them in a Quinnipiac poll, 6 percent. Not a lot and again, theoretical this took place before the verdicts 34 of them. But it is suggestive, Danna Bash, that this could have an impact on some Trump voters.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: It could. And, I mean, just to sort of reemphasize what you just said --

COOPER: We have no idea.

BASH: -- multiple times, we don't know, and it's one thing to sort of say beforehand. And it's another thing in the words of one of his allies who I talked to while they were up in New York on the air, 34 is a big number. Just -- not only on the -- his personal impact, but on the political impact. It just despite the bravado that we just heard from the former president, and we will continue to hear from him and his allies as their statements are pouring in, in support of him and echoing the witch hunt and the rigged, and all the things that he claims, which Daniel Dale --

COOPER: Right. And we should note, the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, Republican Speaker of the House, called today a shameful day in American history. Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of disbarred convicted felon he goes on from there. But the point I think you're making is, we're going to have, in addition to the momentousness of these 34 counts, we're going to have months of that kind of rhetoric from very powerful Republican officials throughout the country.

Let's go to Kara Scannell right now who just come -- just came from inside the courtroom of this incredibly historic day. Kara?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jake. Yes. So, you know, we thought that this was ending at the end of the day without a verdict. And then the judge came back on the bench after saying he was going to excuse the jury, he returned at 436 saying, the jury had another note. It was time stamp at 4:20. They had a verdict and they needed an extra 30 minutes. The mood changed entirely inside the courtroom.

Trump had been laughing with his lawyer, Todd Blanche. They had been talking a lot. He was smiling. It appeared they thought that this day was ending without a verdict. And then after the judge had read the head note, everything changed. He became very still, he had his arms crossed, folded across his chest. It became a much different situation inside that courtroom.

And we waited for the jury to enter. When they came in, they filed into the courtroom. None of them looked over at Donald Trump. That is normal. They normally don't. But they all walked toward their seats, took their seats. And then, the court security officer asked them to read the verdicts. The foreman stood up, with a microphone, and he was asked for each count if they had reached a verdict and what it was. And he went through all 34 counts saying guilty.

Then after that, the court security officer asked them if this was a unanimous verdict by all the jurors. They answered audibly in the courtroom saying that yes, it was. The judge asked if any of the parties wanted this individually pulled. Todd Blanche, Trump, Trump's lawyer, said he did want the jurors individually polled so they went through each juror, each of the 12 jurors one by one, and they each confirm that their verdict on all 34 counts with guilty.

Then the judge had thanked the jury for their service. He excused them and said that he wanted to talk to them afterwards, asking them to stick around for a little bit because he wanted to thank them individually for their service over these past seven weeks of this trial since jury selection began. So they were waiting in the back room for the judge to go and discuss with them.


And then he's -- the judge sent the sentencing date for July 10th -- 11th, excuse me. And then at that point, he said, if there was nothing else, he was going to excuse them. At this point, Donald Trump stands up. We can now finally get a good look at his face. His face was red. He looked upset. He had a frown on his face. And as he walked toward the well, that separates where he's sitting into the common area of the galley where the rest of us are, his son, Eric Trump is sitting in that first seat. And so Donald Trump reached out to him, shook his hand vigorously. And then as he's walking past him, Eric Trump patted his father on the back.

So kind of the most humane moment we've seen in this trial, this personal emotional interaction between the father and son, as Trump then walked down the center aisle of the courtroom and out into the hallway, where then he spoke to the cameras. So, you know, it was certainly a historic moment. And quite a dramatic moment coming very unexpected at the end of this day, which had looked like it was heading toward there not being averted. So certainly a surprise to Donald Trump and his team, and something that they did not see coming based on the change in their demeanor, and it's certainly a serious month for Trump where he did look like he was upset with the outcome of this trial.

TAPPER: And Kara, tell us, if you would about the jurors, these 12 Americans, 12 Manhattanites, in addition to the six alternates who are asked to consider, give up their lives for several weeks, consider a very complicated case and charges, came back fairly quickly with this unanimous guilt a verdict of 34 guilty charges making for the first time in the history of the United States, a former president of the United States, a convicted felon, when they were sitting there as the foreperson read the verdict when they were being polled, each one of them, all 12, saying that they agreed with the guilty verdict on all 34 counts.

Did they look at the defendant, the former president? Did they have any emotions on their face? You said earlier that the President was looking at them. What were they doing with their faces?

SCANNELL: When the foreperson was reading the verdict, the jurors, I'd say half of them were looking straight down at the ground, and others were looking at the judge, I didn't see any of them look at Donald Trump. And, you know, as you noted, he had craned his neck so he could look at them, as they were being individually polled. None of them appeared to make any eye contact with him while they were sitting in the box throughout this whole reading of the verdict, both when the foreperson read it, when they were individually polled, and then when they left.

So they did not appear to look at him at any time entering or leaving the courtroom. And as he was watching them today, none of them appeared to look back at him. You know, and this jury is all made up of New Yorkers, but the foreperson is from Ireland, an immigrant here. This is a well-educated jury. There were a couple of lawyers on the jury, some other executives. So a representative of New York in many ways, and a jury of Trump's peers as he is a native New Yorker himself.

But there's appeared to be no emotion either displayed on the faces of the jurors. They were all pretty straight face, no expression throughout this whole process. And it is something that, you know, they knew coming into this, that this was going to be a significant historical trial. And throughout the trial, none of them had betrayed any sense of what they thought of the evidence, or how they were reacting to any of the witnesses. They really kept straight faces. Often joke they've had poker faces on this whole time. You really were not getting anything, any revelations from them throughout this trial. Jake?

TAPPER: Very wise. What about the judge Juan Merchan who has been attacked over and over by the defendant, former President Trump now a convicted felon by his allies in the media, what was his reaction. And also if you saw any reaction of the defense attorneys or the prosecution, what they did during this rather surreal moment in American history. SCANNELL: Now the judge had brought the jurors in. He seemed -- he's a soft spoken man, and he was even soft spoken when he came in and had said to them, you know, initially he came in and said, I'm going to excuse the jury at 4:30 today, I'll be right back. And he left the bench. There's about 15 minutes left in the day, he came back in at 4:36. And he said I have a note, there is a verdict. But he has maintained this kind of cool composure the entire time.

Then when he brought the jurors in and while we're waiting in this period for the jury to come in, it is almost pin silent in that courtroom, everyone being on edge, everyone waiting for the door to the right of the judge to open and for those jurors to walk in. There was no discussion amongst the parties, as we were waiting in this moment. Then when the jury came in, you know, the judge essentially hands it over to the court officer. And he asked him initially at first, you know, I have your note, is this accurate? Is this your note that you have a verdict?


The foreman confirms, and then the judge hands it off to one of the court officers who does the individual verdict reading asking the foreperson each time for count one, how did you find? And then he say guilty across all 34 of those counts. It was only after all of that was completed, the judge then thanked the jurors for their service, said he wanted to talk to them, said he couldn't talk about the case, couldn't talk about the facts. But he just wanted to talk to them, because he knew that they had sacrificed a lot to be members of this jury hearing evidence for the past six weeks in what is undoubtedly a very high profile case.

And these jurors know that, that they know where, they are -- they know the attention on this. As you'll remember from jury selection, there was a lot of attention on whether jurors felt that they were being too exposed by the idea that people knew that they were here for jury duty. So he wanted to take the jury back and get to meet with them. Now this jury has been essentially anonymous, only the lawyers have known their names. Even the foreperson signing the verdict sheet was just supposed to sign with his juror number.

And that was the judge had done that out of protection for this jury. So we do not know if any of them are going to speak. The judge told them that all of the restrictions he has placed on them have been lifted, that they are able to speak if they want to. But he also told them that they don't have to speak if they don't want to. Now also, I would say the prosecution as is pretty typical. They kept straight faces throughout the reading of the verdict, and they left the room without saying anything or showing any emotion. Jake?

TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much, Kara Scannell, unbelievable day in that rather shabby courtroom in the New York City courthouse. The White House has generally been avoiding commenting on that -- on this case. But that has seemed to change in the last few days. The Biden- Harris campaign sent Robert De Niro and two of the police officers who were attacked on January 6th to Manhattan to talk about the case. And let's go to Kayla Tausche, who is outside the White House on the North Lawn right now because we are now getting our first reaction, if not from the White House itself from the Biden-Harris campaign. What did they have to say Kayla?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this statement is from communications director, Michael Tyler. And it says in part, in New York today we saw that no one is above the law. Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law on his own personal gain. But today's verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality, 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.

The statement goes on to allude to the chaos that the campaign believes would ensue if Trump were reelected, saying the American people will reject it this November. Of course, we just heard the former president say that the people will be the final deciders here and that November 5th, will be when this case ends, and it is in his words long from over. Now, it's unclear exactly when or even whether we would hear from President Biden responding directly to the fact that his predecessor is found guilty on 34 felony counts. Throughout the week, aides were non-committal about whether the President would weigh in personally, alluding to a very complicated schedule that he has, as well as the fact that today in particular, is a somber day for the Biden family.

They are in Delaware, where they're remembering Beau Biden, the President's son who died nine years ago today at age 46. It's a day that the family usually spends out of the public eye. And to that end, the White House called a lid at 9:53 a.m. earlier today, that means that we were not expecting to see the President in public again. Of course, history could change things. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Kayla Tausche, thank you so much. And let us consider this moment a rather significant one in American history. For the first time ever a former U.S. president is now a convicted felon found guilty by a jury of his peers of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, some questions that some of you might have. Can a convicted felon run for president? The answer is, yes. Can a convicted felon serve as president? The answer is, yes. Can a convicted felon vote for himself or herself for President? The answer is it depends on the state but in Florida where Donald Trump lives, former President Trump lives, they tend to defer to the state where the conviction takes place and that is New York. And felons are able to vote in New York if they are out of prison.


So those are some of the questions. Now, I have questions and Karen let me start with you which is, what exactly is going on in that courthouse right now? We know sentencing is going to be July 11th, which just happens to be within a week of the beginning of the Republican National Convention, for those keeping tabs on the overlap of this case, and the political realities in which we live. What are they doing right now? Are the jurors getting out of dodge? There -- I saw something on the screen saying something about no bail. And I know that this meant like, they weren't even thinking about requiring the President to need to put a bail or anything like that he is he is a free man, of course, but tell us about what's going on behind the scenes.

AGNIFILO: So there's a couple of things going on behind the scenes right now, first of all, security. There's a whole security protocol that is making sure that everybody, including Trump supporters are behaving and including people who wanted the former president convicted, that there's going to be calm, and that everybody is OK. So that's going on, the jurors are also being protected and their anonymity is being protected. So they're going to continue to be driven back home, taken back to the place that they essentially came from, so that they can remain anonymous, as long as they choose to.

One more thing just to also keep in mind, the gag order still in effect, which I thought was really interesting that Todd Blanche didn't request, Judge Merchan. Now that the trial is over now that the jury is excused, that the gag order be lifted, which means --

TAPPER: And just to remind people, sorry to interrupt, but the judge issued a gag order saying that Donald Trump could not talk publicly about the jurors, or the witnesses, or members of the family of the judge, or the prosecution team. But the judge on the prosecution team themselves were completely fair game, rhetorically. Go ahead. I'm sorry.

AGNIFILO: And then in the D.A.'s office, I just saw they're about to hold a press conference at 6:30. I think Alvin Bragg is going to speak. So they're preparing what they're going to say and how they're going to address this. And they are going to, I guess, tell everybody, what this means on behalf of the Manhattan D.A.'s office. So I think everybody is doing their various jobs right now and collecting themselves because this is such a big deal. And I also think the D.A's office is going to start thinking about sent sentencing.

TAPPER: Yes, let's talk --

AGNIFILO: And it something we should think about, yes.

TAPPER: And let's talk about that now with this side of the table, because I believe that the judge gets to decide the sentencing, not the jury. Is that standard? Is that how it always -- sometimes the jury never decides?

COATES: In instance like this? No, that's not going to happen. And remember, we know that in fact, remember what happened during the closing arguments, when Todd Blanche made the reference to prison, the judge was quite clear, even giving a curative instruction of the jury to say, your job is a fact finder. My job is to actually sentence. And the sentence itself could be a maximum for all charges of 20 years, up to four for each count, but the maximum of 20 years. This is a first time non-violent criminal offender, though, and so the likelihood of him serving hard prison time is pretty slim, but it does not remove the stain of now being a 34-time felon.

And to your point about being a felon and being from Florida, there is a great irony in this instance, that he would -- if he were in Florida, be asking people to vote for him. And he could not do that. And because it's a crime involving dishonesty and fraud is considered under the umbrella of moral turpitude, which means that even after you complete your entire sentence, you still have to appeal to the governor of that state --

TAPPER: If he convicted in Florida?

COATES: If it happened in Florida.


COATES: And so this irony of the governor of Tennessee from having to weigh in prospectively on.

TAPPER: So let me ask Elie, how does this work, the sentencing, because first of all, obviously, Donald Trump or former President Trump and his legal team are going to appeal. And we've discussed already the grounds for appeal and the arguments that he might bring up for appeal, and there are many. Beyond that, though, he can't appeal until the sentencing.


TAPPER: Right? And how is that decision made? It's -- it -- does Judge Merchan just go to his chambers and emerge like Moses with tablets? Or are their arguments that are going to be made by Donald Trump's attorneys by the prosecutors?

HONIG: There will be intensive investigation and arguments between now and --

TAPPER: Public ones.

HONIG: Yes, we will get public filings where the D.A. will ask the judge to impose whatever sentence they think is appropriate. Donald Trump's team will put in their request certainly for a non- incarceratory, non-prison sentence. And let me address a question that I imagine is on a lot of people's minds, which is how likely is it that Judge Merchan imposes a sentence of prison? Now, this is a Class E felony. In New York State, you have Class A is the most serious felony, Class E is --

TAPPER: Just to interrupt for one second. We see the former president there and his team getting into their motorcade of SUVs to return to his home. On this unbelievably historic day, no doubt he is angry, no doubt he is sad to a degree, dejected. Kara Scannell talked about a moment where he reached over and shook his son's hand. His son patted him on the back. Whether you think this was the right verdict or not, it is one that weighs heavily on any defendants emotions, and this is a former president of the United States. I'm sorry. Elie, go ahead.


HONIG: If we look at the universe of Class E convictions in New York State and several good researchers out there have done sort of surveys over the last year or so. Generally, the estimates are that somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of Class E New York convictions result in non-prison sentences. So that would be some combination of probation, fines, perhaps community service. But the converse of that 10 to 30ish percent do result in prison time, and this will be entirely up to Judge Merchan.

TAPPER: Is there a difference or the 10 to 30 percent that are sentenced to prison for Class E felonies, individuals with worse lawyers? Are there individuals with we have previous criminal records like Dana said, I mean, is there any sort of delineation?

HONIG: So I'll give you what the relevant factors usually would be in a case like this. First of all, how big was the offense? How major was the offense? It's a big difference to steal $5 million versus $100,000. Was this person a first time offender? Or are they on their second, third, fourth conviction? Yes, the quality of lawyering can absolutely play into it. But this is the most difficult thing that judges do. I mean, you talk to any judge that will tell you, the hardest part of their job is imposing a sentence.

And one other thing I just want to make very clear, if Donald Trump does get a prison sentence imposed on him on July 11th, odds are very, very high, he will not have to start serving that sentence right away. Because in a case like this, he's very likely to get what we call bail pending appeal, meaning he will almost certainly not have to begin serving any sentence until after all of his appeals are done. That would certainly take us out past the election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So on November, he could be out on bail?

HONIG: Yes. He will, in all likelihood, in November be -- he will have been sentenced on -- in July. And the sentence will not actually be imposed until his appeals are done, which will take us well into 20 --

TAPPER: So the appeal process, just to be clear here, so the appeal process, which will kick in the very moment after sentencing, right. I mean, the Trump legal team already has those briefs ready to go. They're going to appeal every single one every single avenue they can all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, I would imagine that will take months and months, if not years.

HONIG: Potentially. So Donald Trump has one appeal as of right to the mid-level New York Court, the Court of Appeals for New York, which is the middle level, if he loses there, he can ask the top court in the state of New York, which is actually called the Court of Appeals, that nomenclature gets confusing. He can ask them to take the case. They don't have to though, it's the same as our U.S. Supreme Court. They can take it if they want to. They don't have to. And then from there, he can try to get it up.

TAPPER: We're watching by the way, just the motorcade of the former president leaving the courthouse on its way to Trump Tower, several cars, you see supporters of the former president with Trump flags in the streets. And it is an area that where there is a lot of security. So there does not appear to be a huge crowd for blocks and blocks and blocks. It's also a large -- tall, you know, a capital Democratic city by and large. Anderson?

COOPER: Jake, thanks very much. One side of the street, you see some Trump flags. The other I saw a couple of one finger salutes there as well. But the former president now making his way back, assume to Trump Tower.

COLLINS: Yes. It's remarkable. I mean, this is a typical -- drive he's obviously been making every day after he's left court. You saw him getting in the motorcade there. The last person I saw Trump speaking to before he got in was Steve Witkoff, who's a donor. He's been here almost every single day of court from what I've seen when I've been inside the room, and now he is making this drive back to Trump Tower the first time he's done so as a convicted felon, typically he uses this time in the court to call allies and friends of his. I mean, remarkable to think of the people who will be on the receiving end of that call and this ride.

I should note, obviously, this conviction is landing in the middle of a presidential campaign. We just talked about the sentencing happening four days before the Republican convention. And the White House has actually just responded, they don't typically weigh in on any of this. But they had made a plan to say something once this happened from a White House spokesperson and Sams from the Counsel's Office. He said, quote, we respect the rule of law, and we have no additional comment. But obviously, this is going to be something that President Biden himself will be asked about.

COOPER: It's just so interesting to watch, you know, this small motorcade moving through the streets of New York. I just drove down through these very same streets, I mean, people going about their lives. This is not a big deal in the city of New York. I mean there were, you know, several hundred people waiting outside today. But, you know, and I literally ran down the streets about 30 minutes ago and they're packed with people out shopping, people out doing their business, coming here from work.


REID: Yes. Most people in America going on with their lives of course, Manhattanites, rarely fazed by anything that also connects to the jury. Remember, when we first started this case, we were concerned that the people who were called to serve on this jury might beg off, might try to step down for fear of what they could face, them or their families as a result of their participation in this trial, and we did not see. After the jury was seated, we did not see one juror abdicate their responsibility or choose to remove themselves from the situation. And again, I think that also speaks to Manhattanites, right? They understood what they were getting into. And they were up for this assignment.

COOPER: We have not heard obviously, from any jurors, Judge Merchan had -- has instructed them, they can speak out if they want to, they can also remain quiet, if they want to. The choice is up to them. Obviously, there'll be a lot of interest in what they have to say. But for all the pre-trial talk about the complexity of sort of this novel charge, the difficulty of perhaps understanding what crime was committed, or maybe there'll be a disagreement of what particular crime was committed and arguments over the judge's instructions to the jury, did that make it easier for them to find a guilty verdict? That they didn't all have to agree on the exact same criminal count -- charge or criminal activity. They were able to make this very quickly.

REID: Yes. It's really -- I think it was shocking, actually, to those of us who were here waiting for the verdict that they were able to do this so quickly because even those of us who have watched it have had questions. Clearly, the jury had additional questions about their instructions, about count one. And obviously, it comes with great risk for any of these jurors to speak out. But it would be fascinating for history, for the record to know how these deliberations proceeded. If there were holdouts that they had to be persuaded and how clear the assignment was to them. That would really be I think, a really significant thing.

COOPER: Yes, Kristen Holmes is joining us as well. Kristen, I mean, the jurors had requested the judge's instructions be reread to them to exactly here again, the instructions from him. They also wanted the details of that meeting in 2015 that took place at Trump Tower between David Pecker, Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. That was the original meeting to kind of talk about being the eyes and ears of the campaign. It was a phrase that David Pecker had used by his testimony in that meeting. It was a meeting we'd learned during the trial called by Trump and Michael Cohen in order to reach out to David Pecker to find out what he could do for his campaign to become president.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and clearly after the jury relooked at all of that evidence, they came to the conclusion that Trump was guilty on all counts. Now I am told that Trump is livid. Now, we were told by senior advisors that people around him allies, and he was calling them late at night at Trump Tower, that he was saying that he thought it was likely that he would be convicted blaming the fact that the jury was based in Manhattan, saying that most Manhattanites had a left or liberal leaning tent, so he thought that might happen.

But when it comes down to actually happening, Donald Trump has tended to believe that he is Teflon that nothing can actually stick to him. So this did come as a shock to his team, particularly given the day they had. They had told me that they were getting ready to leave that there was no verdict, that Trump was going to come out to the cameras right after they were dismissed and then they were going to head back to Trump Tower expecting another day of deliberations.

Now, I do want to talk about something involving that sentencing that Kaitlan mentioned on the convention, one of the things that was slightly overlooked was the fact that Todd Blanche actually asked for a late July sentencing date. That is notable because that would have been after the Republican convention. Donald Trump's team has been incredibly concerned about this trial around the convention, when they were using their delay, delay, delay tactics. One of his senior advisors told me that they were worried about pushing this too far, and that the trial would butt up against the convention.

Now, you are seeing Todd Blanche asking for this to be after the convention and instead, he is going to be sentenced just days before he officially becomes the Republican nominee for president. And while it is incredibly historic that he is the first former president to be convicted in a criminal trial, it is also historic that he will be the Republican nominee being sentenced just days before and not only that, despite all of his legal peril currently at this time, he is still resonating in the polls.

And his team tells me that because of the messaging that we heard from him today, the election interference, the linking this to former president -- excuse me, current president, Joe Biden, that they believe that this isn't going to impact him in November. But I want to be clear that they also know that we are in uncharted territory and anything could happen. They have absolutely no clue how this actually plays out when voters go to the ballot box.


COOPER: Yes. And also how it plays out in the messaging of Donald Trump moving forward. He's had a sort of rather post-apocalyptic view of the country. Will that increase? We certainly heard some of that after the verdict today. Kristen, we'll check back in with you back here with Paula Reid and Kaitlan Collins. I understand, Paula, that Michael Cohen has released a statement.

REID: Yes, Michael Cohen, obviously a key witness in this case has just released a statement and he said, quote, today is an important day for accountability and the rule of law. Well, it has been a difficult journey for me and my family, the truth always matters. I want to thank my attorneys, Danya Perry and Joshua Kolb for their invaluable guidance and support throughout this process.

And in many ways while Trump was right, the one who is the defendant here, Michael Cohen was also certainly being scrutinized by this jury because his testimony was critical as the only person who could really directly link the defendant to this alleged conspiracy. And Trump's defense attorneys, they did their best to try to just destroy any credibility that Michael Cohen had. That really was the defense, the cross examination of Michael Cohen, undercutting his credibility, highlighting his criminal record or highlighting his disdain for the defendant, the fact that he's profiting off of this.

But at the end of the day, the jury appears to not have been swayed by those arguments. And it appears that they believe that Michael Cohen corroborated by additional evidence was credible enough to convict. And again, this underscores why it would be helpful for history to hear from some of these jurors, even if they're anonymous to understand how they perceive Michael Cohen because he even admitted to stealing from the Trump Organization. At one point it was really just an unprecedented kind of appearance on the witness stand. It would be fascinating to know how the jury metabolized everything they heard from --

COOPER: So and also the importance of David Pecker, I mean, the fact that he was the first witness called by the prosecution, they clearly viewed him as essential to kind of setting the stage for all of this. COLLINS: And that those are the two witnesses whose testimony clearly mattered to the jury. We can only speculate when they were asked sending those notes and asking to be read back their testimony hours ago. But last night, the indication was that it wasn't a good sign for the defense because it wasn't about the checks. It wasn't about the invoices. They wanted to hear the testimony about specifically that meeting at Trump Tower in 2015. That now fateful meeting where it was Trump and Cohen asking how David Pecker could help Donald Trump's campaign. Now as he is in his third run for the White House, David Pecker and Michael Cohen's testimony about that meeting at Trump Tower, where it was just the three of them Hope Hicks in and out of the meeting, that is clearly something that was very pivotal to this jury, because they wanted to hear the account of David Pecker of that meeting and from Michael Cohen of that meeting.

And what was the underlying factor of it was that it was done to influence the 2016 election and the outcome of that. And these are also two figures who have known Donald Trump, Michael Cohen for over two decades now and David Pecker for several decades. Two different distinctly figures. David Pecker wanted Donald Trump to be president still views him in a favorable light, which was made clear on the witness stand. Michael Cohen obviously said he wanted to see Trump held accountable. We saw what he said in his podcast. And it was those two figures whose testimony was the one of the last things the jury heard this morning before they made this pivotal decision.

TAPPER: Todd Blanche has been a lot of time trying to knock down the importance of that meeting in 2015 essentially saying, well, David Pecker never used the term catch and kill, though obviously, when the testimony was read back to the jury, they would have heard, he may not have used that phrase, catch and kill. But he did talk about catching and killing stories has been one of the services he could offer to then candidate Trump.

REID: It's a great point, because in his closing argument, Todd Blanche spent a lot of time trying to debunk the idea that this was all done as part of a conspiracy to influence the election. And at that point, it was pretty clear that that was actually something that prosecutors had establish beyond a reasonable doubt. And a lot of the questions lingered on Trump's involvement in the actual falsified business records.

So in hindsight, it's not clear that that was the highest best use of the closing argument to spend so much time on, something that was clearly pretty well established, in large part to your point by David Pecker, the first witness out of the box, clearly someone that they believe, prosecutors believed was the perfect person to present their case, to initially present their case with because he was so credible. He doesn't have an ax to grind.

Yes, this was a long time ago, but he seemed to have a pretty decent memory. And again, no real dog in this fight. And the jury rarely found him quite credible.

COLLINS: And you know what I'm thinking about right now is, obviously there's a lot of unknowns but also all of the major Republican figures that we've spoken to who have said whether or not they would still vote for Donald Trump, even if he's a convicted felon, people like Chris Sununu, Bill Barr and others, remember the first Republican primary debate that they were all asked if they would still vote for the party's nominee even if he was a convicted felon he or she, Asa Hutchinson and Chris Christie were the only two who did not raise their hands and said they would.


This is going to be the next major question for all of those figures, now that some of them had already prefaced that they would still vote for him because they questioned that outcome of this verdict, whatever it was. And now that's -- you're going to see the impact that has over the next five months before voters go to the polls --


COLLINS: -- November.

COOPER: A historic day here. Let's go to Jake Tapper in Washington.