What it was like in the courtroom as Trump’s guilty verdict was read

What it was like in the courtroom when Trump was found guilty

What it was like in the courtroom when Trump was found guilty


NEW YORK — After five weeks of testimony, former President Donald Trump was found guilty Thursday in his “hush money” trial in Manhattan.

The jury of seven men and five women convicted Trump on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

CBS New York’s Alice Gainer was one of about 60 journalists with a seat in the main courtroom, and she has been there every day of the trial, which began on April 15.

“There was this audible gasp in the courtroom”

Thursday was the second day of jury deliberations. The jury had sent two notes on Wednesday — one asking to review testimony and another asking to rehear the judge’s instructions — but there were no notes from the jury all day Thursday.

Around 4:15 p.m., the judge came into the courtroom and said he was going to give the jury a few more minutes before dismissing them at 4:30 p.m.

Gainer says the former president appeared to be in a good mood as he walked into the courtroom.

At 4:30 p.m., however, the judge returned to the courtroom and said the jury had reached a verdict and wanted 30 additional minutes to fill out forms.

“There was this audible gasp in the courtroom because nobody was expecting it. They thought they were going to be dismissed for the day and that we’d be back tomorrow,” Gainer said. “When they said they had a verdict, he was sitting there and I saw him with his eyes closed again. And that’s been his demeanor this entire trial. I don’t know whether it’s by design, he wants to give that impression. We don’t know. We’ve asked him… and he doesn’t answer that question.”

Court officers instructed members of the public to remain quiet as the verdict was read.

“He was very red-faced”

Just after 5 p.m., the jury was brought into the courtroom and the foreperson read the verdict — guilty on all 34 counts.

Gainer says even though reporters are in the main courtroom, they do not have a clear view of Trump’s face because they are sitting behind him, but there are video monitors that they can view through binoculars. When the verdict was read, however, the video feed of the defense table was cut, so they could not see Trump’s immediate reaction.

Courtroom artist Jane Rosenberg told Gainer she saw Trump look at the jury foreperson, then shake his head and close his eyes.

The members of the jury appeared expressionless, and there was no audible reaction in the courtroom.

The defense tried to file a motion for acquittal right after the verdict was read, which was denied. There was no visible reaction from prosecutors.

“When the former president walked out, he was very red-faced. He sort of awkwardly went to reach for Eric Trump, his son’s, hand. I don’t know if he shook it or what he was trying to do, a father-son moment. And when he was walking out, he was a little bit sweaty, had a very angry expression on his face,” Gainer said.

“There was a moment the judge said, ‘What’s the bail status?’ And prosecutors said, ‘Uh, there is no bail.’ So the former president walked out, he left, and we were immediately released from the courtroom,” Gainer added. 

Trump then spoke to cameras outside the courtroom, calling the trial “rigged” and “a disgrace.”

When dismissing the jury, the judge said it is now up to them whether they speak publicly about the trial or not.  

Sentencing is set for July 11 at 10 a.m.

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