Donald Trump to appeal against 'rigged' conviction - as he says prosecutors just wanted to know if he was 'a bad boy'

Donald Trump has said he will appeal against his criminal conviction for falsifying business records - insisting he paid a "legal expense" and there was "nothing illegal".

In a disjointed 40-minute news conference at Trump Tower in New York, Trump started by saying "if they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone" - before going on to criticise his trial and the "highly conflicted judge" who presided over it.

He later attacked Joe Biden, calling him "the dumbest president we've ever had", labelled the gag order imposed during the hush money trial "nasty", and tested its limits by taking aim at his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

"This [trial] is all done by Biden and his people," Trump claimed - saying President Joe Biden's administration worked "in conjunction with" the Department of Justice on his prosecution.

Trump also repeated his allegation that the trial was "rigged" and criticised a decision to refuse his defence's request for a venue change. "Witnesses on our side were literally crucified," he continued.

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Reaction to Trump news conference

The former president said "we are going to fight", adding: "We're going to be appealing this on many different things."

His son Eric Trump and daughter-in-law Lara Trump were present for the speech but his wife Melania - who has been publicly silent since the verdicts - was not seen.

On Thursday, a unanimous jury in New York found Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to commit election fraud.

The former president covered up a $130,000 (£102,000) payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels as part of a "hush money" scheme to bury stories he thought might hurt his presidential campaign in 2016.

At Trump Tower today, the former president insisted the payment to his former lawyer and fixer Mr Cohen was simply a "legal expense" and "standard stuff" - "there was nothing illegal", Trump added.

A gag order prevents Trump from publicly criticising witnesses from the hush money trial, including Cohen.

While the former president didn't name his former lawyer, he labelled him a "sleazebag", adding: "Everybody knows that."

He said prosecutors just wanted to find out whether he was "a bad boy here, bad boy there" and said "salacious details" of his alleged encounter with Ms Daniels in a hotel room had "nothing to do with the case".

In the rambling speech, he also said of his opponents: "These are bad people, these are sick people. They want to stop you from having cars."

Read more on the Trump trial:
Seven things that nailed him - including secret recording
Cohen says former president had total disregard for jury
Voters in Nevada say Stormy Daniels 'spanked' Trump

'I wanted to testify'

Trump claimed he wanted to take the stand during the trial but said he ultimately decided against it as he feared being prosecuted for perjury if he made a verbal misstep.

"I would have liked to have testified," he said. "But you would have said something out of whack like, 'It was a beautiful sunny day, and it was actually raining out.'"

Outside on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, supporters gathered and flew a giant red "Trump or death" flag outside a high-end boutique.

A small group of protesters held signs saying "justice matters" and "guilty".

Biden responds to Trump's conviction

Speaking at the White House two hours after Trump's news conference, President Biden said it was "reckless, dangerous and irresponsible for anyone to say [the trial] is rigged just because they don't like the verdict."

"The American principle that no one is above the law is reaffirmed," he said. "Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself. Now he will be given the opportunity to appeal the decision.

"That's how the American justice system works. We should respect it and never let anyone tear it down. We're America. That's who we are and that's who we'll always be."

What's next for Trump?

The conviction does not stop Trump from running for president again.

In his speech, Trump claimed the case has bolstered his campaign fundraising with $39m coming in from "small money donors" in the 10 hours after his conviction.

The Trump campaign has slightly different figures and claimed $34.8m (£27.3m) has been raised to support the Republican's presidential bid since the verdict.

They also say an influx of supporters crashed their fundraising platform.

Trump is due to be sentenced on 11 July - just a few days before the Republican Party is expected to confirm him as its nominee for the presidential election against Democrat President Biden in November.