San Diego officials, experts react to Trump guilty verdict

The criminal case was the first of four brought against Trump in four different jurisdictions and the only one definitively set to go to trial before the 2024 election

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San Diego officials and experts are reacting after former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all counts Thursday in connection with a hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The 12-person jury in New York reached its verdict after 9.5 hours of deliberations. Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw the case, set sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

Trump had pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts, marking the first time a former president has had to plead to criminal charges. The felony charges alleged Trump had falsified Trump Organization business records in order to cover up payments meant to suppress information about a 2006 sexual encounter with Daniels that could have negatively impacted his run for the presidency.

The criminal case was the first of four brought against Trump in four different jurisdictions and the only one definitively set to go to trial before the 2024 election.

San Diegans discuss how this historic decision will impact the polls and the state of American politics. NBC 7's Jackie Crea reports on May 31, 2024.

Shortly after the verdict, San Diego politicians and experts shared their reactions on social media and in interviews with NBC 7. Here's what they said:

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)

"This was a fair process and our legal system worked as intended. A jury of Mr. Trump's peers listened to the evidence and found him guilty on all charges. That's how the justice system is supposed to work. We should thank jurors for their service and the judge for his patience."

Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA)

"Justice is served."

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

"The Trump trial and verdict are a disgrace.

"Democrats weaponize the law and manipulate the courts to go after Republicans and conservatives.

"Biden won the last election in his basement. I’ll vote for Trump even if he’s in a jail cell."

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)

"No one is above the law. Not even former president Donald Trump. Today, a jury unanimously concluded that he broke the law for his own personal gain. This verdict is another step towards accountability and justice."

Rep Mike Levin (D-CA)

“The jury’s decision reaffirmed that no one is above the law, not even a former President. Now is the time to close the door on this sordid chapter and move forward to address the challenges we all face in creating a more just and equitable nation.”

Chair of the Republican Party of San Diego County Corey Gustafson

“I think this is going to motivate Republicans in the next election in November. I think Republicans are tired of a two-tiered system of justice. What is being done to President Trump is not fair. I don't think he's being treated like everybody else, and I think that's what Republicans believe across San Diego County — that he's not getting a fair shake here in our justice system."

Former U.S. Attorney Carol Lam explains how sentencing works, why the jury may have returned a verdict so quickly and more perspective on former President Donald Trump's conviction on 34 counts in a hush money scheme.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Carol Lam

"What's really remarkable about this conviction is how unremarkable it is, in a sense. This is a state conviction for a crime, just like hundreds of thousands of state criminal convictions have been obtained throughout history. That's what's remarkable about this, that a man who has held the position of president and may do so again, has gone through the same process of criminal prosecution that thousands and thousands of people go through every year and has been held accountable after a criminal trial by a jury of his peers."

Thad Kousser, professor of political science at UC San Diego

"This is clearly a historic day in American politics. Never before had a president been convicted of felony, and today that happened 34 times. But in other ways, it's not unprecedented because we've seen this so many times with Donald Trump. We've used the word historic and unprecedented so many times, starting with his candidacy in 2016 all the way through his presidency through January 6th of 2021. And he survived all of those politically. And the question then becomes, can he survive this conviction on 34 felony counts?"

Thad Kousser, a professor of political science at UC San Diego, explains why former President Donald Trump's guilty verdict might not weigh down Trump's bid for the White House.

Dan Eaton, attorney and legal analyst

"The impact of this verdict on the November elections is entirely in the hands of the viewers. The only vote that will be affected by this conviction, from a legal standpoint, is Donald Trump's own vote in the state of Florida because under Florida law, he may be disqualified from voting."

The roundup of reaction above will be updated.

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