Trump’s hush money lawyer lauds ‘solemness’ of former president’s reaction to conviction

Former President Trump’s attorney in the New York hush money case Todd Blanche said he was surprised with the former president’s “solemness” as the historic conviction was handed down.

“I was shocked at how he took the verdict,” Blanche told The Associated Press. “He just stood there and kind of took it. And I think had a lot of appropriate solemnness for the moment that made me very proud to be sitting next to him when it…was happening.”

Blanche said he thought the former president handled himself well on Friday, the day after the verdict, when he gave a press conference criticizing the trial.

“He’s not happy about it, but there’s no defendant in the history of our justice system who’s happy about a conviction the day after,” Blanche said. “But I think he knows there’s a lot of fight left and there’s a lot of opportunity to fix this and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Trump made history Thursday becoming the first former U.S. president to be convicted. The jury found him guilty for all 34 felony charges on falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made to conceal an alleged affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump and his legal team have said they plan to pursue all options to appeal the verdict.

Blanche told The AP that it was natural for Trump to believe the law was being used unfairly against him.

“I believe in the justice system, and I always will. And I don’t think that one case should change anybody’s view,” he said, noting the former president’s three other pending cases. “But if you were Donald J. Trump and you have four indictments…you don’t think you would say you thought it was rigged? OK.”

Blanche said he believes Trump’s claims make the justice system better.

The 12 person New York jury turned around a verdict quicker than expected. They began deliberating Tuesday.

Blanche said he’s “had a lot of trials” and a lot of verdicts, but Trump’s was “by far the most kind of surprising in the timing of it.”

“We were all ready to go home. I think it was pretty clear that they were going to keep on working. There hadn’t been any notes. The first note was a pretty complicated one about testimony, and then asking to have the charge read back to them. So that’s a jury that’s kind of in it for the long haul,” he said.

Blanche said he and Trump had a good relationship throughout the trial. Moments before the guilty verdict was read, Trump had been laughing with Blanche, but his mood quickly changed.

The attorney argued that they were “on the same page about strategy” and they worked closely together on how to defend the former president.

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