Updated May 31, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump lawyer outlines plan to challenge historic guilty verdict

 Former President Trump and attorney Todd Blanche outside Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on Thursday.

Former President Trump and attorney Todd Blanche outside Manhattan criminal court in New York City on Thursday. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former President Trump's attorney Todd Blanche outlined how the defense team plans to challenge the New York jury's guilty verdict in the presumptive Republican nominee's hush money trial on Thursday.

What the big picture: Blanche told CNN Thursday evening after Trump became the first sitting or former U.S. president convicted of a felony that the defense team was "prepared for a conviction" and they would "vigorously fight" by filing motions before Judge Juan Merchan in a couple of weeks.

  • "If that is not successful, then as soon as we can appeal we will," he said on CNN's "The Source with Kaitlan Collins."
  • "And the process in New York is there's a sentencing, and then we appeal from there."
  • Trump is due to be sentenced on July 11.

Zoom in: Blanche told CNN's Kaitlan Collins the legal team would outline to Merchan what they believed made the trial unfair, including adult film actor Stormy Daniels' testimony and their belief that the jury "looked past what we thought were fatal flaws" in former Trump fixer Michael Cohen's testimony.

  • The defense will also argue that the timing of the trial was "really unfair" to Trump, and Blanche told Fox News Thursday evening they'd been "saying for over a year that we couldn't get a fair trial in Manhattan" and "it played out in lots of ways exactly as we expected."
  • He noted to Collins the huge amount of publicity in the leadup to the trial.
  • "Every single person on the jury knew Donald Trump as president, either as president, as candidate, from 'The Apprentice,' so I don't accept that this was a fair place to try President Trump," Blanche said.
  • "Our system of justice isn't supposed to be a system where every person that walks in the courtroom knows about the case."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with further comment from attorney Todd Blanche.

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