Trump found guilty: Catch up on the trial's sex stories, secret tapes and court drama

The jury has found Donald Trump guilty on all counts in the first criminal trial of a former president in U.S. history.

Donald Trump has been sitting trial for the last seven weeks for 34 counts of falsifying business records. The state sought to prove that Trump authorized the hush money payment his former lawyer Michael Cohen paid to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 and tried to cover it up as legal expenses. It was enough to convince 12 Manhattanites.

If you're catching up on the historic trial, here is a lookback at some key moments:

Live updates:Jury reaches verdict in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial

In this courtroom sketch, Donald Trump looks on as prosecutor Joshua Steinglass shows a C-SPAN video clip of Trump in Greensboro, on a screen during Trump's criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 28, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.

Judge Juan Merchan scolds defense in closing arguments

Both the defense and the prosecution gave their closing arguments Tuesday in monologues that stretched well into the evening.

Judge Juan Merchan scolded Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche for an “outrageous” statement in closing arguments that the jury shouldn’t “send someone to prison” based on Cohen’s testimony.

Prosecutor Josh Steinglass argued former President Donald Trump shouldn't get special treatment in this case. "He's had his day in court," Steinglass said. "The law is the law, and it applies to everyone equally. There is no special standard for this defendant."

Steinglass argued former President Donald Trump shouldn't get special treatment in this case. "He's had his day in court," Steinglass said. "The law is the law, and it applies to everyone equally. There is no special standard for this defendant."

Prosecutors argue Trump falsified business records to cover up campaign finance violation

At the heart of the case is Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws in 2018 in relation to the payment. Trump denies Daniels' claim they had sex in 2006 while he was married to Melania Trump.

Prosecutors have tried to show Trump falsified business records to conceal that crime, which would constitute a felony.

Much of the testimony set the scene for how Trump's campaign dealt with negative stories. Trump allies became concerned about his standing with women after the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape recording him talking about grabbing women's genitals came out in 2016, and several people testified on the levers they could pull to address those concerns.

Who is David Pecker?Former head of National Enquirer expected as first witness in Donald Trump's trial

Evidence: Michael Cohen's secret recording of Trump

This recording was teased in opening arguments and introduced through a witness, computer forensic analyst Douglas Daus. "So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?" Trump says in the conversation, allegedly referring to the hush money deal for former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

McDougal's hush money payment was issued by American Media Inc., the parent company of the tabloid National Enquirer, and ultimately never repaid by Trump despite Cohen's promises.

Cohen also testified Trump knew about the hush money payment and praised Cohen once it was closed. "Fantastic. Great job," Trump said, according to Cohen's testimony.

In the defense's closing arguments, Todd Blanche repeatedly attacked Cohen's credibility, calling him the “MVP of liars” and “the embodiment of reasonable doubt.”

Closing arguments recap:Historic Trump trial comes to a dramatic close, jury deliberations begin Wednesday

David Pecker used National Enquirer to be 'eyes and ears' of Trump campaign in 2016

David Pecker is the former CEO of the tabloid National Enquirer's parent company. He had been friendly with Trump since the 1980s and met with Cohen and Trump in August of 2015.

Pecker testified that he promised to be "eyes and ears" because he knew the Trump Organization had a "very small staff." Pecker said he promised that if he heard anything negative about Trump or anything about women selling stories, he would notify Cohen, as he did over the last several years. Cohen would then have the stories killed, Pecker testified.

In addition to McDougal's life rights, the tabloid paid $30,000 to silence a doorman at Trump Tower, Dino Sajudin, who was shopping a story that Trump fathered an extramarital child.

More:Trump trial sketches show a tearful Hope Hicks, indignant Stormy Daniels and 'Sleepy Don'

Former President Donald Trump sits at the defense table beside his lawyer Emil Bove during jury selection in New York City, on April 16, 2024.

Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson, Michael Cohen testify on Access Hollywood tape watershed moment

The "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Trump boasted about grabbing women without consent, was released by the Washington Post on Oct. 7, 2016. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said in his closing arguments, the tape provide key context for the case as "it caused pandemonium in the Trump campaign."

Several witnesses, including former Trump aide Hope Hicks, a lawyer who represented Daniels and McDougal in their hush money deals, and Cohen discussed how damaging it was to Trump's campaign.

"It wasn't until 'Access Hollywood' that the interest sort of reached a crescendo," lawyer Keith Davidson testified about Daniels' story.

Hicks said the video eventually raised concern in the Trump campaign about his standing with women voters. "Not in that moment, but certainly eventually that was something that was raised," Hicks said on the stand.

"(Trump) wanted me to reach out to all of my contacts in the media. We needed to put a spin on this. And the spin that he wanted put on it was that this is locker room talk," Cohen testified about the tape, "and use that in order to get control over the story and to minimize its impact on him and his campaign."

'What have we done?'Stormy Daniels' attorney thought hush money aided Trump in 2016 election

Trump lawyers asked for mistrial after Stormy Daniels 'dog whistle for rape' testimony

Daniels' testimony included intimate details about the alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, including that he had gold tweezers in his bathroom. She said the evening left her shaking, and that she didn't say no but, "didn't say anything at all."

Trump's defense lawyer Todd Blanche requested a mistrial after Daniels' testimony, saying portions of her testimony were "dog whistle for rape," and could make the jury prejudicial against Trump.

But Judge Juan Merchan denied the motion, pointing out that Blanche had denied that Daniels' story was true at all in his opening statements.

"Your denial puts the jury in a position of having to choose who they believe," Merchan said at the time.

During summations, to bolster the case that the hush money payment was a campaign finance law violation, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said jurors might not care about the alleged encounter, but the American public should have been able to choose that for themselves ahead of the 2016 election.

'Oh my god':Stormy Daniels testifies on spanking Trump, his gold tweezers, and silky PJs

Alleged reimbursement scheme: 'He approved it.'

In key testimony for the prosecution, Cohen testified he met with Trump and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and Trump approved the plan to repay Cohen for Daniels' hush money through a scheme that involved stretching out payments over 12 months in 2017. 

In Trump's presence, Weisselberg said during the meeting that the money would be repaid as a monthly retainer for legal services, Cohen testified. A legal retainer is an agreement with a lawyer about compensation that reserves a lawyer or pays for future services.

In earlier testimony, Jeffrey McConney, the former controller at the Trump Organization, calculated how the $130,000 allegedly netted out to $35,000 monthly payments for Cohen's "retainer." The $130,000 paid to Keith M Davidson Associates PLC, plus $50,000 paid for technology services, doubled to pay for taxes, plus a $60,000 bonus, equaled $420,000. At a monthly rate for one year, McConney testified, that came to $35,000. Deborah Tarasoff, an accounts payable supervisor at the Trump Organization, testified the check from Trump's personal account was signed by Trump. Cohen admitted to stealing from the Trump Organization by overstating the technology services costs he paid, as part of this repayment.

Weisselberg said the money to Cohen was a monthly retainer even though the three men were actually discussing repaying Cohen for the hush money, as well as giving him a bonus and repaying him for a separate expense, according to Cohen's testimony.

"He approved it," Cohen told jurors, speaking about Trump.

Did Cohen convince the jury?Michael Cohen's testimony in Trump hush money trial impressed experts, but suffered setbacks

Defense witness Robert Costello scolded for 'contemptuous' behavior

Trump's defense team called Republican lawyer Robert Costello as their second and last witness. After numerous objections from the prosecution were sustained, Costello appeared frustrated.

'Jeez!' Costello said in the witness box, at a normal volume − but with an exasperated tone − after a sustained objection.

"Sorry? I'm sorry?" Merchan said heatedly to Costello. Costello then said "strike it," seeming to refer to striking his own testimony from the court record.

Costello continued testifying, and then he dramatically sighed after another objection was sustained. Merchan then excused the jurors from the courtroom and said to Costello: "I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom." 

Costello later testified on some statements Cohen made, particularly about how he previously told Costello he did not have any evidence against Trump when the FBI raided his home in 2018.

Contributing: Bart Jansen