Trump found guilty: Love or despise him this is a devastating legacy

ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports from outside the court house in New York where the former president has been found guilty of 34 counts.

With this dramatic verdict the seven men and five women of the jury have crossed a threshold that is without precedent in the tumultuous history of the United States.

They have convicted a former president of the United States.

Not even Richard Nixon faced this ignominy.

It is a great irony that Donald Trump's legal downfall is unrelated to the many highly controversial decisions he made in the final days of his presidency. This case wasn't about the attempted insurrection of January 6.

This wasn't about keeping secret documents. Or about trying to "find" extra votes to overturn the 2020 election.

No, this was almost comically trivial - this was about how Trump filed a set of business records nearly a decade ago.

The prosecution successfully argued that he had hidden a payment of $130,000 (£102,300) to silence the actress Stormy Daniels, and done so to try and influence the 2016 election.

But as soon as this verdict was handed down, a vital new question raised its head, one that will now be central to America's future direction.

Will it make any difference to the 2024 presidential race?

American voters know Trump. Most have lived through his first wild presidency. Their views are entrenched and often visceral. There are no surprises left.

It is entirely likely that the guilty verdict will change the votes of only a small fraction of the electorate. Polling suggests that only 4% of his supporters will withdraw their backing for him.

But this is certain to be a close election, decided by a small number of people in just six battleground states.

So, yes, this could be a game-changer for some independents and centrists who will now hesitate to vote for a convicted felon, even if they dislike President Biden.

Trump will frame his conviction differently. He will say this validates his central political argument of a Deep State swamp that is ruthlessly taking down those who threaten the establishment.

He will argue that this is a persecution, not a prosecution. That Democrats have weaponised the justice system to take down their political opponent. That a left-leaning Manhattan jury was always going to convict him.

But irrespective of whether he can still win in November, the history books will now note that Trump was twice impeached by Congress and once convicted by a jury of his peers.

Love Trump, or despise him, that is a devastating legacy.

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