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America has gone ‘over a cliff’ with Trump’s conviction, Judge Jeanine says: ‘All smoke and mirrors’

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said Thursday that America is “on the brink” after former President Trump was found guilty on all charges, making him the first former president to be convicted of a crime in the United States.

“I want to believe that the American people believe in justice, and I think deep down they know there’s something very wrong here. America has fallen off a cliff,” Pirro said on the broadcast, shortly after a jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business records, concluding his historic and unprecedented criminal trial. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Trump found guilty on all charges in New York criminal trial

Former President Donald Trump waves as he leaves Trump Tower on his way to criminal court, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Manhattan, New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nickinson)

“This sentence is for a person who had his hands tied behind his back and was forced to fight a 1,000-pound gorilla. A crime was created against this defendant, a judge was chosen for this defendant, a defendant was denied the ability to fight the way he should fight, a crime never before heard of in New York state was introduced, a misdemeanor was reinstated and made into a felony based on a non-conforming conviction of a federal crime over which state courts, state judges and prosecutors have no jurisdiction,” Piro said.

“And then at the end of the day, all this smokescreen and mirrors, the 34 charges, the prostitutes, the guy, [who] “According to a federal judge, he is a habitual perjurer and we have convicted a former president of the United States,” she continued.

Pirro was referring to President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, whose criminal trial is at the center of an allegation that he paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet before the 2016 election.

“I’ve spent 32 years under this system and I’m completely disillusioned,” Pirro added. “This is a new era in America and I think this goes against who we are as Americans and our faith in our criminal justice system.”

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Jonathan Turley, a Fox News contributor and George Washington University law professor who was in the courtroom at the time of the conviction, said he was “saddened” by the trial’s outcome but expressed more optimism about how the appeals court will handle Trump’s legal challenges.

Donald Trump / Michael Cohen

Donald Trump / Michael Cohen (Getty Images)

“It’s been sad to watch,” Turley told Fox News’ Shannon Bream. “I don’t agree with the verdict, and as I’ve said before, I think this lawsuit is legally without merit,” he said.

“This is a historic moment. We all need to take a breather. But those who are outraged by this decision must remember that we value the rule of law in this country. And this decision will be appealed. I think it will be overturned in the state and federal systems. But it’s precisely when we are in a position where we don’t agree with the decision that we have to have the courage to believe in the rule of law. That’s what we are. And many feel this case embodies the exact opposite of that,” Turley said. “But as a country, we have a system in place to review this. In Donald Trump’s case, it probably won’t be reviewed before the election. But we must remember that this is not the only court. This is the first court.”

“I’m optimistic about the appeals judges right now. I think at some point people are going to come forward and say enough is enough… Hating this guy is not enough to forget about the lack of evidence,” Turley added.

Turley stressed that he did not blame the jury for their verdict, telling Bream they had received instructions from the judge that “made it very easy for them to return a guilty verdict.”

Former Assistant US Attorney Andy McCarthy echoed Pirro’s sentiments, telling Bream that the guilty verdict would change the US justice system “for the worse.”

Former US President Donald Trump's children, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife Lara, sit next to Trump in the front row.

Former US President Donald Trump’s children Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and his wife Lara sit front row next to Trump as defense lawyer Todd Blanche gives closing arguments at Trump’s criminal trial at state court in Manhattan, New York City, US, May 28, 2024. In this courtroom sketch, Trump is accused of falsifying business records to hide money paid to silence porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg)

“Even if it’s his [Trump] “This will be detrimental to U.S. prosecutions and the justice system because the flag of politicized prosecution has been planted here in a way that it has never been seen before,” he said.

“It’s inconceivable that anyone in New York other than Donald Trump could be prosecuted in this way,” McCarthy continued, adding that he agreed the judge had “turned the jury instructions into a road map to a conviction.”

“We hope that an appeal will produce a fairer and more just decision than a trial,” he said.

Pirro said using the word “loafer” to describe the weaponization of the Justice Department was “too naive, too harmless.”

“This is a war. Not just politically, but legally, you’re trying to take someone down and take away their civil liberties,” she argued.

After the jury announced their verdict, Trump told reporters he would “fight this to the end” and declared that “it’s not over yet.”

“The real verdict will be given by the American people on November 5th,” Trump said.

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The former president, now a convicted felon, is scheduled for a sentencing hearing in Manhattan court on July 11, just days before he is expected to run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of four years.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.