(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump was found guilty in the first criminal trial of a former US president in the nation’s history, a verdict that could reshape the political landscape five months before Election Day.

After two days of deliberation, a jury of 12 New Yorkers found Trump guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a hush-money payment to a porn star, a conspiracy that prosecutors said deprived voters of vital information before the 2016 election.

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The verdict, delivered Thursday in a dingy courtroom in Lower Manhattan, followed five weeks of vivid testimony that riveted the nation with its tableau of sex, hush money and coverup. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, now hopes to unseat Joe Biden while carrying a black mark unlike that of any other presidential hopeful in US history: convicted felon.

How voters will react to the verdict is uncertain. Opinion polls conducted during the trial suggested some might shun Trump if the jury of 12 New Yorkers convicted him. But Trump’s supporters – Republican leaders and tens of millions of ordinary Americans alike – instead have rallied around him.

Trump, 77, still faces three other criminal trials, including two accusing him of trying to overturn the 2020 election, and one involving his handling of classified national security documents. But the hush-money case – a salacious story that centered on a $130,000 payment to silence Stormy Daniels about her story of a sexual encounter with Trump - is likely to be the only trial that Trump faces before the November election.

Read More: Trump Guilty Verdict Adds Twist to 2024 Race: A Convicted Felon

Trump faces as many as four years in prison when he is sentenced by Justice Juan Merchan on July 11 — four days before the Republican National Convention begins. 

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial,” Trump told reporters in the hallway outside the courtroom. “The real verdict is going to be November 5th by the people. And they know what happened here.”

Read More: Trump Is Guilty in Hush-Money Case. Now What?

Trump, who didn’t testify at trial, is all but certain to appeal. If elected, Trump cannot pardon himself because he was convicted on state, not federal, charges. 

“We’ll keep fighting,” he said, before leaving the courthouse to return to Trump Tower. “We’ll fight to the end and we’ll win.”

Merchan could sentence Trump to prison or impose a probationary term, citing his age and status as a first-time offender. Merchan warned Trump during the trial he could put him behind bars for repeatedly violating a gag order. He also acknowledged the security hurdles of imprisoning a former president. 

Read more: Keeping Up With the Trump Trials 

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. sank as much as 15% in the immediate aftermath of the verdict, but pared the drop to 6% as of 6:22 p.m. in New York. Rumble Inc., the conservative video network backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, and Phunware Inc., a software firm that worked on Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, both initially fell in extended trading before trimming losses.

Prosecutors working for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg argued that Trump oversaw a scheme to influence the 2016 election by using Trump Organization records to hide the hush-money scheme. 

“Everything Mr. Trump and his cohorts did in this case is cloaked in lies,” prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told jurors in his closing arguments. “The evidence is literally overwhelming.”

Incriminating Evidence

Much of the trial revolved around Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer who went to prison for lying under oath and other crimes. Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels to stay silent about her alleged tryst with Trump in 2006. She threatened to go public in October 2016, after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump discussed sexually assaulting women.

“This is a disaster, total disaster,” Trump said about the tape, according to Cohen. “Women will hate me. Guys may think it’s cool, but this is going to be a disaster for the campaign.”

Cohen testified he repeatedly discussed Daniels with Trump, who blessed the repayment scheme. He said Trump authorized a plan to reimburse Cohen a total of $420,000, covering the Daniels check, payments for another vendor, an allotment for taxes and a bonus.  

Read More: Here Are the Key Trump Trial Moments That Led to Guilty Verdict

Cohen told jurors he submitted invoices that falsely billed for legal fees, not a reimbursement. Prosecutors said the 34 false-business record counts spanned his 11 invoices as well as 11 checks to Cohen and 12 company vouchers.

The jury convicted Trump despite withering attacks on Cohen. Trump attorney Todd Blanche assailed Cohen as a serial liar who went from loving Trump — the billionaire who made his fortune in real estate — to hating him. Cohen then made millions of dollars on books and podcasts castigating his former boss.

Cohen is “the human embodiment of reasonable doubt,” Blanche said. “Michael Cohen is the GLOAT. He’s literally the greatest liar of all time.” 

Jurors also heard a secret recording that Cohen made of Trump, saw video clips of him, and read his tweets about Cohen and Daniels.

Trial Highlights

Prosecutors said the conspiracy began in August 2015 during a meeting at Trump Tower attended by Trump, Cohen and David Pecker, the former chief executive officer of the firm that published the National Enquirer. Pecker testified he promised to serve as the “eyes and ears” of the Trump campaign, publish positive pieces and attack rivals. But more importantly, Pecker said he would tell Cohen whenever he heard about negative stories.

Pecker explained why his firm, American Media Inc., paid $150,000 to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal to keep quiet about her claims of a yearlong affair with Trump. He said he expected women to come forward with stories about Trump when he was running for president because he “was well-known as the most eligible bachelor and dated the most beautiful women.”

Read More: Meet the Manhattan Jury That Will Decide Donald Trump’s Fate

Jurors also heard from Daniels, who described in lurid detail the sexual encounter that she said took place in Trump’s hotel room after meeting him at a Lake Tahoe golf tournament. 

Trump frequently commented about the trial on the campaign trail and to television cameras outside the courtroom. Merchan cited Trump for 10 violations of a gag order intended to bar him from commenting on jurors, witnesses and prosecutors. 

The judge at one point threatened to jail Trump if he did it again. The former president did not.

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--With assistance from Hadriana Lowenkron.

(Updates with new lead paragraph and comments from Trump in the courthouse in paragraph seven.)

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